Madison Bumgarner delivers a shutout as Giants roll past Pirates in NL Wild Card Game

30 Comments

The Nationals will meet the Giants in the NLDS.

Madison Bumgarner dominated over nine shutout innings and Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam as San Francisco cruised to an easy 8-0 victory over the host Pirates on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

PNC Park was rocking early on, with most of the 40,000-plus fans dressed up in black for the Steel City’s second straight National League Wild Card Game, but Bucs starter Edinson Volquez struggled out of the gate and the Giants broke through in the top of the fourth inning when Crawford slugged a belt-high hanging curveball over the 21-foot right field wall for a grand slam. It was the first postseason grand slam by a shortstop in major league history. And the blacked-shirted crowd — which set a PNC Park attendance record — soon took on the look of a funeral.

The Giants added to their lead on RBI singles from first baseman Brandon Belt in the sixth and seventh innings, and then catcher Buster Posey put the icing on the cake with an RBI single in the top of the eighth.

Now the Giants move on to Washington, D.C., where they’ll begin a best-of-five against the Nats on Friday.

The Giants have won seven straight elimination games, dating back to 2010.

This is a dangerous, battle-tested October baseball team.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.