KANSAS CITY -- There has never been a month for a single pitcher in the postseason like the one we just saw put up by San Francisco left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
The Giants' championships in 2010 and 2012 were solid team efforts. And there were plenty of contributors in 2014 as well. But, remember, this was a wild-card team. And they had to go on the road just to play in the one-game showdown to get into the main draw of the National League playoffs.
Who pitched a shutout at PNC Park in Pittsburgh? Bumgarner. It was a sign of things to come. The Giants surprised the Washington Nationals, the chic pick to go to the World Series. They dispatched the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.
And then came their fellow wild-card and fellow upstart in the Kansas City Royals. They were newbies, first-timers to the Fall Classic since 1985. The last time the Royals were here, a large number of them weren't even born.
And the Royals played hard, coming down to the last out with the tying run 90 feet away. But they didn't have Bumgarner and the Giants did.
Two wins and a five-inning save coming on two days rest. That's an incredible output. An 0.43 ERA. An 0.25 career ERA in the World Series, the best of all-time among pitchers who have thrown at least 25 innings.
Forget Clayton Kershaw or anyone else you might offer as the best young arm in baseball. Bumgarner has proven it time and again on the biggest stage. It was his world this month. How fortunate we were to watch.
Click below to hear my final thoughts on Bumgarner and the Giants: