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Coming off a 4-2 loss in Game 3, the Giants didn't have reason to panic. They were still in front in the series, the Rangers still trying to play catch-up. But losses in the World Series have a funny way of shaking a team up, and you can only have so much confidence in handing the ball to a rookie for Game 4.
But if Bruce Bochy and the Giants were uneasy about trusting Madison Bumgarner on the biggest stage, Bumgarner answered all their questions and more by throwing eight shutout innings against a dangerous lineup in one of the league's most hitter-friendly ballparks.
From the beginning, the southpaw Bumgarner shined against a predominantly right-handed lineup. He struck out Vladimir Guerrero all three times that they met. He didn't allow a runner to reach second base until the bottom of the seventh inning. A pair of baserunners were erased by double plays, and he had to pitch around an untimely error by Juan Uribe.
Bumgarner's only 21 years old, but in the biggest start of his life, he had all the composure of a 33 year old veteran. Game score is only one way to measure the quality of a performance - a statistic that assigns a pitcher a grade based on things like strikeouts, walks, and hits allowed - but Bumgarner's Game 4 game score of 80 stands as his highest of the season. In other words, one could say that Bumgarner saved his best start of 2010 for when he needed it the most.
The key for Bumgarner was establishing the inner part of the zone against right-handed hitters. Once he showed that he was able to work inside and comfortable doing it, he was free to throw wherever he wanted, and he had good success pitching to all areas. Remarkably, only six of the pitches that Bumgarner threw righties could be considered 'down the middle'. He stayed away from the happy spots, and that allowed him to avoid the fat part of the bat.
Bumgarner became the second-youngest pitcher in World Series history to spin at least eight scoreless innings, getting beat only by a 20 year old Jim Palmer.
After Jonathan Sanchez struggled in Game 3, the Giants needed their younger lefty to step up. Bumgarner did just that, and he's the biggest reason why the Giants are a win away from a World Series championship.
Tommy Hunter put up a 3.73 ERA over 128 innings during the regular season, earning the trust of Ron Washington and his Rangers teammates. But the contact-prone righty has had all kinds of issues in the playoffs, running into trouble when his team needed wins more than ever.
Hunter got the ball for Game 4 of the World Series opposite Madison Bumgarner, and he was looking to bounce back from a pair of lousy performances against Tampa Bay and New York through the first two rounds. But he wasn't able to get the job done, and wound up coming out after four innings of work. It was the third time in three playoff starts that Hunter has failed to reach the fifth inning.
Early on, Hunter was able to work out of some jams. He kept the Giants off the board in the first despite a runner in scoring position. He kept the Giants off the board in the second despite putting men on the corners. But the Giants broke through in the third when Aubrey Huff torched Hunter for a long two-run homer to right. And though Hunter threw a scoreless fourth, he gave up a single, and even the outs were loud.
Faced with the prospect of continuing with a struggling starter or going to the bullpen, Ron Washington decided on the bullpen for the fifth. Hunter's outing ended at the 83-pitch mark. He only allowed the two runs in four innings, but at no point did he look comfortable, and it's worth noting that, of the 38 swings that Giants hitters took against Hunter, only two of them missed. Hunter is a contact pitcher, and he didn't flash a putaway pitch all game, allowing the hitters to foul pitches off and wait for something to drive.
Barring an unlikely late-series bullpen appearance, this is how Tommy Hunter's 2010 season will close. It's not likely to leave a great taste in the big man's mouth.
That the Giants were able to blank the Rangers 4-0 in Game 4 of the World Series with a 21-year-old southpaw on the mound is nothing short of incredible. But then you remember that the 21 year old southpaw was throwing to a 23 year old backstop and the whole thing just jumps to another level. As much as media types like to talk about the importance of veteran experience and maturity, the Giants' young battery operated like champions.
But beyond what he did behind the plate, Posey was also able to make a contribution with the bat. With the score 3-0 Giants in the top of the eighth, Posey stood in against Darren O'Day - who had retired him in an important at bat the night before - and blasted a two-strike changeup to center field. The fly ball didn't look so bad off the bat, but it continued to carry and came down several feet beyond the fence.
