That was stressful. Not just yesterday, but all month. Remembering back to the 9th inning of game 1 against the Nationals seems like 5 years ago. Wasn’t that the game that Hunter Strickland struck out Ian Desmond and looked like a huge new addition to the Giants bullpen arsenal? I don’t even have much to say–just tired. Glad the Giants have won; glad I can return to normal life. One championship was amazing. 2012, especially with the whole season riding on Barry Zito, was an embarrassment of riches. Now this, it’s almost too much. [Of course it's not--I want more!]
It goes without saying how amazing Bumgarner was. But is it the best performance ever? Factor in that he did it on the road against a team and crowd that was so poised to defeat anyone and anything and doing it on two days rest. And two days rest doesn’t even say it all. Two days after throwing a complete game shutout, at the end of a long season approaching 300 innings pitched, with another 68 pitches, every single one with huge pressure. Even just the last batter–after a crazy play puts the Royals 90 feet from coming back–to go 6 pitches against a tough hitter, to never back down, never get fazed.
As amazing as Bumgarner was, and it was amazing, I liked the 2010 and 2012 versions of the Giants pitching staff better when it was a dominant staff that shut down the opponent just about every night. Of course this was a team effort–Panik, Morse, Sandoval, Pence, Affeldt, and so many other guys all playoffs long. Everyone did something. Even the coach that told Juan Perez to play exactly in the spot to catch Aoki’s otherwise game tying line drive. It’s just that one guy did just about everything else.
Looking ahead: Next year’s starting rotation–Bumgarner, Cain, Petit, Hudson, Lincecum? Lineup has pretty much all its parts coming back as well, depending on Sandoval. I hope Morse comes back even if he can’t really field. Romo, too. I’ll write more when I wake up. I feel almost as tired as Buster Posey.
Line of the night: of course, Madison Bumgarner, 5 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, .026 ERA in 5 WS appearances and 3 championships.
Runner up: Pablo Sandoval: 3-3 and multiple panda heads.
2nd Runner up: Rajon Rondo, 13 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds.
3rd runner up: Kobe Bryant, 31 points, -26 point differential while in the game.