The San Francisco Giants entered Saturdays game against the Washington Nationals up 1-0 in the best of five National League Division Series. It was up to Tim Hudson to keep the streak alive. Heading into today, the Giants had won nine consecutive playoff games. Hudson pitched well giving up one run in 7 1/3 innings while striking out eight. However, the Nationals Jordan Zimmerman was even better.
Fresh off his season ending no-hitter, Zimmerman went 8 2/3 innings allowing only three hits. He went 20 consecutive batters from the third until the ninth without allowing a base runner. After a walk to Joe Panik, Zimmerman was relieved by closer Drew Storen. Storen allowed a Buster Posey single and followed it up by allowing a Pablo Sandoval double to tie the game. In fact, if it wasn’t for a great Bryce Harper–Ian Desmond relay the game might have ended.
What ensued was the equivalent of another game. Five combined hits were allowed from the 10th inning until the 18th. With Washington on its eighth pitcher of the night, Brandon Belt drove a 3-2 pitch off of Tanner Roark into the second deck of right-field. After the National were held scoreless in the home half of the 18th, a six hour and 23 minute marathon had ended. The Giants won their 10 straight post-season game and travel back to San Francisco up 2-0 in the best of five series. Tonight’s game set the mark for the longest post-season game in Major League Baseball history.
The Giants will be sending Madison Bumgarner to the mound in Game 3 to face the Nationals Doug Fister. The way the Giants are playing and the way that Bumgarner pitched in the wildcard game could be a sign for an early and disappointing departure for the boys from Washington. The Giants were clearly hoping to split in Washington but they are riding high knowing they are handing the ball to Madison Bumgarner in Game 3 with the series on the line.
Even if Bumgarner falters on Monday, it would be an epic collapse if the Giants did not find their way into another NLCS. And why not? It is an even year after all. They won the World Series in 2012 and 2010. Combine a 2-0 lead with superstition and there is no cloud in this crystal ball. It sure looks clear, the Giants should be moving on to the face either the Cardinals or Dodgers with another World Series trip on the line.