Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/26/12
SAN FRANCISCO -- It is hard to think of a 23-year-old turning back the clock, but that is exactly what Madison Bumgarner did Thursday night. The San Francisco left-hander pitched as if it were 2010 again, working seven scoreless innings as the Giants edged the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in Game 2 of the World Series at AT&T Park. The Giants lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. Bumgarner was awful in his first two postseason starts this year, losing both and allowing 10 runs in eight innings for an 11.25 ERA. However, he flashed his form from 2010, when he pitched eight shutout innings to beat the Texas Rangers in Game 4 of a World Series the Giants won in five games for their first title in 56 years. Bumgarner allowed just two hits Thursday while striking out eight and walking two. He was in a jovial mode afterward, saying, "Yeah, I went into the seventh inning instead of getting took out in the third," when asked if the Game 2 start felt different than his other two outings in this postseason. "I think the only difference was being able to make pitches," Bumgarner said. "I hadn't been able to do that this postseason, and tonight Buster (Posey) caught a great game and the defense did great. (Detroit) hit some balls hard, and (Giants defenders) just happened to be in the right spot." Bumgarner had not pitched since Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. He spent the extra time off working with Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti to fix some mechanical flaws in his delivery. "His delivery was simpler, more compact, and I think he was able to get the ball where he wanted tonight because of that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Sometimes you get out of synch, whether you're a hitter or a pitcher, and tonight he was right on with his delivery, his rhythm, and just had a good tempo out there." Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo finished the shutout by pitching one perfect inning each. Romo recorded the save. Detroit was shut out just twice in the regular season, the fewest in the major leagues. The Tigers, who have scored just three runs in the series, never had an at-bat with a runner on third base against Bumgarner. Detroit missed its only chance to score off the lefty in the second inning. Prince Fielder was thrown out at home on a strong relay throw by Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro as Fielder tried to score from first base on Delmon Young's double with no outs. Jhonny Peralta popped out and Avisail Garcia struck out to end the inning. The play at the plate was close, but replays showed Posey tagged Fielder on the backside before his foot crossed the plate. "I think Gene just got a little overaggressive in sending Prince there," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, referring to third base coach Gene Lamont. "We had not been scoring runs other than in the final games against the Yankees (in the American League Championship Series), and we wanted to be aggressive." Doug Fister took the loss, though he shut out the Giants through six innings before they broke through with a run in the seventh. Fister was lifted after Hunter Pence led off by grounding a single into left field. Rookie left-hander Drew Smyly relieved, and the Giants loaded the bases on a walk to Brandon Belt and a bunt single by Gregor Blanco that hugged the third base line. Brandon Crawford bounced into a double play, but Pence scored the game's first run. "It was a great collective effort," Pence said. "The Brandon Belt walk was a really big at-bat. That was huge. To get on with nobody out and then draw a walk, you're in a great situation, a great spot where Blanco can bunt me over, and he put down one of most beautiful bunts you'll ever see." Pence drove in the Giants' other run with a sacrifice fly off Octavio Dotel in the eighth. That scored Angel Pagan, who drew a leadoff walk from Smyly and stole second base and reached third after two walks. Fister gave up one run and four hits in six-plus innings with one walk and three strikeouts. Fister survived a scary moment in the second inning when he was struck in the side of the head by a line drive off the bat of Blanco, with the ball going into center field for a single. Crawford then walked to load the bases with two outs, but Bumgarner popped out to the shortstop to end the inning, beginning a stretch of 10 consecutive batters set down by Fister. The series shifts to Detroit after a travel day Friday. Game 3 is scheduled to begin at 8:07 p.m. ET Saturday, with Ryan Vogelsong pitching for the Giants against the Tigers' Anibal Sanchez.
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