Posey has by no means been ineffective at the plate in the playoffs, batting .273. But this insurance home run was his first home run of the month, and the first postseason home run of his career. Though it may not have had the most in-game significance, it is a very important and memorable moment for Posey as an individual and as a blossoming superstar.
Posey became the eighth catcher all-time to hit a playoff home run at the age of 23 or younger. He joins the company of names like Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, and Brian McCann. That's not bad company to keep.
Madison Bumgarner didn't just get the job done Sunday night against the Rangers - he got all jobs done. He went to work, and by the time he was finished, everything was all wrapped up in a package with a neat little bow on the top.
McCovey Chronicles takes this opportunity to reflect on what Bumgarner was, and to discuss what his Game 4 start will become with the passage of time:
The unlikeliness of it all. One year ago, Madison Bumgarner was a pitching prospect without a fastball. His velocity wasn’t just down, it was Rueterian. And as he was always known as a one-pitch pitcher -- the changeup and breaking ball were so raw that they barely warranted a mention -- so the red flags were waving red flags taped to smaller red flags. There are such things as pitching prospects, but when they start pitching as if there’s something wrong, there usually is.
No matter what the outcome of the series, no matter what nuttiness ensues over final game or three, that was a pitching performance that we’ll bore our kids and grandkids about. We’ll sit on a sunny porch,drinking lemonade and spinning yarns about Madison Bumgarner’s start in Game Four. He threw 104 MPH, he did. He threw sliders that made hitters in the on-deck circle take cover before the balls broke over the plate. He completely broke down one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game in two consecutive at-bats.
Click through for the entire post, as Giants fans consider the impossibility of it all as they stand a win away from a World Series championship.
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - The Giants are one win away from their first World Series title in San Francisco after taking Game 4 from the Texas Rangers, 4-0, behind home runs from Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey and eight sensational innings from rookie left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
The Giants won five championships while stationed in New York but lost all three of their World Series appearances since moving to San Francisco in 1958, a distinction that came closer to falling following their fourth shutout this postseason, including a 9-0 drubbing in Game 2 that gave the National League champions a 2-0 series lead.
The Rangers were able to notch a win on Saturday behind a terrific start by Colby Lewis, but Bumgarner (1-0), the fifth youngest pitcher to start a World Series game, followed up with a gem of his own, giving up a mere three hits and two walks while fanning six.
Of the 41 teams leading a World Series 2-1 who won Game 4, 35 have gone on to win the Series.
Tommy Hunter (0-1) lasted just four innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk for Texas, which managed just one baserunner past first.
The series stays in Arlington on Monday, as Game 5 features a rematch of the series opener between Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum. The Giants handed Lee his first postseason loss in Game 1, though Lincecum only went 5 2/3 innings in his start, which wound up being an 11-7 San Francisco win.
Edgar Renteria and Andres Torres each had three hits and combined to give the Giants an insurance run in the seventh. Renteria hit a one-out single off Darren Oliver and, with two down, was running on a pitch that Torres sent to the right-field gap. The ball one-hopped the wall and Renteria scored on the stand-up double for a 3-0 game.
The Rangers had their only runner in scoring position in the bottom half. Juan Uribe had a ground ball from Josh Hamilton bounce out of his glove before Vladimir Guerrero swung through a changeup on a payoff pitch for the second out. After Nelson Cruz's single pushed Hamilton to second, Bumgarner got out of the inning by getting Ian Kinsler on a soft liner to left.
Posey greeted Darren O'Day with his first playoff homer in the eighth. The rookie catcher clobbered a high 2-2 offering that kept carrying toward center, eventually landing in Greene's Hill for a four-run edge.
Bumgarner set down the side in order in the eighth and gave way to closer Brian Wilson after throwing 106 pitches. Wilson needed just 11 pitches to retire the top of Texas' lineup and put the Giants on the brink of history.
Hunter induced three straight groundouts after Torres led off the game with a single and stranded runners on the corners in the second when Hamilton made a diving grab on Nate Schierholtz's short fly ball to center.
