SAN FRANCISCO — Count the Dominican Dandy among the Madison Bumgarner fan club.
The only Giants’ pitcher honored with a statue, Juan Marichal, was waiting in the Giants clubhouse after the game because he wanted to personally congratulate the left-hander for his 5-0 shutout in Game 5 of the World Series at AT&T Park on Sunday night."He’s coldblooded," Marichal said. "When he’s on the mound, he dominates everybody. Everybody."The Hall of Famer, now 77, said Bumgarner first impressed him as a youngster in the 2010 World Series. Bumgarner threw eight shutout innings in Game 4 that year, leading a 4-0 victory.He was all of 21.
"At that time, I said to myself, ‘We’re going to see a pitcher for a long time — a good, good pitcher," Marichal said, wearing a Giants jacket and cap. "I’ve liked him since."Sunday, Bumgarner was even better. He allowed four hits and struck out eight in a complete game.The key stat for Marichal? Zero walks.
"Control, oh yes," Marichal said. "He only threw 117 pitches. He threw 84 strikes. When you can do that, you’re going to end up on top. His control is awesome."
It was a thing of beauty, Brandon Belt’s bunt single that moved up Hunter Pence in the second inning, and Pence eventually scored as a result of it, advancing to third on Travis Ishikawa’s deep fly out and coming home on Brandon Crawford’s groundout to the right side.AdvertisementBelt, who bats left-handed, dropped the ball between the mound and third base, forcing shortstop Alcides Escobar to make the play. A hitter who doesn’t bunt much — he has one sacrifice bunt in four years playing with the Giants — Belt said he wasn’t going for a hit."I was just trying to spread the field open a little bit for myself," he said. "They’ve been putting the shift on against me. I’ve hit into it once or twice. I figured if I could get them out of it, I’d give myself a better chance of getting a hit."Escobar has as much range as any shortstop in the game, but once the ball got past the pitcher, his options were limited."I thought I had a shot at it," Escobar said. "He put the bunt in a really good spot."Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he’d talked over the possibility of a bunt with Belt specifically to counteract the shift, where the Royals load the right side of the diamond with three infielders."If they put the shift on you and they’re going to give you the bunt, take it," Bochy said. "It’s the first one he’s gotten down. He laid a beauty down there."Belt said he doesn’t bunt in batting practice. He was waiting for a world stage, apparently.
"That was a good opportunity there. We could get people on first and second. We had some good hitters behind us, and they got the job done."
After lasting just 22/3 innings in Saturday night’s win, right-hander Ryan Vogelsong said he would volunteer to be available out of the bullpen the rest of the series. Bochy hasn’t ruled it out. Vogelsong will be ready for emergency or extra-innings use when the Giants return to Kansas City.Despite the ugly line Saturday, Bochy thought Vogelsong threw well. He was victimized by a series of well-placed infield grounders in the third inning."He gets out of that inning and I think it’s a nice game and I think he gives us a quality start," Bochy said. "I kidded him about it, but it’s a fact: He’s had horrible luck."
The Giants will have plenty of rotation uncertainty this offseason, with Vogelsong and Jake Peavy hitting free agency, Matt Cain coming off elbow and ankle surgeries and Tim Lincecum looking to move past a season during which he was pulled from the rotation. That might allow for an increased role for Yusmeiro Petit, but Bochy wouldn’t commit to that Sunday."You have to look at how he’s thrown the ball," he said. "These are things we’ll talk about in the offseason, but this guy has been a savior in the ‘pen and when we needed him to start. It’s something we’re very much aware of, that he can start."Staff writer John Hickey contributed to this report.