After beating the Kansas City Royals 4-3 in a seven game series, the San Francisco Giants have won their third World Series in five years. This is the second time in history two wildcard teams fought for the Fall Classic Title. It is also the first year where both teams failed to win at least 90 of the 162 games during the regular season.
The Royals played in their first World Series in 1985. This was also the first time they have even made it to the postseason since they won the championship 29 years ago. The Kansas City team began its postseason with a record setting eight straight wins, knocking out the Oakland A’s, the Los Angeles Angels and the Baltimore Orioles. The Royals suffered their first lost during Game 1 of the World Series, falling to the Giants 7-1.
Kansas City did not go down without a fight. The Boys in Blue won Games 2 and 3, 7-2 and 3-2, respectively. The Giants rallied back in Game 4 though, after quickly falling behind 4-1 in the third inning. San Francisco scored an additional 10 runs to beat the Royals in San Francisco 11-4.
The Boys from the Bay wanted to make their final game of their season at home a memorable one. The best of seven series was tied at two games apiece when the Giants had their ace, Madison Bumgarner, throw a complete game shutout.
With the remaining two games in their hometown, Kansas City dominated the Giants in a 10-0 Game 6 win. With just one full year of the majors under his belt, Royals rookie Yordano Ventura pitched seven innings, giving up only four hits with four strikeouts.
The series came down to Game 7, which favored Kansas City. The last road team to win the World Series Game 7 was the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. Since then, there have been nine Game 7s, each being won by the home team. Former Atlanta Braves pitcher and Georgia native Tim Hudson started the game for the Giants against Jeremy Guthrie. Neither lasted very long though; Hudson only pitched for 1 2/3 innings and Guthrie 3 1/3.
The game came down to the ninth inning. The Giants were up by one and the Royals had the tying run on third base. Bumgarner, on only two days rest, pitched the final five innings for the Giants. The final out came with a foul out from Royals catcher Salvador Perez. The Giants captured their third World Series title since 2010.
Bumgarner, who won the MVP title for both the World Series and the National League Championship Series, had arguably one of the best postseason pitching performances of all time. The Giants’ ace set several records this postseason, including the most innings pitched in a postseason with 52 2/3 and lowest World Series ERA (Earned Run Average) with 0.25.
Giants’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval set the record for the most hits in a single postseason, going 26-for-71. Hudson also set the record for the oldest pitcher to ever start a World Series Game 7 at the age of 39.
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