The Rangers starter was not able to come away unscathed in the third, however. Torres doubled off the first base bag to open the frame, and two batters later Huff, penciled in as the designated hitter, took the first pitch he saw deep down the right-field line for his first round-tripper since September 25.
Bumgarner shook off a walk in each of the first two innings and survived Michael Young's infield single in the fourth, as Hamilton grounded into a fielder's choice and was caught stealing to end the frame.
The Rangers went down in order in the fifth, and Elvis Andrus grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play after Mitch Moreland's single in the sixth.
Only two franchises have longer draughts than the Giants' last World Series title in 1954 -- the Cubs (102 years) and Indians (62)...Bumgarner turned 21 on August 1...The Giants have not lost consecutive games this postseason...San Francisco outfielder Cody Ross went 0-for-3, snapping a 10-game hitting streak in the postseason...Hunter, who did not last more than four innings in any of his three postseason starts, dropped both of his home outings in the playoffs after going 7-0 at home in the regular season...Alexi Ogando relieved Hunter and retired all five hitters he faced before leaving with an oblique strain...Game time: 3:09.
Beginning the top of the ninth, Derek Holland was able to bounce back from his disastrous Game 2 appearance by throwing a scoreless inning. After walking the only three Giants he faced in Game 2, he walked Travis Ishikawa to lead off, but he then struck out Edgar Renteria, and Nate Schierholtz and Andres Torres made easy outs to take this 4-0 game into the bottom of the ninth.
And in the ninth, sure enough, Brian Wilson came in to relieve the mega-effective Madison Bumgarner. Even though it wasn't a save situation, there are no saves in the playoffs. Only wins. And Bruce Bochy was in no mood to take chances.
The first batter Wilson faced was Elvis Andrus, and Andrus sent a line drive the other way. Schierholtz had it the whole way, though, and retreated a few steps to make the catch.
The next batter was Michael Young, and Wilson struck him out swinging on a 2-2 outside fastball that clocked in at 96 miles per hour.
That brought up Josh Hamilton as the Rangers' final hope, but Hamilton wasn't able to extend the game. Hamilton lasted just three pitches and struck out on a high fastball when he went around on a check swing.
Wilson's perfect inning sealed a 4-0 shutout for the Giants - only the Rangers' second home shutout of the season. This series is now three games to one in San Francisco's favor, and Monday's Game 5 will see a Game 1 rematch of Tim Lincecum vs. Cliff Lee.
Madison Bumgarner came out for the bottom of the eighth looking to protect a 4-0 lead. With a pitch count of 92 and Brian Wilson getting loose in the bullpen, Bumgarner knew he wouldn't be allowed to pitch out of any trouble he got himself into, so he decided he simply wasn't going to get into any trouble.
The first batter he faced was Jeff Francoeur, and Francoeur pulled a long fly ball deep to left field that got the crowd on its feet and pushed Cody Ross all the way back to the track. Unlike Buster Posey's home run minutes earlier, though, this fly ball didn't carry, and Ross made a catch just in front of the wall.
The next batter was Bengie Molina, and he, too, pulled a fly ball to left field that pushed Cody Ross back. But Ross made this catch with a little less excitement.
That brought Mitch Moreland to the plate, and though the lefty was able to work the count full, Bumgarner threw a 3-2 slider that just caught the inside edge of the strike zone. Mike Winters rung Moreland up, and that meant that Bumgarner had finished off eight scoreless innings.
With a pitch count of 106 and the top of the Texas order due up, Bumgarner's night is almost certainly complete. But what a night. His numbers:
106 pitches (69 strikes)
Game 4 of the World Series is close. It's been close the whole time, and it's still close right now. But as close as it is, the Giants haven't given the Rangers any opportunity to feel like they're actually involved.
Madison Bumgarner has been absolutely magnificent in keeping the Rangers quiet through seven innings. And after getting two runs of support in the third, he got another in the seventh, and he just got another in the eighth.
