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

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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.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.