San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner will take the mound Sunday evening with a chance to put his team one win away from a third World Series title in five years. He will do so against a pesky Kansas City Royals team and with an opportunity to place yet another mark in the history books.
Following a Game 1 performance that saw him give up just three hits and one run in seven innings against the Royals, Bumgarner has given up one earned run in 22 innings of World Series work since making his debut in the Fall Classic against the Texas Rangers back in 2010.
For those of you wondering, that’s an absurd 0.41 ERA in three World Series starts. Babe Ruth (yes, that one) owns the lowest ERA for a starting pitcher in the World Series (minimum 25 innings pitched). Another solid outing here and Bumgarner will have met face-to-face with a record that has lasted over 95 years. To make matters even more amazing, Ruth did this during the dead-ball era. In fact, one of Ruth’s three World Series starts was a complete-game shutout of 14 innings against the Brooklyn Robins.
Here’s another feat Bumgarner can accomplish. Sandy Koufax has long been considered the greatest World Series pitcher of the modern era. In seven Fall Classic starts, Koufax racked up a 4-3 record with a 0.95 ERA. He struck out 61 and walked just 11 in 57 innings.
With a win on Sunday night, Bumgarner can match Koufax’s win total of four in three less starts. As of right now, the Giants starter has struck out 19 and walked five in 22 career innings pitched in the World Series. As to where Koufax racked up a ridiculous 0.83 WHIP, Bumgarner’s is currently at 0.59.
Needless to say, Bumgarner has a lot on the line in this game. In addition to potentially pitching the Giants to a 3-2 series lead, he can join the names of some of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. And at the age of just 25, there will be a whole heck of a lot more where this comes from.
No matter your allegiance or whoever you are rooting for in this World Series, enjoy what Bumgarner is going right now…it’s something that the vast majority of us have not seen before and will never see again.
Photo: USA Today