Darren Oliver got Aubrey Huff to ground out to lead off the top of the eighth. Darren O'Day then came in from the bullpen to face the right-handed Buster Posey, as Ron Washington was playing the matchups. But O'Day and Posey got involved in a long battle before Posey launched an outside changeup to straightaway center. It didn't look real solid off the bat, and Josh Hamilton thought it would be an easy out, but the ball kept carrying, and carrying, and it wound up clearing the fence by several feet. The solo home run was the first for Posey in the playoffs, and it extended the Giants' lead to 4-0.
Leading off, Michael Young immediately fell behind 0-2, and he swung and missed at a low inside slider for the first out.
The next batter was Josh Hamilton, and he bounced a routine grounder to Juan Uribe at third. Uribe, however, was unable to come up with the ball cleanly, and Hamilton reached on an error that opened the door. It felt like the Rangers were about to mount a charge, and when Vladimir Guerrero worked a three-ball count, it seemed like a big hit was just around the corner.
But Guerrero struck out for the third time in the game. And after Nelson Cruz rolled a groundball single back up the middle to bring the tying run to the plate, Ian Kinsler flew out softly to Cody Ross in left field. The Rangers had their chance, but Bumgarner didn't give in, and with a pitch count of 92 and the bottom of the order due up, he may even come out for the eighth.
The Giants are thrilled - absolutely thrilled - with the effort they've gotten from Madison Bumgarner. To keep the Rangers' lineup off the board, in this ballpark, in this situation, through six innings is nothing short of superb, as Bumgarner has done more than anyone could've asked.
But just because Bumgarner has everybody's confidence doesn't mean anyone's opposed to giving him some insurance runs of support, and the Giant bats were able to help him out a bit more in the top of the seventh.
With Darren Oliver still on the mound, Travis Ishikawa led off with a strikeout. But Edgar Renteria then stepped in and grounded a single through the hole and into left field. Renteria stayed put as Nate Schierholtz struck out, but he took off when Andres Torres looked in at Oliver in an 0-1 count, and Torres launched an outside fastball deep into center field. Josh Hamilton sprinted back and to his left, but he wasn't able to make a catch, as Torres' drive bounced off the wall and Renteria came around to score with ease.
First of all, we can confirm that Alexi Ogando was pulled with a left oblique strain in the top of the sixth. Oblique strains tend to knock pitchers out for several weeks, so unless this is the mildest of strains, it would come as little surprise to see Ogando removed from the roster so the Rangers can add another reliever for the remainder of the series.
Darren Oliver came in to relieve Ogando with two down in the inning and got Juan Uribe to pop out in foul territory to end it. That brought Madison Bumgarner back out for the bottom half, still working on a shutout.
And the shutout's intact. The first batter he faced was Bengie Molina, and Molina bounced a routine grounder to third.
Next was Mitch Moreland, and Moreland got ahead 2-0 and worked a full count before lining a base hit the other way in front of Nate Schierholtz. That gave the Rangers something of an opportunity to get into the game. But Bumgarner was able to come back with some excellent pitches against Elvis Andrus, and in an 0-2 count, Bumgarner threw a low-away changeup that Andrus grounded sharply to second. Freddy Sanchez tossed to Edgar Renteria for one out, and Renteria threw to Aubrey Huff for the second, completing the 4-6-3 double play.
Replays showed that Andrus very narrowly beat the throw to first - the second close call that Jeff Kellogg has made that went against the Rangers. So they have that reason to be upset. But Jeff Kellogg isn't the reason they still trail by two after six innings.
The score hasn't gotten any worse, but the top of the sixth inning has brought some bad news of a different sort to Rangers fans who've watched their bullpen struggle early in the World Series.
Fresh off a 1-2-3 fifth, Alexi Ogando returned to the mound in the sixth and got off to a good start. Buster Posey grounded out to third base to lead off. Cody Ross then came up, and after getting ahead 2-1, Ross swung through two pitches for a strikeout.
Juan Uribe came up as a potential third out, and Ogando threw a first-pitch strike. But his second pitch sailed wide, and Ogando grimaced and held his left side. That brought out the catcher, trainer, and manager, and it looked like Ogando may have pulled his oblique. That's a preliminary diagnosis and I'm not medical professional, but whatever happened, Ogando is now out of the game, replaced by Darren Oliver.
