The San Francisco Giants won the 2014 World Series championship last night over the Kansas City Royals, and I have just two words to describe their title run: Madison Bumgarner.
The big southpaw was outstanding during the seven game set, going 2-0 with a save and boasting a 0.43 ERA. Naturally, he was the unanimous choice for the Most Valuable Player award.
But it wasn’t just San Francisco’s ace that played wonderfully as they clinched their third title in five years. The veteran Pablo Sandoval had an outstanding series, which could prove to be his last with the Giants as he is now a free agent. He was perfect in game seven, going 3-for-3 and scoring two runs.
Both times Sandoval scored he did so courtesy of designated hitter Michael Morse, who had two RBIs in the game. Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford also performed well for San Francisco last night and throughout the series.
Defensively, the play of the game for the Giants came in the third inning when rookie second baseman Joe Panik made a fantastic play on an Eric Hosmer hit to turn the reviewed double play with shortstop Crawford.
The Royals played admirably last night, but a couple of missed opportunities left them dissatisfied. Second baseman Omar Infante slipped while playing a Sandoval hit in the fourth inning, and Sandoval ended up coming home to score the eventual winning run later that inning.
And then, with the Giants just one out away from clinching, Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon hit an extra-base single that got him to third base due to San Francisco miscues in the outfield. Ninety feet from home is where the tying run stayed as Bumgarner forced Royals catcher Salvador Perez to hit a pop fly to the third base side for the final out of the series.
Overall, the series wasn’t quite as thrilling as I had hoped considering only two games were won by less than five runs, but it was a great one nonetheless. Last night’s game was only the second World Series game seven in the last 12 years, and with the Giants winning on the road a streak of nine home-team wins in the final game of the series ended.
The Giants ended the series with a team batting average of .277 and an earned run average of 3.98. The Royals finished with a .249 team batting average and a 4.28 ERA. Between the two teams, only two bases were stolen and five homeruns hit.
Pence (.444 AVG, HR, 5 RBI) and Sandoval (.429 AVG, 4 RBI) led the offensive attack for San Francisco, who scored a total of 30 runs in the series. Perez (.333 AVG, HR, 4 RBI) and Infante (.318 AVG, HR, 5 RBI) were the offensive leaders for the Royals throughout the series.