SAN FRANCISCO—Is there such a thing as momentum in baseball?
If there is, the Giants have it after their second straight dramatic World Series victory over the Tigers, this one 2-0 Thursday.
“I think it starts with the guy on the hill,” Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said. “Your pitcher usually sets the tone and creates that. But at the same time, I do think a team's confidence can grow with wins, just like players having success.”
Thursday’s starter for the Giants was Madison Bumgarner, who hadn’t thrown since the first game of the NLCS against the Cardinals. On the hill for the Tigers was Doug Fister, who had allowed two runs in his first two postseason games.
The action started early, with the Tigers' Prince Fielder being thrown at at home plate in the second inning while trying to score from first base on Delmon Young's double.
In the bottom of the second, Fister was hit in the right side of the head by a line drive off the bat of Gregor Blanco. The ball caromed high into the air and landed in short center field, but Fister insisted he was fine and stayed in the game.
Fister walked the next batter after being beaned and then retired the next 10 batters, which got him through five innings. But Bumgarner matched with zeroes through five innings, allowing only two hits. One of them was Omar Infante's single leading off the foureth inning, but he was caught trying to steal second.
The game remained scorless until the seventh inning, when Hunter Pence ended Fister's night with a single. Brandon Belt walked off reliever Drew Smyly and Gregor Blanco bunted to move the runners up a base. But the Tigers let the ball roll and it died inside the third base foul line for a hit.
With the Tigers' infield playing back, Brandon Crwford bounced into a double play while Pence scored from third.
Pence also drive in a run in the eighth inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. The Giants didn't have a hit that inning, using three walks, one of them intentional to hit-hitting Pablo Sandoval, to load the bases.