If this is an oblique injury, Ogando may very well be done for the playoffs. And given that the righty has live stuff, averages a strikeout an inning, and has been effective thus far in October, he's not a guy the Rangers want to lose.
Even though Tommy Hunter kept the Giants off the board in the fourth, he was replaced by righty reliever Alexi Ogando for the top of the fifth, as Ron Washington didn't want to give up any more hard-hit balls than he had to. And Ogando was able to do the job, needing just ten pitches to set the Giants down 1-2-3. Andres Torres started off with a weak fly out. Freddy Sanchez followed with a fly out of his own. And Aubrey Huff wrapped it up by swinging and missing at a 96mph 2-2 fastball.
That took us to the halfway point of the game, and in the bottom of the fifth, Madison Bumgarner returned to the mound still working on a shutout. And like Ogando, he, too, was able to retire his adversary 1-2-3.
Bumgarner even one-upped Ogando by throwing just eight pitches. Nelson Cruz popped out to short. Ian Kinsler made solid contact and pulled a low liner to left, but Cody Ross ranged over to make a shoestring catch. Jeff Francoeur then came up, and he grounded an easy roller to short for the third out.
Through five innings, it's still 2-0 San Francisco, and Bumgarner's thrown just 61 innings. If he's able to keep this up, Bruce Bochy may be able to hand the ball directly to Brian Wilson and skip over any potentially troubling middle relief.
The Giants were able to get on the board in the top of the third, when Aubrey Huff took Tommy Hunter deep to right field for a two-run homer. We're headed to the fifth now, and the score's still 2-0 San Francisco after some good work by Hunter and Madison Bumgarner.
Bumgarner came out for the bottom of the third looking to provide a shutdown inning, and he was able to do exactly that. He only needed eight pitches as Bengie Molina grounded out, Mitch Moreland struck out, and Elvis Andrus grounded out. That wrapped up the first third of the game.
Hunter returned to the mound and looked better than he had earlier. The Giants were able to hit the ball hard. Juan Uribe hit a hard fly out. Travis Ishikawa hit a hard groundout. Edgar Renteria hit a hard single to left. But Nate Schierholtz flew out to end the inning and keep it scoreless.
Bumgarner came back for the bottom of the fourth, and again kept the Rangers quiet. After Michael Young led off with an infield single to second, Bumgarner nicked a Josh Hamilton comeback with his glove, the ball deflecting to Freddy Sanchez, who tagged Young for the first out. The second out was a four-pitch swinging whiff of Vladimir Guerrero. And the third out came on a terrific throw down to second by Buster Posey to gun down Hamilton, who was attempting to steal. Hamilton got a good jump, but Posey's throw was perfect.
To the fifth we go, and Alexi Ogando is on in relief of Hunter. Hunter's line:
83 pitches (55 strikes)
Hunter only generated two swinging strikes in the start, and has now thrown just 11.1 total innings over three starts in the playoffs.
After Tommy Hunter escaped some trouble in the top of the second, Madison Bumgarner came out and kept the Rangers scoreless in his half. Vladimir Guerrero was frozen by a 2-2 fastball for a called strikeout. Nelson Cruz came up next and flew out. And after Bumgarner issued a two-out walk to Ian Kinsler, Jeff Francoeur lined a ball to second that was just within Freddy Sanchez's reach. Sanchez made a leap attempt and snowconed the ball, falling to the ground and rolling on his back, but hanging on to the ball for the final out.
To the third inning we went, and it was in the third inning that we got our first runs of the game. Andres Torres led off with a long at bat, and on the eight pitch, he pulled a grounder down the right field line that took a funny hop and escaped all the way into the corner, allowing Torres to pull into second with a double.
Freddy Sanchez failed to advance Torres to third when a nine-pitch at bat concluded with a grounder, but no matter - Aubrey Huff stood in next, and Aubrey Huff cleared the bases. Hunter threw Huff a first-pitch cutter in the middle of the zone and Huff jumped all over it, yanking it deep to right field. The only question was whether it would stay fair, and it stayed fair by several feet. Huff's two-run homer gave the Giants an early lead.
