Oct. 31, 2010
URBAN ARCHIVEGIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO
UPDATED: 7:32 P.M.Mychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The question regarding Madison Bumgarner going into Sunday night: Is he rested or rusty?He hadnt started since Game 4 of the NLCS, working only two innings out of the bullpen in the interim, and that was a week ago Sunday.The answer now is pretty clear. Rusty, the kid is not.Hes been dominant, holding the Rangers hitless until the fourth, and the second hit didnt come until the sixth, which he escaped by rolling a double play.Hes been in and around the strike zone all night, despite working with an umpire who seems to be using a thimble as his inspiration, and through six innings hes at just 73 pitches.So heres another question: Where would the Giants be without this 21-year-old who looks like he barely has a pulse out on the mound?They wouldnt be here, thats for sure.
UPDATED: 6:34 P.M. When Freddy Sanchez grounded out with Andres Torres at second after a leadoff double, Giants fans had to be thinking Not again!?Rangers righty Tommy Hunter has been all over the place tonight, but the Giants let him off the hook in the first inning, and Josh Hamiltons diving catch saved Hunter in the second. Aubrey Huff wasnt having it. Huff, the DH tonight, had the best year of his career in 2008 with Baltimore -- mostly as a DH. He must like it, because he just hit his first homer of the postseason.If the Giants go on to win this game, thats going to go down as one of the biggest homers in franchise history. Right up there with Juan Uribes Game 6 blast in the NLCS. Hunter isnt long for this game, and it was imperative the Giants got to him before he left.Huff, as hes so often done this year, handled it -- and picked up Freddy Sanchez in the process.UPDATED: 4 P.M.Bruce Bochys postseason Midas Touch is getting a stiff test in Game 4 of the World Series. Pat Burrell and Pablo Sandoval are out, Cody Ross moves from right field to left, Nate Schierholtz takes over in right, Aubrey Huff moves to DH and Travis Ishikawa takes over at first base. Thats not tweaking the lineup. Thats gutting it, stuffing it and sewing it back up.And it all makes sense.Burrell absolutely had to go, and Sandoval blew his shot at keeping the DH spot for another day with an awful Game 3. The Rangers are starting a right-hander, Tommy Hunter, so loading up on lefties -- Huff, Schierholtz, Ishikawa and switch-hitting Andres Torres -- is a no-brainer. So is playing as strong a defensive hand as possible, and thats what you get with Schierholtz and Ishikawa in the game from the start. The Rangers offense instantly improved upon arrival back home, where the DH is in play, and the Giants defense instantly improved when Bochy posted his lineup card for Sunday.A solid plan all the way around. Solid gold, though? Play ball