October 30, 2014

World Series 7: Giants 3, Royals 2

Giants - 020 100 000 - 3  8  1
Royals - 020 000 000 - 2  6  0
The San Francisco Giants are the champions of baseball for the third time in the past five seasons.

It is only the second time in the history of the National League that a team has won three titles in a five-year span (Cardinals, 1942, 1944, 1946).

Madison Bumgarner, who pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout in Game 5, came out of the bullpen on two days rest to throw five scoreless innings of relief (5-2-0-0-4, 68), allowing only two singles and receiving credit for a save. The 25-year-old Bumgarner, who was named the NLCS MVP, was an easy choicee as WS MVP.

Bumgarner pitched a record 52.2 innings during the postseason. ... He became the third pitcher to win 2+ games as a starter and pitch 3+ innings as a reliever, joining Cy Young (1903) and George Mullins (1909). ... Bumgarner's 0.25 ERA in the World Series is the lowest in history among pitchers with at least 20 innings.

Pablo Sandoval (3-for-3, 2 runs scored) and Michael Morse (1-for-3, 2 RBI) led the offense. Hunter Pence had two hits, giving him 12 for the World Series and tying a Giants record held by Buck Herzog (1912).

Sandoval was grazed on the right elbow by a Jeremy Guthrie (3.1-4-3-0-3, 49) pitch to start the second inning. He made no attempt to evade the pitch; indeed, he sort of steadied his elbow prior to contact. Nevertheless, he was awarded first base. Pence followed with a groundball single to left and Brandon Belt drove a hard single to right, loading the bases with no one out. Morse lined out to Nori Aoki in right and Sandoval scored, with Pence advancing to third. Pence's hustle was key because when Brandon Crawford flied out to center, he was able to come home.

The Royals tied the score in the bottom half of the inning against Tim Hudson (1.2-3-2-1-1, 28). Billy Butler singled to left-center and came all the way around to score on Alex Gordon's first-pitch double to the gap in right-center. Salvador Perez was drilled in the left thigh near the knee and as the Royals' trainer talked with Perez on the field, the Giants' bullpen got busy, with Jeremy Affeldt warming up. Mike Moustakas flied out to left and Gordon was able to tag and race to third. He then scored on Omar Infante's line drive sacrifice fly to center. Alcides Escobar singled, moving Perez to second, and ending Hudson's night. Giants manager Bruce Bochy called for Affeldt, who got a grounder for an inning-ending fielder's choice. Hudson's 1.2 innings was the shortest outing by a starter in a Game 7 in WS history.

Kansas City caught a tough break in the third. Lorenzo Cain singled to right. Eric Hosmer sent a ground ball towards right-center. Giants second baseman Joe Panik dove to his right and gloved the ball, then flipped it to shortstop Crawford for the force at second. Crawford's relay to first arrived at almost the exact same time that Hosmer dove head first into the bag. Hosmer was originally called safe, but the Giants challenged the play, and it was overturned, and ruled a double play. (None of the angles shown on Fox provided a definitive view. The Royals radio announcers pointed out that Hosmer likely would have been safe if he had run through the bag at full speed. They noted that in track and field events, sprinters run through the tape and do not dive head first across the finish line.)

The Giants took the lead in the next half-inning. Again, Sandoval led off and got on base, this time on an infield single as Infante moved to his right and slipped while trying to throw. Pence singled to center. Belt flied to left field and Pence went to third. Ned Yost then went to his bullpen, calling on Kelvin Herrera. Morse fouled off two pitches before breaking his bat and dropping a single into shallow right field. Sandoval scored what turned out to be the Series-deciding run.

Affeldt plunked Gordon in the back with a curveball to start the bottom of the fourth. But Perez chased the first pitch and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end any thought of a KC rally.

After that, it was Bumgarner time. Not having as much time to warm up as he usually does as a starter, he might have been a little rusty in his first inning. Infante lined a single to right to start the fifth and Escobar bunted him to second. Aoki lifted a fly ball to the opposite field and Juan Perez ran a long way towards the line and hauled it in. Cain ended the inning by striking out on a high fastball.

Bumgarner retired the side in the sixth (P6, F8, F8), seventh (F9, 5-3, K), and eighth (K, 6-3, P4).

He started the bottom of the ninth by striking out Hosmer (again, on high fastballs) and getting Butler on a foul pop to first. Gordon lined a 0-1 pitch to left-center. Gregor Blanco came in, but decided to play the ball on a hop rather than attempt a dive for it. But the ball skipped past him for an error, rolling to the wall. Perez came over from left to help out, but he booted the ball on the warning track. By the time the ball was returned to the infield, Gordon was standing on third, the game-tying run only 90 feet away.

All of the Royals' hopes rested on Perez's shoulders. Bumgarner threw him nothing but high fastballs and Perez could not stop himself from chasing them. He swung and missed the first one, took a ball, then swung and missed the third pitch. He laid off the fourth for ball 2, then fouled off the fifth. He popped up the sixth pitch into foul territory where Sandoval made an easy catch - and then collapsed on his back on the grass as his teammates flooded out of the nearby dugout in celebration.

Factoids: It was the first time in a WS Game 7 that neither starter went more than 3.1 innings. ... Pence and Belt became the second pair of teammates to hit safely in all seven games of a World Series, joining Hank Bauer and Billy Martin of the 1956 Yankees.


Dr. Jeff said...

I really appreciate your game summaries. As a Red Sox fan, it was a disappointing season. But as a long-time Bay Area resident (until 1995), the Giants are my favorite NL team. So the period of 2004-2014 has seen 3 Red Sox WS victories and three Giants WS victories. The game is "designed to break your heart" but it's been a great run. How long until Truck Day?

allan said...

Thanks. I really was hoping KC had a touch more magic, but I don't mind the Giants winning. ... Just a little over 3 months to Truck Day?

FenFan said...

I would liked to have been talking about back-to-back titles for the Sox but the Giants and Royals gave us a great series.

Although I had no horse in the race, I wanted to see KC win the title; unfortunately, they ran into a buzz saw named Bumgarner, who was masterful and more than deserving of MVP honors.

I echo Dr. Jeff's remarks; your game summaries, per usual, were appreciated.

I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a great 2015 season for the Sox!

laura k said...

It was a great postseason. The season itself sucked for us, but October was packed with great baseball.

I'm (mildly) disappointed KC didn't go all the way - a great underdog story. But oh well. Winter starts today!