Rangers Blanked 4-0, Pushed To Brink As Bumgarner Dazzles For Giants

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. Check out more at Lone Star Ball and McCovey Chronicles.

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World Series Game 4, Giants Vs. Rangers: Brian Wilson Seals The Deal

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.

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World Series Game 4, Giants Vs. Rangers: Buster Posey Home Run Adds More Insurance

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.

Cody Ross and Juan Uribe made outs to end the inning, but now the Rangers' task is that much taller. Bumgarner is back out to take the mound with a pitch count of 92.

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World Series Game 4, Giants Vs. Rangers: Andres Torres Adds Insurance Run

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.

Freddy Sanchez grounded out to end the inning, but the score is now 3-0 San Francisco, and the Rangers are nine outs away from facing Tim Lincecum in an elimination game Monday night.

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World Series Game 4, Giants Vs. Rangers: Aubrey Huff Home Run Gets San Francisco On The Board

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.

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