KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants succeeded where no team had in 3 1/2 decades, winning Game 7 on the road for their third World Series title in five years.
Punctuating one of the finest October performances in baseball history, Bumgarner came out of the bullpen to pitch five scoreless innings on two days’ rest for his third win of the Series, and the Giants held off the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Wednesday night in a championship pushed to the limit.
A two-out misplay in the ninth almost wrecked it for Bumgarner and the Giants. He had retired 14 in a row when Alex Gordon’s single fell in front of center fielder Gregor Blanco, who let the ball get past him for an error that allowed Gordon to reach third.
Bumgarner calmly retired Salvador Perez on a foulout to third Pedro Sandoval.
Three days after throwing 117 pitches in a four-hit shutout to win Game 5, Bumgarner threw 68 more and dropped his record-low career Series ERA to a barely visible 0.25.
He joined Arizona Diamondbacks ace Randy Johnson (2001) as the only pitchers in the expansion era to win three games in one Series.
The Giants were dubbed a “Band of Misfits” in 2010 when they beat Texas to win the franchise’s first title since 1954 in New York. Two years later, they swept Detroit for another championship.
And this time, keeping up their every-other-year success, the Giants became just the second National League team with three titles in a five-year span, matching Stan Musial’s St. Louis Cardinals of 1942-46.
Home teams had won nine straight Game 7s in the Series since Pittsburgh’s victory at Baltimore in 1979, including the Royals’ 11-0 rout of St. Louis in 1985. Teams hosting the first two games had won 23 of the last 28 titles, including five in a row. And the Giants had lost all four of their previous World Series pushed to the limit.
Photo via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports Images
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