Josh Beckett

Madison Bumgarner tosses 5-0 shutout in Game 5 to send Giants up 3-2 in the World Series over the Royals


Madison Bumgarner has had some kind of post-season. The 25-year-old left-hander left the Royals scratching their heads, limiting them to only four hits while walking none and striking out eight on 117 pitches in a shutout in Game 5 of the World Series. It’s Bumgarner’s second shutout of this post-season; he blanked the Pirates in the National League Wild Card game. Bumgarner is also the first Giant to toss a shutout in the World Series since Jack Sanford in Game 2 of the 1962 World Series against the Yankees.

Bumgarner is the first to throw a shutout in the World Series since Josh Beckett in the 2003 World Series for the Marlins against the Yankees. He now has a 1.13 ERA in six starts this post-season and a 0.56 ERA in his two World Series starts. Over his career, he now has a 2.27 ERA in 12 playoff starts and one relief appearance. In four career World Series starts spanning 31 innings, Bumgarner owns a sterling 0.29 ERA.

The Giants gave Bumgarner some early run support, scratching out a run in the bottom of the second inning on a Brandon Crawford ground out. In the fourth, Crawford provided some insurance with an RBI single up the middle. Juan Perez created plenty of breathing room in the bottom of the eighth against Royals set-up man Wade Davis, blasting a double off of the very top of the wall — three inches from a three-run home run — in left-center, scoring Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence following their singles to make it 4-0. Perez had himself a double, then advanced to third on the throw to the plate, and scored on the next-at bat when Crawford dunked a single into left field. With the way Bumgarner was dealing, though, one run was enough.

Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, and Travis Ishikawa each had two hits for the Giants, setting the table for Crawford — batting eighth — to knock them in. Sandoval and Pence each scored two runs.

Royals starter James Shields is not to be forgotten. He wasn’t nearly as dominant as Bumgarner, but pitched well enough for a win on most nights, holding the Giants to two runs on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts in six innings. It was a marked improvement over his Game 1 start.

With the Giants now up 3-2 in the World Series over the Royals, the two clubs will use the off-day on Monday to travel to Kansas City for Game 6 on Tuesday night, which will feature Jake Peavy against Yordano Ventura. If necessary, Game 7 on Wednesday night would see Tim Hudson against Jeremy Guthrie.

Will Game 1 loss linger for Royals?


KANSAS CITY – The celebration was over before it really began Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Can the Royals get the party started again?

That’s a legitimate question after the Giants spoiled the fun for the home team, and a hyped-up sellout crowd, with a 7-1 victory in Game 1 of the World Series.

[RELATED: Royals hitters go mad trying to hit Bumgarner]

Losing the opener of this best-of-seven matchup isn’t devastating in and of itself. But consider: The Royals hadn’t dropped a game since Sept. 27. They were the first team to go undefeated through eight playoff games to advance to the World Series. And they’d trailed on the scoreboard in just three of the previous 72 innings they had played leading into Tuesday.

To watch the Giants command a 3-0 lead off ace James Shields in the top of the first had to be a shock to all those wearing blue and white – on the field and in the stands.

“It was special to have a World Series game here at Kauffman Stadium,” Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “Obviously it didn’t work out the way we wanted. But we knew this wasn’t going to be easy, so we’ll see what we’re made of.”

The Royals had the man they wanted on the hill as they began play in their first World Series since 1985. But Shields, who hadn’t pitched in 11 days, was hit hard by the Giants from the get-go. He was gone by the fourth, another black mark on a playoff resume in which the right-hander has posted a 5.74 ERA over 10 starts.

Was he feeling the effects of the long layoff, a time during which he experienced health complications from passing a kidney stone? Royals catcher Salvador Perez said he didn’t believe that was a factor. But Perez didn’t expect Shields to struggle so much with his fastball command either.

“That was a surprise to me,” Perez said. “You don’t see him doing that.”

So the storyline has shifted dramatically after just nine innings of the Fall Classic. The Royals took the field appearing like they might be a team of destiny given how they’ve pulled out so many nail-biters in this postseason.

Now, they turn to 23-year-old rookie starting pitcher Yordano Ventura for Wednesday’s Game 2. He’ll oppose the Giants’ Jake Peavy.

For all the talk about the Royals’ march through the American League playoff bracket, consider this: The past four teams to have swept the A.L. Championship Series went on to lose the World Series.

[RELATED: History on the side of Bumgarner, Giants]

Tuesday’s game was reminiscent of 2007. The Colorado Rockies went 7-0 to earn the right to represent the National League in the World Series that year. Their momentum lasted all of one game, as the Boston Red Sox’s Josh Beckett limited them to one run over seven innings in the opener and the Sox wound up sweeping the Rockies in four.

No one in the Royals clubhouse was pushing the panic button after Tuesday’s game.

“It’s just one loss,” designated hitter Billy Butler said. “We just didn’t start off right. It’s just how it is. We’ve had games like that this year and we’ve bounced back. That’s what this team does.”

Because of bad hip, Josh Beckett indicates that he likely will retire


While Josh Beckett didn’t quite announce his retirement following the Dodgers’ loss in the NLDS Tuesday, he doesn’t appear prepared to continue his career following hip surgery.

“I just don’t see me going through that rehab and coming back to pitch at this point in my life,” he told’s Ken Gurnick.

According to Gurnick’s report, Beckett intends to undergo hip surgery in May, which seems rather odd. That single quote from Beckett is the only one in Gurnick’s story. If Beckett is really planning to undergo surgery seven months from now, then it surely would rule him out for 2015 anyway. And this is hardly the first hint that he’s done, so, yeah, the odds are good that Beckett never pitches again.

That’s a shame, too, because Beckett is just 34, and he had a 2.88 ERA in 20 starts this season before his hip forced him to the disabled list. If this is it for him, he ends his career 138-106 with a 3.88 ERA and 1,901 strikeouts in 2,051 innings. He was a two-time world champion with the Marlins in 2003 and the Red Sox in 2007. In the latter season, he won 20 games and finished second in the Cy Young balloting.

Beckett certainly earned those championships, too. He had a 2.11 ERA in 42 2/3 innings for the Marlins during their run in 2003. In the NLCS, he pitched a two-hit shutout in Game 5 against the Cubs and allowed one run in four innings of relief in Game 7 three days later. He then pitched a shutout in Game 6 of the World Series to finish off the Yankees.

In 2007, Beckett won all four of his starts for the Red Sox, throwing a shutout versus the Angels in the ALDS and striking out nine over seven innings in Game 1 of the World Series. He wasn’t needed again because the Red Sox swept the Rockies.

Beckett’s performance this year, his best since 2011, included his first career no-hitter against the Phillies on May 25.