The Giants have continued their epic run of late, winning their fifth straight playoff game last night to give them a 2-0 advantage as they travel to Detroit. Pitching was the key in this game as Doug Fister (10-10, 3.45) and Madison Bumgarner (16-11, 3.37) squared off, looking to capitalize on what they could before leaving San Francisco. Both pitchers were absolutely on top of their game throughout, with the Giants just getting a few extra breaks. For example, with Prince Fielder on first and no outs in the second inning, Delmon Young doubled down the third base line. Fielder lumbered around second, and on the advice of third base coach Gene Lamont, went home as well. That would have netted the Tigers an early run, but an excellent throw by left fielder Gregor Blanco, excellent relay by second baseman Marco Scutaro, and excellent tag by catcher Buster Posey prevented it and killed the rally.
From that point on, Bumgarner was essentially untouchable, as he would only allow 2 hits in his 7 innings of work– striking out 8. Doug Fister was also very good, but he allowed a few additional hits, including a third inning line drive up the middle to Gregor Blanco that hit Fister in the side of his head. He would remain in the game, however, and actually keep the Giants from scoring all the way until the seventh.
That would be when the Giants loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk. The damage could’ve been so much worse than it was, as Brandon Crawford drove in just one run with a double play. However, that would be all Bumgarner would need in this one. The Giants would pick up one more run in the eighth inning on a sac fly by Hunter Pence, but it wouldn’t be necessary. Even after Bumgarner’s departure, he got perfect innings of relief from Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo. Saturday’s pitching matchup will be Ryan Vogelsong (2-0, 1.42) and Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 1.35), looking to get the Tigers one game at home.