Bumgarner’s Game 5 gem a sight to behold 

click to enlarge Madison Bumgarner, right, is congratulated by Giants catcher Buster Posey after pitching a four-hit shutout in Game 5 of the World Series against the Royals. - DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP
  • David J. Phillip/AP
  • Madison Bumgarner, right, is congratulated by Giants catcher Buster Posey after pitching a four-hit shutout in Game 5 of the World Series against the Royals.

Everybody knew that Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night was the Giants' last game of the spectacular season at AT&T Park.

It might very well have been Pablo Sandoval's last game at AT&T in a Giants uniform, too.

But this was no time for melancholy. This was time for one thing and one thing only: Madison Bumgarner's command performance.

Good Lord, did he deliver. Enjoy what you just saw, folks. You were witness to something truly special. Historically significant.

Quite frankly, we might never see anything like it again.

And should we never again see Bumgarner on this stage, there's no question that Sunday night ensured he will forever be spoken of as being among the greatest postseason pitchers to live.

He announced his intentions with authority, giving the Kansas City Royals a good look at every devious implement in his toolbelt. Cutters on the black. Sliders mocking bats is they fade away. Crisp, knee-buckling curveballs. Changeups that just aren't fair.

And of course, the evil gas at the letters. See ya, bye-bye and good luck next time, chump.

It was a ruthless clinic of efficiency. When he made the rare mistake, it never hurt him. Rare mistakes never hurt the transcendent. The transcendent make everybody around them better. Senses are heightened all around, and the level of effort increases exponentially.

If there was any concern whatsoever through Bumgarner's dominant first three innings, it was that his pitch count was creeping a little higher than one would like. So as if to thank him for including them in this nearly unfathomable run of ridiculousness, third baseman Sandoval and shortstop Brandon Crawford turned in highlight-reel plays in the top of the fourth, helping Bumgarner get through the 1-2-3 frame on 10 pitches and getting that pitch count under control.

Two innings later, not long after a particularly dominant stretch of setting down 10 Royals in a row, Bumgarner's 80th pitch of the evening closed out the top of the sixth and brought an unbelieving, honored and awed crowd to its feet for the sixth time.

The seventh-inning brought more of the same, and by that time, the Royals had to be resigned to their fate. Win two games in Kansas City or the magic-carpet ride ends with San Francisco's third title in five years.

The eighth quickly came and went, too. Three up, three down, all so ho-hum for MadBum. Heads shook, shoulders shrugged. Wide smiles broke out.

And then he remarkably came up to hit in the eighth and then finished the job in MadBum fashion, with a perfect ninth.

Friend or foe, you just had to soak this greatness in.

Where is the opportunity to watch something like this up close, at the intersection of mind-blowing talent and for-the-ages circumstance.

The Giants and AT&T Park deserved a 2014 send-off to remember. And you'll never forget who provided it.

Mychael Urban, a longtime Bay Area-based sportswriter and broadcaster, is the host of "Inside the Bigs," which airs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon on KGMZ "The Game" (95.7 FM).

About The Author

Mychael Urban

Mychael Urban

Mychael Urban has been covering Bay Area sports for 25 years and has worked for MLB.com, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and KNBR (680 AM).
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