The San Francisco Giants rose to the call of duty and delivered a 3-0 win against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park Tuesday night. Emerging as the man of the hour, two-time All Star Pitcher Madison Bumgarner served up a dazzling one-hitter, helping the Giants to turn the page on their three-game losing streak.
“That game was probably more impressive than most no-hitters,” Giants’ Manager Bruce Bochy said. “You look at the strikeouts, his stuff, the command, it was a very impressive evening for him.”
Impressive indeed, Bumgarner had a career high 13 strikeouts, retiring the first 21 batters. The next three at bats: 11 pitches, 11 strikes, 6 swings, and 3 strikeouts. Bumgarner wavered on the cusp of absolute perfection until a single encounter with Rockies clean-up hitter Justin Morneau, where he doubled down the right-field line. The hit served as the only one of the evening from a scoreless Colorado.
Though he didn’t get to add a perfect game to his accolades, he did add some necessary confidence to put behind that lethal fastball. Madison threw a total of 103 pitches, with 80 total strikes.
“He threw a lot of fastballs,” Rockies’ manager Weiss said. “They’re tough to lay off because of the angle. He was locked in tonight. he was throwing strikes.”
It was just the performance the Giants needed after the previous nights showing where they appeared a shadow of their former selves against a depleted Rockies club who recently lost 23 of 26 road games since June.
The win was not without honorable mention. In fact, it served as a re-awakening of other key players. Buster Posey brought the offense to life with a prodigious two-run homer in the 6th. Posey later sealed the deal with another homer in the 8th. This is the second multi-home run game of Posey’s career.
The Rockies made one more attempt to foil the shutout when Matt McBride was thrown out by Brandon Crawford who made a clutch stop deep into the gap to beat the runner to the bag by only fractions of a second. Colorado didn’t come close to getting another hit otherwise.
The Giants’ dominant performance could not have come with better timing, as they currently sit on the cusp of a coveted wild card spot for the postseason. Bumgarner seems confident, and grounded in his attitude toward their standing,
“When it comes down to it, we’re trying to win games,” he said. “It’s not about yourself, it’s about your teammates…and if we keep playing like this, I like our chances.”
This is Bumgarner’s third career shutout and sixth complete game. He also became the first pitcher in franchise history with six games of 10-plus strikeouts with no walks. If Bumgarner can duplicate that machismo, odds appear favorable for the Giants’ postseason hopes.
The Giants round out their four-game series this Wednesday and Thursday at AT&T Park. Tim Hudson will take the mound for San Francisco.
Notes: RHP Tim Hudson (9-9) has a 4.35 ERA in 13 career starts against Colorado.