Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner did his job on the mound Thursday night, but his fruitless day at the plate marked the end of a record-setting streak after pitchers recorded an RBI in each of the previous three games, the first time that had happened in postseason history.
“They’re part of the offense too,” manager Bruce Bochy said of his swinging pitchers. “That’s why we, just like a lot of clubs, they take batting practice every day. They bunt every day. And there’s a good chance they could come up there and help themselves, and our guys have done a great job.”
Barry Zito got the streak started in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series when a bunt single scored a run. Ryan Vogelsong joined the party with an RBI groundout in Game 6 of the NLCS, and Matt Cain’s RBI single in Game 7 pushed the streak to three. Then it was Zito’s turn again, as his single in Game 1 of the World Series scored Brandon Belt.
Bumgarner had his best chance to keep the streak alive in the second inning Thursday when he came up with the bases loaded and two out, but he hit a soft liner that was caught by Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
He struck out in his next at-bat to finish 0-for-2 for the game before being pulled in the bottom of the seventh inning for a pinch hitter.