Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Giants win 3rd World Series in 5 years!

Game 1: Giants 7 - Royals 1

Coming into the game, the Royals were undefeated through all 8 of their postseason games and had the home field advantage, thanks to that utterly ridiculous allstar-winner-gets-home-field-in-WS rule.  At stake: merely that in the last 17 WS', the winner of game 1 went on to win the WS 15 times.  (Historically, of the 108 WS', game 1 winners win the Series 63% of the time).

Key moment of the game:
1st inning - Royals pitcher, James Shields, allowed a Blanco single, a Posey single, a Sandoval double and a Pence HR.  It was 3-0 before Bumgarner even took the mound.

It was game over when:
Well, pretty much when Madison Bumgarner took the mound with that 3-0 lead.  However in the 3rd inning, Royals threatened with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs.  Bumgarner strikes out the next two Royals swinging and gets a groundout to end the threat.  Royals were never in it after that, scoring just 1 run (7th inning HR) and lost 7-1.  Bumgarner pitched 7 innings, had 5 strikeouts and allowed just 3 hits, 1 walk and the 1 run. 

Other facts:
- This was the Giants' 7th straight WS win, starting back in 2010 WS Game 4.
- Giants outhit the Royals 11-4 and even left 9 men on base.
- Pablo Sandoval lead all Giants hitters with 3 hits and 2 RBIs and extended his postseason on-base streak to 24 games (streak ended in game 3 at 25 games).
- Hunter Pence got on base 4 times (2 hits including the HR, 2 walks) and also had 2 RBIs.
- Bumgarner has now won a game in 3 different World Series, joining only Schilling, Clemens, Glavine and Pettite to do so in the last 3 decades.
- Bumgarner's shutout streak in the WS ended at 21 innings, tied for the 7th longest in WS history.  The last pitcher to reach 21 shutout innings was Koufax back in '66.

Game 4: Giants 11 - Royals 4

The Royals won Game 2 (7-2) with a 5-run 6th inning, then held on to win Game 3 in SF (3-2)  with great bullpen pitching.  Momentum had clearly swung in KC's favor: with the WS tied 1-1, teams that have won game 3 on the road have gone on to win the WS 22 of 29 times, which is nearly 76% of the time.  And of course, the Royals were now 10-1 in this postseason and needed to win just 2 of the last 4 games.  Lose game 4, and SF will have to win the last 3 games, including 2 at KC.  Bochy decides to stick with Vogelsong instead of Bumgarner on short-rest in this near must-win situation.

Key moment of the game:
Sandoval's 6th inning 2-run hit broke a 4-4 tie and the Royals never recovered.  Leading up to that moment: Vogelsong was forced from the game in the 3rd inning, after giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk in the 3rd inning.  Being down 3 runs, the Giants clawed their way back with a 1-run 3rd inning, a 2-run 5th inning, a 3-run 6th inning.  Entering the 7th, it was 7-4 with 9 KC outs left.

It was game over when:
The Giants continued their upward hitting trend with a 4-run 7th inning to extend the lead to 11-4.

Other facts:
- The Giants had 11 runs, tied for the 3rd most in WS history.
- The Giants had 16 hits, tied for 2nd most in WS history.
- 11 different Giants had hits, tying for the most in WS history.
- Hunter Pence led the way with 3 hits and 3 RBIs.
- Buster Posey's 3rd inning RBI tied him with Barry Bonds for a team record 21 postseason RBIs.
- Yusmeiro Petit pitched 3 shutout innings to earn the win and also contributed with a hit, becoming the first Giants reliever to do so in the WS since 1936.
- Bruce Bochy became only the 5th manager to win 40 postseason games, joining Torre, LaRussa, Cox and Leland. 

Game 5: Giants 5 - Royals 0

The winner of game 5 wins the WS 66% of the time (27-41).  Because this was the Giants' last home game, it was still a virtual must-win game so that SF wouldn't have to win 2 games on the road.  In the 6 previous SF World Series when it was tied 2-2, they went on to lose the title.  Cause for mild concern: Bumgarner was 1-3 with a 4.67 ERA in 6 games at home in the postseason entering Game 5.

Key moment of the game:
Madison Bumgarner takes the mound.  Complete game shutout, 117 pitches (and 84 for strikes), 4 hits, 8 strikeouts, no walks.  Never allowed a runner past 2nd base.

