The San Francisco Giants 21-year-old rookie Madison Bumgarner tossed eight shutout innings in Game Four, giving the Giants a 3-1 World Series lead.
Renton, WA native Tim Lincecum will be on the mound tonight in Game Five with a chance to clinch it – but he’ll have to best Cliff Lee to do it.
Bumgarner - who is nicknamed “Mad-Bum” in a shortening of his name, not a nod to a long-standing San Francisco civic problem – changed speeds and kept Rangers hitters off-balance all game. In the parts of the game that I watched, Bumgarner had a particularly nasty change-up, and he had Rangers hitters out in front of it.
As the Series moves on, it’s becoming more clear what the Giants are: a group of three young stud starting pitchers (Lincecum, Cain and Bumgarner) and a rookie catcher oozing superstar talent in Buster Posey, surrounded by a rag-tag group of free agents and cast-offs who are having the time of their lives. It’s a fun team to watch.
Game Five is tonight at 5:00 (OK, 4:57. Whatever.). Cliff Lee will be asked to carry the Rangers on his shoulders, and get the Series back to San Francisco. As fun as it would be to see Lincecum win the final game, I think that tonight will belong to Lee and the Rangers.
Here are the links:
- The Associated Press story covers all the pertinent details of Game Four.
- In San Francisco, Bruce Jenkins wrote about Madison Bumgarner.
- This Dallas columnist is looking for Josh Hamilton to step up.
- I’m not the only one who thinks Cliff Lee will be in command tonight.
- Away from the World Series, young players are honing their skills down in Arizona. This is an excellent story about one-time “can’t-miss” prospect Brandon Wood, who is trying to get it together down in the Arizona Fall League. It’s a reminder that, in its heart, baseball is a game of failure.
No Mariners or Rainiers news right now. Look for the Mariners to announce their major league coaching staff soon after the end of the World Series – all we know right now is that the pitching coach will be Carl Willis.