(Reuters) - Some pitchers would be ecstatic to throw a complete game shutout in a wildcard elimination showdown but it was just another night at the office for San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner on Wednesday.
The left-hander gave up just four hits in the road game as the Giants beat the New York Mets 3-0 on Conor Gillaspie’s three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to keep alive their hopes of a fourth World Series in seven seasons.
The laconic Bumgarner, a North Carolina farmer who still lives on his 140-acre (56-hectare) property in the off-season, could hardly have taken the stellar performance more in his stride.
“Ain’t much to say. That’s a big game out there for us and we were fortunate enough to get some late runs,” he said in his thick southern drawl in an on-field interview at Citi Field in New York.
Asked what he wanted his legacy to be as a pitcher, Bumgarner looked exasperated at what he clearly considered a sensitive question.
“Man, why are you asking me all these hard questions?” he said. “I don’t know man, a winner, that’s all anybody wants to be known as, a winner.”
Next up for the Giants is a five-game National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, who posted the best record in the regular season at 103-59.
“It’s going to be tough,” Bumgarner, 27, said. “We all know what kind of regular season they (Chicago) had and all that but it’s a different time of year and anything can happen in October.”
October has been kind to the Giants, who won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014, with Bumgarner earning the 2014 World Series Most Valuable Player award after clinching the deciding Game Seven against the Kansas City Royals.
“He (Bumgarner) does what he always does,” said San Francisco third baseman Gillaspie.
“He’s got so many intangibles that a lot of everyday big league guys don’t even have. When he takes the ball it’s his game.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien