MLB Notebook: Giants' arms coming up big
Within the history of World Series Game 2 shutouts, the Giants have been involved in six: four to the delight of their fans, and two that probably inspired a lot more angst than enthusiasm.
One of the six came in the 1905 Fall Classic -- a series that featured shutouts in all five games. A day after Giants righty Christy Mathewson bested Athletics southpaw and fellow future Hall of Famer Eddie Plank with a four-hit shutout in the opener, New York hosted Philadelphia in Game 2 in yet another matchup between two future inductees to Cooperstown.
On that particular day, the Athletics struck for their first run in the top of the third, when Bris Lord singled off of Iron Man McGinnity to drive in Ossee Schrecongost from third. As it turned out, that run would be enough for the A's Chief Bender, who twirled a four-hit shutout with three walks and nine strikeouts. And thus, the Giants had their first check under the column labeled Game 2 World Series shutouts, a column that gained yet another mark on Thursday night.
Madison Bumgarner (seven innings, two hits) and two relievers combined on a two-hit shutout, and the Giants defeated the Tigers, 2-0. With the victory, San Francisco took a 2-0 lead in the World Series.
In Game 4 of the 2010 World Series, Bumgarner picked up a win after throwing eight innings of three-hit, no-run ball. With his line on Thursday, Bumgarner joined George Earnshaw as the only pitchers in World Series history to have multiple starts of at least seven scoreless innings and no more than three hits allowed. In Game 5 of the 1930 World Series, Earnshaw allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings, and in Game 4 the following year, he tossed a two-hit shutout.
Bumgarner's start produced a game score (an equation used to measure a pitcher's dominance) of 79 after fanning eight and walking two in addition to his seven innings of two-hit, no-run ball. In the Tigers' World Series history, that 79 was the eighth highest against them, and the highest for any southpaw. The highest game score for a pitcher vs. the Tigers in a World Series game came in the opener of the 1968 Fall Classic, when the Cardinals' Bob Gibson allowed five hits and one walk while notching 17 Ks in nine scoreless innings for a game score of 93.
Start of something good for Giants
Through the first two games of the World Series, the two Giants starters -- lefties Barry Zito and Bumgarner -- have combined for 12 2/3 innings, eight hits and one run allowed, 11 strikeouts, three walks and a .190 batting average against (8-for-42). During the regular season, the Tigers had a .747 OPS against left-handed starters (fifth in the American League) and a .262 batting average against them (sixth in the AL).
With wins by Zito and Bumgarner, the Giants became the fifth team in World Series history to have victories by southpaw starters in Games 1 and 2. The full list:
1919 Reds: Dutch Ruether (Game 1) and Slim Sallee (Game 2)
1955 Yankees: Whitey Ford (Game 1) and Tommy Byrne (Game 2)
1963 Dodgers: Sandy Koufax (Game 1) and Johnny Podres (Game 2)
1981 Yankees: Ron Guidry (Game 1) and Tommy John (Game 2)
2012 Giants: Zito (Game 1) and Bumgarner (Game 2)
The Giant's team shutout Thursday was:
The 113th in World Series history and the fourth in the past three years. From 2007-09 there were none.
The 19th in a Game 2, and the fourth authored by the Giants in a Game 2 (1913, '62 and 2010)
The 14th overall in Giants history
The 17th to come in a game in which the team allowed no more than two hits in the shutout. It's the second consecutive season that a World Series contest produced a combined shutout on two hits or fewer (Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz for the Rangers in Game 4 in 2011). Before last year, no World Series game since Game 6 of the 1995 Fall Classic had featured a team tossing a shutout on two hits or fewer.
The 21st to end in a 2-0 score. The most recent time the Fall Classic included a 2-0 game was in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series, when the Marlins defeated the Yankees to clinch the title. Before this year, the most recent time the Giants won a 2-0 World Series game was in 1962 (in Game 2), when Jack Sanford threw a three-hit shutout and Willie McCovey and Matty Alou contributed with a solo home run and an RBI groundout, respectively. Before this year's Fall Classic, the most recent time the Tigers lost a 2-0 game in the World Series was in Game 5 in 1908, when they were blanked on three hits by Cubs right-hander Orval Overall.
The Giants collected five hits Thursday -- all singles. They were the 13th team to win a World Series game in which they had no more than five hits, with none going for extra-bases:
1915, Game 1: Phillies (five hits) beat the Red Sox, 3-1
1918, Game 1: Red Sox (five hits) beat the Cubs, 1-0
1918, Game 6: Red Sox (five hits) beat the Cubs, 2-1
1921, Game 2: Yankees (three hits) beat the Giants, 3-0
1924, Game 6: Senators (four hits) beat the Giants, 2-1
1942, Game 3: Cardinals (five hits) beat the Yankees, 2-0
1948, Game 1: Braves (two hits) beat the Indians, 1-0
1959, Game 5: White Sox (five hits) beat the Dodgers, 1-0
1963, Game 3: Dodgers (four hits) beat the Yankees, 1-0
1972, Game 3: Reds (four hits) beat the Athletics, 1-0
1986, Game 1: Red Sox (five hits) beat the Mets, 1-0
2011, Game 2: Rangers (five hits) beat the Cardinals, 2-1
2012, Game 2: Giants (five hits) beat the Tigers, 2-0
Buster Posey went 1-for-3 with a walk, and he has hit safely in all seven of his World Series appearances.
Posey is the 32nd player to begin his World Series career with a hit in at least seven straight contests. Marquis Grissom owns the top mark in this category, having hit safely in each of his first 15 World Series games.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.