It was game over when:
Well, when Madison Bumgarner took the mound.  Also, when the Giants took a 2-run lead into the 8th, Sandoval and Pence both singled and Juan Perez crushed a ball that hit inches from the top of the wall, scoring both runners.  It was 4-0, insurmountable on this night.

Other facts:
- Going back to the 4th inning of Game 4, the Giants had scored 15 unanswered runs.
- UCLA alum Brandon Crawford actually led the Giants with 3 RBIs on 3 at-bats.
- Sandoval and Pence both had 2 hits, and were each batted in by Crawford once, as well as Perez's double. 
- Bumgarner pitched the first WS shutout since 2003 and is the first Giant to do so in 52 years.
- This was Bumgarner's 2nd complete game this postseason.  No other pitcher in baseball even had one.
- He's the first pitcher in 56 years to win the first four WS starts of his career.
- In those 4 WS starts/wins spanning 31 innings, he's allowed just 12 hits, thrown 27 strikeouts and gave up only 1 RUN.  Career WS ERA: 0.29, best in history (with at least 25 innings pitched).

Game 7: Giants 3 - Royals 2

After a game 6 Royals shellacking (10-0) including a 7-run 2nd inning that put the game away, the Giants were facing some pretty long odds.  The last nine game 7's of the World Series had all been won by the home team.  You'd have to go back 35 years to find the last road team who prevailed in the winner-take-all 7th game.

Key moment of the game:
Bottom of the 5th inning, Bumgarner steps out of the bullpen on 2 days rest with a 3-2 lead and pitches 5 shutout innings for the save.

It was game over when:
Sandoval squeezes the foul ball to end the Series.  Situation: score was 3-2, bottom of the 9th inning, 2 outs, Royals runner on 3rd base.  Salvador Perez is the only Royal to get a run off Bumgarner in this series and he's up.  Bumgarner uses Perez's aggressiveness against him and gives him high fastballs until he pops out to Sandoval.

Other facts:
- In the 2 innings that the Giants scored, both Sandoval and Pence led off and got on base each time.  To be in position for Morse's game-winning hit, Sandoval memorably tagged up on 2nd and sprinted to 3rd on Belt's sacrifice fly to left field.
- Bumgarner threw 68 pitches on this final night and had 5 shutout innings, again on 2 days rest.
- Against 17 hitters, Bumgarner never went to a 3-ball count, the only appearance without a 3-ball count this entire season.
- His 5-inning save was the longest in World Series history, by 4 outs.

Other Bumgarner Postseason facts:

- Bumgarner's pitched 21 innings this World Series, finishing with a ridiculous 0.43 ERA.
- He pitched over a 1/3 of the Giants' World Series innings (and more postseason innings than the rest of the starters combined).
- His career World Series ERA went down to 0.25 which is the lowest of all time (minimum 25 innings).
- In 36 career WS innings, he only allowed 1 run and just 14 hits.
- He pitched 52 2/3 postseason innings this year, which bested Curt Schilling's 2001 record of 48 1/3.
- His ERA this postseason is 1.01, the best of all time (minimum 40 or more innings in a single postseason)
- His ERA is 3.06 in the regular season, but drops to 2.14 in the postseason.

Other Giants' Facts:

- Sandoval's career World Series batting average is .426 (20-47), which is 3rd best ever (minimum 40 WS at-bats)
- Sandoval had the most hits in a single postseason of all time with 27.
- Pence was an incredible 7-14 with 2 strikes, and finished .444 (12-27) in this World Series.
- Jeremy Affeldt saved the Giants in Game 7 (no team since 1947 had won Game 7 when its starter failed to reach the 3rd inning) and raised his consecutive scoreless postseason outing mark to 22 games (2nd longest of all time).  His postseason career ERA is 0.86 in 33 games.
- Bruce Bochy is only the 10th manager in history to win at least 3 World Series'.
- The 8 players to be on all 3 of the recent WS' rosters are: Bumgarner, Affeldt, Casilla, Lincecum, Javier Lopez, Posey, Romo and Sandoval.  Only Bumgarner and Posey were started in the same positions in all 3 runs.
- The Giants have won 10 straight postseason matchups and have gone 13-2 in 1-run games.
- The Giants are the 5th franchise to win 3 World Series titles in a 5 season span.
- They are the 1st National League team in nearly 70 years to win 3 in 5 years.

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