Photo by Nhat V. Meyer
They have been here before, the Giants are one win away from winning their third World Series in five years. But the road back to Kansas City won't be easy. San Francisco concluded the series at AT&T Park after a dominant performance from Madison Bumgarner who shutout the Royals 5-0. He went the distance and no one expected anything less than perfection from the southpaw.
"This guy was on tonight," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "He was strong all night. When this guy is on, it's fun to watch. He was hitting spots, had great stuff. I just felt like that's his game."
Bumgarner never disappoints, he was brilliant on the mound. He pitched a complete game surrendering no runs. Bumgarner has pitched at least 7.0 innings in each of his five postseason starts this season, becoming only the sixth pitcher in history to do so in at least five consecutive starts in a single postseason.
"The guy's phenomenal," Mike Moustakas said. "He commanded all of his pitches and when you thought you knew something, he did the exact opposite. That's what makes him good right now. He was throwing his fastball in there for strikes and his slider was sweeping all the way across the zone. Just tough at-bats."
The only pitcher to accomplish the feat in six straight starts of a single postseason was Arizona's Curt Schilling back in 2001. Bumgarner's ERA of 0.31 in the World Series is the lowest in history for a pitcher with at least 25 IP. He tossed nine innings, yielded four hits and struck out eight. Bumgarner allowed a hit in four frames while San Francisco's defense backed him in preventing a runner past second base.
"I felt great," Bumgarner said. "I've been feeling pretty good, and I've been able to work both sides of the plate. I'm just happy we won, that was a big game for us, being tied 2-2. Going back to Kansas City with two games, it's a whole lot better that we have to win one now instead of having to win two."
Brandon Crawford became the fourth Giants shortstop to record at least three RBI's in a World Series. The others were Alvin Dark (Game 1, 1951), Rich Aurilia (Game 5, 2002) and Edgar Reneteria (Game 2 and 5, 2010). Crawford drove in three runs with a RBI grounder in the second, a RBI single in the fourth and a RBI single in the eighth.
"I'm just happy we won and happy to get the bat on the ball," Crawford said. "I didn't exactly smoke any of those balls but I got the job done."
Photo by Nhat V. Meyer
An emotional Juan Perez collected himself after hearing the news that his close friend, Oscar Taveras was killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic earlier today. Taveras was a outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. Perez who pinch-ran for Travis Ishikawa in the sixth, hit a fly ball off the center-field wall that was inches away from a home run in the eighth.
He drove in two runs on a RBI double. San Francisco got off to a great start when Pablo Sandoval leadoff the inning with a single followed by single from Hunter Pence. The Royals made a pitching change, Wade Davis replaced Kelvin Herrera and struck out Brandon Belt. But he gave up a hit to both Perez and Crawford extending the Giants lead 5-0.
"During the game, when I found out the news, it was a little hard because I was thinking too much about it," Perez said. "[Joaquin] Arias came over and said 'Stay strong, we've got to win this game.' When I hit the ball and went to third, I looked to the sky and I was thinking about him."
San Francisco jumped on James Shields early, Pence leadoff the second with a single and Belt followed with a infield bunt. Crawford drove in Pence making it a 1-0 game. Sandoval leadoff the fourth with a single. Shields struck out the next two batters before Ishikawa singled putting two on with two outs. Crawford flew out to center fielder Jarrod Dyson who dropped the ball scoring in Sandoval for the 2-0 lead.
"We've got to walk a tightrope without a net," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "But our guys aren't afraid of walking the tightrope without a net. We fall off and we're dead. But if we win Tuesday, nobody's got a net. It's going to be winner-take-all."