Madison Bumgarner is about eight months older than Starlin Castro. Both have had their high moments and struggles in their rookie seasons. Bumgarner won't win the Rookie of the Year award -- that's likely to go to his teammate Buster Posey.
But Bumgarner made perhaps the best start of his young career on the biggest stage possible, bringing his team within one win of its first World Championship since moving to San Francisco in 1958. He was outstanding last night. Bruce Bochy probably could have let him finish -- he had thrown only 106 pitches, the Rangers didn't seem to have a clue as to what to do with him and he won't pitch again this year -- but Bochy opted to play it safe and bring closer Brian Wilson into the game in a non-save situation.
The result was a 4-0 Giants victory, their second shutout in the World Series of a team that was blanked only four times during the regular season and only once at home. The Giants can, and I believe will, wrap things up tonight and win that title. Yes, I know Cliff Lee is going for the Rangers, which gives them a shot, but tonight's Giants starter, Tim Lincecum, matches up well with Lee. If the Giants do win tonight, it will be the eighth straight World Series that did not go the full seven games.
Happy November, everyone. The World Series will soon be over and with that, the free agent and trade markets should be open for business. The Cubs need to have a busy offseason.
7 pm CDT, Fox: Giants at Rangers. Giants lead series 3-1. Announcers: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.
MLB.com Gameday for World Series Game Five
SB Nation game preview for World Series Game Five
Baseball-reference.com game preview for World Series Game Five
Discuss amongst yourselves.