The San Francisco Giants seem to be at their best when they’re faced with an elimination scenario.
And they have a pitcher who seems unfazed by any situation or opposing fan base.
The Giants advance to face the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series, which begins Friday in Washington.
Elias Sports Bureau stat of the night
The Giants’ seven straight postseason wins when facing elimination match the Kansas City Royals for the longest streak all-time. Both streaks are active, as the Royals extended their streak on Tuesday.
Bumgarner’s big night
Bumgarner became the third pitcher to notch a shutout with at least 10 strikeouts in a winner-take-all postseason game, joining Sandy Koufax (for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Minnesota Twins in the 1965 World Series) and Justin Verlander (for the Detroit Tigers against the Oakland Athletics in the 2012 American League Division Series).
It was the fifth shutout by a Giants pitcher in any postseason game since the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958, the first since Tim Lincecum dominated the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS.
Also of Note
He’s one of three Giants pitchers to throw at least seven scoreless innings, with at least eight strikeouts. Bumgarner has two such games (he did it in the 2012 World Series against the Tigers). Hall-of-Famer Christy Mathewson and Lincecum have one each.
Bumgarner cruised through much of the game against a Pirates team that ranked 27th in the majors in batting average against left-handed pitchers, finishing it in 109 pitches.
He threw only 28 pitches through the first three innings, the fewest he has ever thrown through three complete innings of any game in his career.
Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison, who hit .315 during the regular season, was 2-for-4. The rest of the Pirates were 2-for-28.
Difference-maker: The Brandons
Crawford became the first shortstop in postseason history to hit a grand slam. He’s the second Giants player to hit a grand slam in a winner-take-all postseason game, joining Buster Posey, who had one in the 2012 NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds. There have been only three other such grand slams in postseason history (two by the Boston Red Sox and one by the New York Yankees).
Crawford had no home runs in 56 career at-bats against Pirates pitchers prior to Wednesday.
Belt had three career RBIs in 40 regular-season at-bats against the Pirates and matched that total in this game.
The two combined to make some fun history. It’s the third time in postseason history that teammates with the same first name (or at least the name they go by) had at least three RBIs in a postseason game. The others were Jack Barry and Jack Coombs for the 1910 Philadelphia Athletics and Tito Landrum (actual first name, Terry) and Terry Pendleton in the 1985 NLCS for the St. Louis Cardinals.