San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner pitched five masterful innings from the bullpen Wednesday as the Giants won their third World Series in five years. The word “Dynasty” graced the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle after the Giants held off the the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in the seventh and deciding game.
“That’s the best performance I’ve ever seen in the playoffs, ever,” Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt said of Bumgarner.
“MadBum”—named the World Series MVP award in one of the easiest choices in history—pitched a record 52 2-3 innings in these playoffs. His five scoreless innings on Wednesday—one with just nine pitches—gave Bumgarner a save to cap off a 4-1 record and 1.03 ERA in six starts. And with appearances in three World Series by the age of 25, Bumgarner has allowed just 1 run in 36 innings pitched. That’s a record-low 0.25 ERA.
“We probably would have won if they didn’t have him,” Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain told the AP. “But they do have him.”
For more on the World Series, see “Teams enter World Series on emotional, spiritual highs” at WORLD Magazine
The Royals forced Game 7 with a 10-0 rout on Tuesday behind the pitching of Yordano Ventura, who dedicated the win to late St. Louis outfielder Oscar Taveras, his good friend who died in a car accident on Sunday. Looking for their first World Series since 1985, a raucous crowd of 40,535 packed Kauffman Stadium and stood for most of the game in nervous fidgets.
But when Bumgarner entered the game in the fifth inning with the Giants up 3-2, the game was all but over. Despite having only two days rest after a 117-pitch shutout in Game 5, he seemed to make Wednesday’s 68 pitches look easy, throwing 50 for strikes. “You know what? I can’t lie to you anymore,” he said. “I’m a little tired now.”
The Royals briefly had hope in the ninth when Alex Gordon’s single got away from Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco. The ball went all the way to the wall, and Gordon rounded for home before retreating to third. He could only watch as teammate Salvador Perez fouled out to end the game. “Obviously, we wanted to win,” Gordon told the AP, “but to be in this situation with these young guys and what they’ve done this postseason, I’m just proud to be a part of this team.”
Official scorers at first gave Bumgarner the win rather than the save, but later changed their decision because the winning run was scored while Affeldt was in the game. When Affeldt learned of the change, he embraced his wife as they both began crying. The outspoken Christian now has three World Series, one for each of his children.
“This is probably my favorite,” Affeldt said, his voice cracking. “I started with the Royals, and it was a tough time for me. So to come back here and to feel this—and to have all three of my boys have championship rings—that means a lot to me.”
Some of the stats, facts, etc., compiled by the Associated Press and verified by me