Madison Bumgarner's World Series performance in 2014 was epic.
2-0, 1 SV, 0.43 ERA, 21 IP, 17K, 1BB
Included in that was a 5 inning save in game 7 on 2 days rest.
There are two other World Series performances in my life that I recall being as epic, one was Orel Hershiser's in 1988.
2-0, 1.00 ERA, 18 IP, 17K, 6BB
Not quite as epic as Bumgarner's. Of course, with the Dodgers beating up the A's in just 5 games, there was no opportunity for Orel to have heroics later in the series.
The performance I most compare Bumgarner's to was the duel performance of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson in 2001.
Curt Schilling, 1-0, 1.69 ERA, 21.2 IP, 26K, 2BB
Randy Johnson, 3-0, 1.04 ERA, 17.1 IP, 19K, 3BB
From the absolute numbers, it looks like Bumgarner has the edge on both of these guys, but I think some of it has to be looked at relative to the era.
In 2001, Schilling and Johnson were pitching against the New York Yankees in the World Series. It was the 5th World Series the Yankees had been to in 6 years and they were looking for their 5th World Series title in their late 1990s/early 2000s dynasty.
In addition, this was around the peak of the steroids era in baseball. The 2014 Royals scored 651 runs, good for 9th amongst American League teams. They hit 95 home runs, good for dead last in Major League baseball.
In 2001, the Yankees scored 804 runs. Good for only 5th place in the American League in 2001. By comparison, the Anaheim Angels lead the American League in runs in 2014 with only 773 runs. That Yankees team also blasted 203 home runs.
It could just be me, but I think holding that Yankees offense to so little in that era was a little more special in my eyes. Especially when you add in the fact that Randy Johnson won his third game on ZERO days rest.
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