After a 38-year wait, the Rangers had finally broken through. Their first victory in a World Series.
It was Halloween 2010 and on the night after Josh Hamilton homered and Texas beat San Francisco to climb into the World Series trailing 2-1, the Ballpark in Arlington was electric. The Rangers handed the ball to Tommy Hunter to even the series. The Giants were relying on a 21-year-old making only his 20th career start, and first in a World Series.
Enter Madison Bumgarner.
The lanky lefty totally suffocated the Rangers that night in Game 4, limiting them to three singles in eight impressive shutout innings of a 4-0 win that took the Giants to the brink of a title they clinched the next night. If that was Bumgarner’s coming-out party, this Fall has been his coronation.
He continued his almost unprecedented postseason mastery Sunday night, shutting out the Royals in Game 5 of the World Series to again push the Giants to the edge of another championship. He became the first pitcher to win a World Series game with eight strikeouts and no walks. It's epic stuff, really.
Looking back on that night in Arlington it was just a glimpse of Bumgarner’s impending success. In four World Series starts he is now 4-0 with a 0.29 ERA.
Bumgarner is the first pitcher since Lew Burdette of the Milwaukee Braves in 1957-58 to win his first four World Series starts. And in going 4-0 he's struck out 27, allowed only 12 hits and surremdered just one run - a 7th-inning homer to Salvador Perez in Game 1.
The Rangers lost that Game 4 and that World Series. But inretrospect they lost to not to a bum, but the Bum.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.