Category Archives: Postseason

Dynasty? SF wins 3rd title in 5 years.

When you think of baseball dynasties, you think of the Ruth-Gehrig-DiMaggio-Mantle Yankees of 1921-1964. The Big Red Machine. The Bronx Zoo. The Torre Yankees of 1996-2003. When you look at the makeup of the San Francisco Giants, you don’t see dynasty. But after winning their third title in the last five years, maybe that qualifies them as one now. At the very least, with the decade half-over, they can already call themselves the team of the decade (unless someone else runs off three or four titles over the next five years). The Giants became the first road team since the 1979 Pirates to win Game 7 when they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 last night.

Madison Bumgarner joined a very select group of pitchers to win three WS games in the same Series. Bumgarner got the save. For his efforts, Bumgarner was named WS MVP. 2012 WS MVP Pedro “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval went 3 for 3, Mike Morse drove in two runs, and all the damage was done by the 4-7 hitters. Neither starting pitcher went four innings. Both managers had quick hooks. SF starter Tim Hudson went just 1 2/3, and KC starter Jeremy Guthrie 3 1/3. With neither starter going five innings, the decision on who got the win came down to an official scorer’s decision. Usually, they just hand the win to the pitcher who was on the mound when the eventual game-winning run was scored. That was Jeremy Affeldt, who was credited with the win. But the official scorer did not get it right. He handed the win to Affeldt. He did not have to. This was “official scorer’s discretion” and the guy who should have been given the win was Bumgarner, who came out of the bullpen on two days rest to pitch five innings of scoreless relief and preserve a 3-2 lead. Bumgarner thus wound up winning Games 1, 5 and saving Game 7 of this WS. No guts by the official scorer there. He went “formula.”

The difference in the series turned out to be one run, and one man. And perhaps, one slip. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Sandoval reached on an infield single. KC 2B Omar Infante made a nice play getting to the ball, but his right leg slipped out from under him as he tried to throw out Sandoval at first. Had he not slipped, who knows? That’s baseball. Sandoval eventually scored the eventual WS-winning run later that inning on a single by Morse. SF manager Bruce Bochy showed guts in going to Bumgarner. 3 titles in 5 years should put him into the HOF one day. Funny how he did go to Bumgarner after some “experts” I heard on ESPN radio said that there was no way Bumgarner should pitch, and no more than one inning. What pansies. To me, it was refreshing seeing Game 7 the way it should be. You manage that game differently than other games. The players have all offseason to rest, and although he didn’t start, Bumgarner winning pitching in a third WS game reminded me of Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2001 WS (a painful memory for us Yankees fans), or Lew Burdette starting on two days rest in 1957 (another painful memory for Yankees fans),  Sandy Koufax in 1965 pitching a CG shutout on two days rest, Bob Gibson going 1-4-7 in 1967 or Mickey Lolich going 1-5-7 in 1968 (and facing and beating 1-4-7 Gibson in that 1968 Game 7). You go with your best in Game 7. You manage differently.

Bochy managed it brilliantly. If Bumgarner would have been too tired after only two days of rest, Bochy would have heard it from here to eternity. But Bochy played his trump card. He went with, and stayed with, his best. That’s one thing I’ll take out of this WS. One run, and one man (Bumgarner) made the difference. KC has nothing to be ashamed of.

So the offseason begins… with free agency, trades, etc. and oh yeah,….. A-Rod is now officially back. (Crying.).

In other news, it looks like a few moves are coming soon. Joe Maddon, who just left the Rays, is expected to take the manager job with the Cubs, and there are rumors that the Yanks are after Raul Ibanez to be their next hitting coach.

WS Game 6: BLOWOUT! KC forces a Game 7.

No Contest.

With a 7-run 2nd inning, KC forced a Game 7 in winning 10-0 tonight. Game 7 will match up 35 year old Jeremy Guthrie for KC vs. 39 yr. old Tim Hudson of S.F.

Of course, with Game 7, all hands are on deck. Could Baumgarner make a relief appearance?

Whatever, one game for all the marbles. It doesn’t get better than that.

 

 

 

WS Game 5: Baumgarner puts SF up 3 games to 2.

Madison Baumgarner pitched a CG 4-hit shutout and SS Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants shutout the Kansas City Royals 5-0 Sunday night to take a 3 games to 2 edge in the World Series.

The Series now goes back to KC for Game 6 on Tuesday night, and if necessary, Game 7 on Wednesday night. The Giants are one win away from their third title in five years.

Baumgarner, making a bid for WS MVP, has started four WS games in his career, and is 4-0 with a 0.29 era. He has given up just 1 run in 31 WS innings.

On a sad note, top Cardinals prospect Oscar Tavares was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He was just 22.

WS Game 4. SF evens it up.

Hunter Pence had 3 hits and 3 RBI, and the Giants’ bullpen tossed 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief after starter Ryan Vogelsong was knocked out in the third. Down 4-1 after 2 1/2, San Francisco came back to win 11-4 and even the World Series at two games apiece with Game 5 Sunday night.

Pablo Sandoval, seeking to become only the fourth player to win two WS MVPs in his career (Koufax, Gibson, Reggie Jackson; Sandoval won it in 2012), chipped in with two hits and two rbi.

I find it funny that there was talk over the Internet yesterday about the Giants possibly watering down the basepaths in order to slow down Kansas City’s running game. Heck, they did it in 1962 to try to slow down Maury Wills. It isn’t new… especially in San Francisco.

WS Game 3: KC goes up 2 games to 1 with a 3-2 win.

Alcides Escobar had two hits and scored two runs, and KC’s bullpen tossed four innings of no-hit ball as the Royals beat the Giants in Game 3 of the WS Friday night 3-2 to take a 2 games to 1 lead in the World Series.

Game 4 Saturday night.

Surprising news today as Joe Maddon opted out of his contract as manager of the Rays. He won’t be out of work long.

Kevin Long signs on as hitting coach for the Mets, not too long after the Yanks let him go.

Jimmy Rollins and Paul Konerko share the Roberto Clemente Award for giving back to the community.

WS Game 2: KC evens it up.

The Kansas City Royals evened up the WS at one game apiece with a 7-2 win in Game 2. It was a big game for them, because they didn’t want to go into San Francisco down 0-2.

The Royals broke up a 2-2 tie with five in the sixth, the big blows being a 2-run double by Salvador Perez followed by a 2-run HR by Omar Infante.

Billy Butler also had 2 hits and 2 RBI for KC.

Gregor Blanco opened the game with a HR for SF.

The Series resumes Friday with Game 3 in San Francisco.

After winning b2b CYAs in 2008 and 2009, it’s amazing how far Tim Lincecum has fallen. From b2b CYAs to a mop up man in Game 2 of the WS. And he’s only 30.

WS Game 1: SF, 7-1.

Maybe after winning eight straight postseason games, KC was due for a loss. In any case, the game was basically over six batters in. Pedro Sandoval doubled in a run (another potential run was thrown out at the plate on the play) and Hunter Pence followed with a 2-run HR to put the San Francisco Giants up 3-0 in the top of the first. That would be all that Madison Baumgarner would need as the Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals 7-1 in Game 1 of the World Series.

Baumgarner gave up just one run on three hits in seven innings of work.

KC’s James Shields has had a rough postseason. He passed a kidney stone the other day and it may have affected his pitching. Shades of the 1980 WS when George Brett had hemorrhoids. Shields is a free agent after the season and his postseason troubles are not helping him.

Meanwhile, Yankees prospect Greg Bird, a 1B who was in High A/Double A this year, was named a player of the week in the Arizona Fall League. He’s had a great start there so far.