Giants’ Bumgarner embraces his role as ace, redneck 

click to enlarge Madison Bumgarner
  • Orlin Wagner/ap
  • Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner has celebrated playoff victories by chugging beers, an extra one for each round San Francisco advanced this year.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A six-pack won’t be enough for Madison Bumgarner if the Giants win the World Series.

The Giants’ ace chugged four beers after beating Pittsburgh in the NL wild-card game, upped the count to five following the NL Division Series clincher against Washington and six when San Francisco won the NL Championship Series over St. Louis.

“I don’t know if I can hold any more than that,” he said after earning the NLCS MVP award last week. “I had to keep it going, though. We’ll see if we keep winning. We don’t want to change anything up.”

Bumgarner starts the World Series opener on Tuesday night as the Giants try to become the first NL team to win three World Series titles in a five-year span since the St. Louis Cardinals of 1942-46. James Shields goes for the Royals, back in the Series for the first time since winning the 1985 title.

Just 25, Bumgarner already is 2-0 with 15 shutout innings in Series play and is 2-1 in four starts this postseason with a 1.42 ERA. He followed Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez as a rookie in the 2010 Series. He pitched three-hit ball over eight innings in a 4-0 Game 4 win at Texas that put San Francisco within a win of its first title since 1954.

Two years later, he pitched after Barry Zito and allowed two hits over seven innings in a 2-0 win at AT&T Park in Game 2 as the Giants swept Detroit.

Now, with Cain sidelined since the All-Star break because of an elbow injury that needed surgery, the left-hander has become the ace. A native of Hickory, N.C., Bumgarner has a farm with horses and cattle. He is said to have given his wife a cow ahead of their wedding.

Bumgarner is part of a Southerner corner contingent of pitchers in the Giants’ clubhouse that includes Georgian Tim Hudson and Alabamian Jake Peavy. Bumgarner takes the mound to the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Fire on the Mountain.”

“Our locker room definitely took a step toward the redneck side at the start of this year, that’s for sure — in a good way,” Hudson said. “I think every team needs a little redneck in them.”

Men in blue: Jeff Kellogg will be the umpire crew chief for the World Series, and four other umps have been picked to work the event for the first time.

Hunter Wendelstedt, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds and Eric Cooper will call their first Series. Ted Barrett and Jeff Nelson also are on the seven-man crew, Major League Baseball said.

Meals will work home plate for the opener. After Game 2, he will move to the replay room for the rest of the Series, switching places with Nelson. Brian O’Nora will serve as the replay assistant in the first season of expanded video review.

Kellogg is working his fifth World Series. Barrett and Nelson are in their third Series.

Wendelstedt’s father, Harry, called the Series five times. The Wendelstedts are the fourth father-son umpire in Series history, joining Shag and Jerry Crawford, Tom and Brian Gorman, and Ed and Paul Runge.

Santana to sing anthem: Trisha Yearwood and San Francisco’s Carlos Santana are among the musicians set to perform the national anthem during the World Series.

Major League Baseball says Yearwood will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Game 1 today.

Santana will perform an instrumental rendition of the national anthem with his son before Game 4 on Saturday at the AT&T Park.

Former “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips will sing before Game 2 on Wednesday. Country quartet Little Big Town will sing before Game 3 on Friday.

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