The San Francisco Giants have done it again. They beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. The Giants also won World Series titles in 2010 and 2012. This is the first time a National League team has done this the St. Louis Cardinals pulled it off in 1942, 1944 and 1946.
Two days removed from throwing a complete game, four hit shutout, Madison Bumgarner came on in the fifth inning and threw five more shutout innings. The Royals did make it exciting with one out remaining when Alex Gordon singled and advanced to third on a error by Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco. But Bumgarner got Salvador Perez to pop out to Pablo Sandoval to put an end to the Royals’ Cinderella season. Could this be Sandoval’s last moment in a Giants uniform? He will be a free agent and would look good in a Red Sox uniform.
But the night belonged to MadBum who earned three of the four Giants’ wins. He only gave up one run in 21 innings pitched. Although Hunter Pence went 12 for 26 during the Series, it was a no-brainer to name Bumgarner World Series MVP. MadBum, of course, also won the NLCS MVP.
This marks the first time a road team has won a Game 7 since the 1979 “We Are Family” Pittsburgh Pirates pulled it off against the Orioles in old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
The game also saw the first call overturned by replay. In the third, Giants second baseman Joe Panik made a sensational play on a hard hit ball by Eric Hosmer. Panik tossed the ball from his glove to shortstop Brandon Crawford who fired it to first. Hosmer dove into first and was ruled safe, but the replay showed he was out.
The Giants took a 2-0 lead in the second on back to back sacrifice flies by Mike Morse and Brandon Crawford. But the Royals would tie it in the bottom of the inning. The slow footed Billy Butler chugged home from first on a double by Alex Gordon who would score on a sacrifice fly by Omar Infante. Giants starter Tim Hudson only lasted 1 2/3 innings. Jeremy Affeldt would pitch 2 1/3 scoreless innings and was assisted by two double plays including the previously discussed instant replay call. The Giants scored the go ahead run in the fourth on an opposite field single by Morse off Royals reliever Kelvim Herrera. That was all the offense the Giants needed and Bumgarner did the rest.
Bruce Bochy became the first NL manager to win three World Series title since Walter Alston won three World Series titles with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959, 1963 and 1965. In case there was any doubt, Bochy has firmly punched his ticket into the Hall of Fame.
After beating the Texas Rangers in five games and sweeping the Detroit Tigers in 2012, the Royals gave Giants everything they got including demolishing them 10-0 in Game 6. They just couldn’t figure out Madison Bumgarner. But a month ago, who would have expected the Royals to win the AL Wild Card down four runs in the eighth inning, to sweep the Angels in the ALDS, sweep the Orioles in the ALCS and have the tying run 90 feet away with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the World Series? The Royals exceeded all expectations and renewed interest in a team that hadn’t played post-season baseball since 1985.
The San Francisco Giants are now officially a dynasty. Will Bochy’s boys add to that dynasty in 2016?