Doug Fister versus Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner, he of the 2012 postseason starts that did not go well. Fister, he of the Northern California roots and Giants fan background.
With the way the odds were, Fister seemed to just have a better chance of winning this game for the Tigers. Bumgarner hadn’t been having the stellar starts some thought he would have this postseason; Fister has been extraordinary.
Tonight, it was a pitcher’s duel.
But, it wasn’t without some scares: in the 2nd inning, Fister took a Gregor Blanco line drive off the side of the head. Miraculously (though I personally think he should’ve been taken out of the game for precautionary measures; because head injuries aren’t something to be taken lightly and I sure hope he’s okay), he stayed in the game.
Fister went six strong innings*, only giving up one run. It was a classic case of Caining. A beautiful performance left to waste because that’s what happens when you get Cained — a shame for Fister, considering the circumstances.
*Full disclosure: I am a fan of Doug Fister, for baseball and personal reasons. He and I grew up in the same small town. He’s a pitcher with a good deal of talent — as displayed in tonight’s performance. When most from our town dream of getting outta dodge and never looking back, Fister still returns to the Central Valley — even spending a day of the All-Star Break to raise money for a local chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and “strike out blood cancer.” To see him pitch this well was a delight, even as a Giants fan.
Madison Bumgarner rose to the challenge and accepted it. Seven strong, no runs. A good start needed out of him? No big deal — bring it.
Strike out eight, walk two, allow two hits, no runs.
Who says Giants pitching isn’t good?
But the offense — what could you make of it in a pitching duel, anyway?
The Giants managed to scrape out a run on a Brandon Crawford double play in the 7th when the bases were loaded and no one was out. Sounds like a True Giants™* run scored right there, doesn’t it?
*A True Giants™ outcome sometimes consists of getting more outs than runs, or doing nothing productive at all. Or [insert your own cynical observation here].
The second run came on a Hunter Pence sacrifice fly. Oh, and Angel Pagan stole a base. That means everyone in America can go to a Taco Bell on Oct. 30 and get a free taco between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
That managed to be enough for the Giants to get the win here. For reasons beyond my own understanding, they won game two.
By some way, they won and they’re going to Detroit up two games to none.