Buster Posey was called out on strikes and Cody Ross flew out to end the inning, but the Giants are where they want to be, and as an added bonus they have Hunter's pitch count up to 72. He is not long for this game.
After the Giants went scoreless in the top of the first, Madison Bumgarner came out and had an effective bottom half. Though he started off by walking Elvis Andrus on four pitches, he got Michael Young to hit a routine grounder to third, and then Josh Hamilton bounced a hard grounder to second that Freddy Sanchez was able to turn for an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. The inning lasted just 11 pitches, and Bumgarner kept it scoreless.
Tommy Hunter then returned for the second and, again, ran into a bit of trouble. Cody Ross started by walking on four pitches - albeit four pitches that were all fairly close. Juan Uribe flew out, and Travis Ishikawa hit a potential double play ball to Ian Kinsler at second, but Elvis Andrus' throw to first was deemed just a fraction of a second too late. Replays showed that the throw beat Ishikawa to the bag, but it was close, and the Giants stayed alive.
That brought Edgar Renteria to the plate, and Renteria worked a long, difficult nine-pitch at bat before lining a single into right field, putting runners on the corners. In stepped Nate Schierholtz, who found himself in a run-scoring situation.
He very nearly drove one home. Schierholtz blooped a ball into shallow center field that looked like it would drop in for a single, but Josh Hamilton sprinted forward and made a diving catch to rob Schierholtz of a hit, and the Giants of a run. Because of Hamilton's heroics, it's scoreless entering the bottom of the second.
Hunter has thrown 44 pitches - 11 after the missed call at first base.
Following some touching pregame festivities featuring a couple Bush presidents and an aging but still very much alive Lyle Lovett, it was time for Game 4 of the World Series to get started. Tommy Hunter jogged out to the mound looking to get things off to a good, scoreless start.
It wasn't easy. Andres Torres led off with a groundball up the middle, and though Ian Kinsler was able to range to his right to keep it in the infield, he couldn't make a clean throw to first, and Torres reached base.
Freddy Sanchez then stood in showing bunt, but after a couple pitches Torres took of for second and slid in safely, meaning the Giants had a runner in scoring position with nobody out. And Sanchez worked a long, tough at bat before grounding out to Michael Young.
In stood Aubrey Huff - the Giants' second chance to drive in the runner. But Huff grounded out to first, and with two down and a man on third, Buster Posey came up and bounced a 3-1 cutter to short. Elvis Andrus made the routine play, and Hunter finished off a scoreless frame. It took him 21 pitches.
While Bruce Bochy has shaken things up, inserting Nate Schierholtz and Travis Ishikawa while sitting Pablo Sandoval and Pat Burrell, Ron Washington has decided to run with what worked. Game 4 sees the Rangers run out an identical lineup to the one they used in Game 3, and a very similar lineup to the one they've been using all playoffs long.
Elvis Andrus will try to get things going from the top. After he and Michael Young try to get on with some singles, they lead into the powerful Hamilton/Guerrero/Cruz lineup core. They'll be followed by Ian Kinsler, and then comes the bottom of the order that, for a few weeks, has been so dangerous - Jeff Francoeur, Bengie Molina, and Game 3 hero Mitch Moreland.
Tommy Hunter, SP
Bruce Bochy has revealed his starting lineup for Game 4 of the World Series, and it looks a fair bit different from the lineup that amassed all of two runs in Saturday's Game 3.
First, Aubrey Huff is sliding into the DH slot that was yesterday manned by Pablo Sandoval. Huff moves to DH to accommodate Travis Ishikawa at first base. Ishikawa hit just .266 for the year with three home runs, and owns a career .265 average with a .727 OPS, but he's left-handed - which gives him an edge over the right-handed Tommy Hunter - and he's solid in the field. Ishikawa's a good defensive player, which adds to his value.
