Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, winners of the 2014 World Series! This is the eighth win overall and their third win on consecutive even-numbered years (2010, 2012 & 2014). On the flip side, until 2010 they hadn’t won since 1954 when they were the New York Giants — that’s a 56-year drought!
They did get to the ball in 1962 (lost to the Yankees) and 1989 (swept by their neighbors, the Athletics) and 2002 (lost to the Angels). Given them credit for taking the 1962 and 2002 Series to seven games.
This year I was rooting Kansas City Royals all the way. Of course there’s an element of rooting for the American League; I would have been rooting for them in any event.
But their story is special this year — first team to ever win the first eight games straight in post-season. There’s a minor caveat there. Before 1995, when there was no Division Series, winning eight straight meant sweeping the entire table, which would be a record in itself.
They’re also tied with the Red Sox for eight straight games at any point in post-season. Regardless, it was amazing to watch them zip through the Wild Card Series, the Division Series and the Championship series. In a way, winning the World Series would have almost been just icing on the cake (or gravy on the steak).
The added bonus was the World Series itself. Getting all seven games is always best. Seeing it tied after two, tied after four and tied after six was pretty cool. The only complaint is that there was only one close game (#3) among the six. The others were decisive and often decided early in the game.
But the final game was the other nail-biter to the last out. The Royals really had a chance in the bottom ninth, so it was a pretty exciting game.
Almost. Sort of.
Having Madison Bumgarner pitch five innings in relief made it a lot less suspenseful. The Royals’ three-way punch, Herrera, Davis & Holland, did their job in keeping San Francisco from scoring, but at the same time, no one could do anything against “MadBum” on the mound.
It almost seems unfair bringing in a starting pitcher to throw five innings of relief.
I’ll bet you that, had Kansas City been able to somehow get to Bumgarner, the conversation today would have the scent of, “Serves them right for bringing in Bumgarner to pitch relief.” That thought acknowledging the vague unfairness of it.
It would have been a lot more interesting of a game had the Giants stuck to their usual bullpen. It almost can be read as an admission their bullpen wasn’t up to the task.
So in an alternate dimension where the Giants decided to play it more fairly and squarely, the Royals — as I believe the gods of baseball intended — did win.
Meanwhile, in this reality: The Giants Win!