With each instance of postseason dominance, Madison Bumgarner is moving higher and higher up the ladder of baseball’s most elite performers on the biggest stage.
The Giants lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 set for Tuesday night in Kansas City, Missouri.
Bumgarner's amazing night
Bumgarner is the first Giants pitcher to throw one in the Fall Classic in 52 years. The last was Jack Sanford against the Yankees in 1962.
Bumgarner joined Christy Mathewson as the only Giants pitchers with multiple shutouts in the same postseason. Mathewson did so against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1905.
What was unique about this one was that Bumgarner struck out eight and walked none. Bumgarner is the first to throw a World Series shutout that featured as many strikeouts and was walk-free.
Don Larsen came the closest, with seven strikeouts and no walks in his perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.
Bumgarner's career World Series ledger now reads: four starts, four wins, 31 innings pitched and one run allowed.
He's the first pitcher to win the first four World Series starts of his career since Lew Burdette of the 1957-58 Milwaukee Braves.
Bumgarner did this with a masterful curveball, one that netted him six strikeouts, matching the most he's ever had in any start.
If this one looked similar to his last shutout -- the wild-card game win over the Pittsburgh Pirates -- it was, and not just because he allowed four hits in each. Bumgarner had six strikeouts with his curveball in that game, too.
The supporting cast
Crawford had three RBIs to pace the Giants offense.
How's this for a World Series-based quirk?
The last four times a shortstop had three or more RBIs in a World Series game, he was a member of the Giants. Rich Aurilia did so against the Angels in 2002 and Edgar Renteria had two such games (including one as the No. 8 hitter in a Game 5) in 2010.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes the Game 5 winner of a World Series tied 2-2 wins the series 66 percent of the time (27 of 41).