And the other big change is that Pat Burrell will start Game 4 on the bench. Burrell sits after going 0-9 through the first three games with eight strikeouts. He's hit just .158 in the playoffs, with 19 strikeouts, and Bochy has opted to give him a day off. Taking his place will be Nate Schierholtz, who usually appears late in games as Burrell's defensive replacement. Schierholtz is a gifted defensive outfielder, which gives him one edge over Burrell, and like Ishikawa, he's also left-handed, giving him another advantage.
Schierholtz will play right field, while Cody Ross slides over to left.
In the World Series, every game requires its own festivities. Saturday, the Rangers trotted out Nolan Ryan, Kelly Clarkson, and Martha Plimpton. And Sunday, they're aiming even higher.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by George W. Bush, who was the 43rd president of the United States. GWB was the Rangers' managing general partner from 1989-1994, and was a part of the team's ownership group from 1989-1998. He'll be accompanied to the mound by his father, George H.W. Bush, who was the country's 41st president. The pitch will be caught by Nolan Ryan, who seems to be involved in everything.
The national anthem will later be performed by the Klein, Texas-born Lyle Lovett, a four-time Grammy award winner who's sure to get a better reaction from the crowd than Clarkson did.
Following that, the first game ball will be taken to the mound by Rangers Hall of Fame announcer Tom Grieve, accompanying Don Mitchell of the Boys and Girls Club of Dallas.
Later on, during the seventh inning stretch, United States combat veterans 4 Troops will perform God Bless America.
After giving up 20 runs in losing the first two games of this series, Texas rebounded in Game 3, as Colby Lewis pitched into the eighth inning and Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton homered to lead the Rangers to a 4-2 win.
Lewis (1-0) delivered in a key spot by yielding five hits and two runs while fanning six over 7 2/3 frames. The right-hander moved to 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four starts this postseason.
"I feel very fortunate to be on this stage really, like everybody says. I was in a Japan for the last two years not thinking I would have this opportunity," Lewis said. "But I'm here, trying to make the most of it, and it's just a great feeling to be back here to have this big of a following, and like I said, to do it on this stage."
Neftali Feliz fanned two batters in a 1-2-3 ninth to get his first save of the postseason.
Jonathan Sanchez (0-1) was removed after giving up six hits and the four runs in 4 2/3 frames.
Tonight, the Rangers turn to righty Tommy Hunter, who is 0-1 in two starts this postseason with a 6.14 ERA. Hunter hasn't pitched since Game 4 of the ALCS against the Yankees back on October 19. He did not get a decision in that one, but allowed three runs and five hits in just 3 1/3 frames.
"It's pretty important," said Hunter, who was 13-4 in the regular season. "It's an important time of year. This is what you've played your whole life for. But inside the lines, nothing has changed. It's all outside the lines when things change. It's still a baseball game. The plate is still 60 feet, 6 inches away from the plate, basepath is 90 feet. Nothing changes. It's baseball. That's the best time of day for us. Once you get in between the lines."
Hunter has never faced the Giants, but was 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA in three interleague starts this season.
San Francisco, meanwhile, will rely on rookie left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who has pitched to a 3.55 ERA in the playoffs. Bumgarner threw two scoreless innings of relief in the Giants' NLCS clincher last Saturday , but hasn't started a game since October 20.
"I've seen enough from Madison to know that he's not going to beat himself," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I mean, for 21 years old, it's impressive how he's carried himself."
Game 4 has been pivotal in years past. Of the 41 teams leading a World Series 2-1 who won Game 4 and took a 3-1 lead, 35 have gone on to win the Series. That includes each of the last two Series -- the Phillies in 2008 and the Yankees in 2009.
However, of the 40 teams leading 2-1 that have lost Game 4 to even the Series, 2-2, only 18 have gone on to win the Series. The last to do that was the Angels in 2002, against, of course, the Giants.
While the Rangers are enjoying the first real postseason run in the team's 50- year franchise history, the Giants are no stranger to the World Series and are making their 18th appearance. However, this is just the team's fourth trip to the Fall Classic since moving to San Francisco in 1958.
Game 5 of this series will take place on Monday in Arlington.
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