Madison Bumgarner joined Sandy Koufax (1965 World Series) and Justin Verlander (2012 ALDS) as the only pitchers ever to throw a shutout with 10 or more strikeouts in a winner-take-all game. In addition, Brandon Crawford became the first shortstop in Postseason history to hit a grand slam. Together, they led the San Francisco Giants to a dominant 8-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on ESPN.
A record 5.6 million viewers tuned in to ESPN's exclusive telecast of the NL Wild Card Game, topping the previous high of 5.3 million viewers for the 2012 AL Wild Card Game (Orioles-Rangers), according to Nielsen. Combined, this year's two Wild Card Games averaged a 3.4 U.S. household rating and 5.4 million viewers, up +13% and +15% over last year, respectively, making this the highest-rated and most-watched Wild Card round in the three-year history of the new format.
In Pittsburgh, the game drew a 22.6 local rating, while in San Francisco it drew a 13.3 local rating - both all-time highs for MLB telecasts on ESPN in those markets. The game also led ESPN to a dominant win in primetime among cable networks, topping the second-place network by +139% in the metered markets.
The excitement continues tonight as the AL Division Series get started on TBS, with the Tigers at Orioles at 5:30 p.m. ET, followed by Royals at Angels at 9:00 p.m. ET.