History occurred last night. The final game of the 2014 professional baseball season was last night, between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants. It was Game 7 of the World Series, as the series was tied 3-3. Heading into Game 7, the Giants were seeking to win their 3rd World Series in the last five years. The Royals, on the other hand, hadn’t been to the playoffs since 1985, which is the year they won the World Series.
The Royals were a surprise to make it to the World Series. They squeezed out a victory against the Oakland A’s to claim the last spot in the playoffs this year. Personally, after watching Moneyball, I thought the Oakland A’s were gonna win the World Series! I just had that feeling. That was when Kansas City got really hot. After eliminating the A’s, the Royals won 7 straight games, knocking out the Angels and Orioles along the way. Madison Bumgarner, the Giants’ ace, handed the Royals their first loss of the postseason in Game 1 of the World Series as he pitched seven innings, only allowing one run.
However, the Royals bounced back with two wins in a row, obtaining the series lead. The Giants captured a victory in game 4, tying the series up at 2. Madison Bumgarner got the start in game 5, pitching in front of his home crowd for one last time this season. Bumgarner showed why he was the NLCS MVP. The Giants regained the lead of the series as Bumgarner tossed all 9 innings, preventing the Royals from scoring a single run. With the series on the line, the Royals exploded for seven 2nd inning runs, propelling them to a 10-0 victory in Game 6, to tie the series.
And then it was Game 7. Game 7 of the World Series. The highest stage of America’s past time. October 29th, 2014, in Kansas City. There was a sea of blue surrounding the field, and millions of people tuned in on FOX to see how this game would unfold. Jeremy Guthrie got the start for Kansas City, while Tim Hudson got the nod for the Giants. This matchup made history, as the two starting pitchers’ ages add up to the highest age ever in a game 7 of the World Series (74 years). However, it wasn’t these two starters that made the difference.
The Giants struck first in the 2nd inning. Guthrie loaded the bases with no outs, and the Giants took advantage. Michael Morse and Brandon Crawford each provided a sacrifice fly, which gave them a two run lead, heading into the bottom of the 2nd inning. But, the Royals came right back. In the bottom of the same inning, Alex Gordon smacked a double that drove in a run. A few pitches later, Omar Infante’s sacrifice fly drove in Gordon, to even the score at 2. Tim Hudson was removed from the game in the 2nd inning.
In the 3rd inning, Guthrie got the first three batters out, including a strikeout to allstar catcher Buster Posey. The Royals led the bottom of the 3rd off with a base hit. Then, Eric Hosmer, one of their best hitters, smacked a grounder up the middle. The rookie second basemen, Joe Panik, dove towards the ball. He extended his glove just enough to snag it. From the ground, he flipped the ball with his glove to second base, where Brandon Crawford caught the ball and threw it to first for a double play.
It was an incredible play by Joe Panik, that turned a situation in which there would be runners on first and second base, into a situation with two outs and no one on base. It was pretty sick to watch. Kelvin Herrera, the Royals’ stud reliever, took over for Guthrie in the 4th inning, with a man on third base. Michael Morse took a pitch from Herrera into right field for a base hit, and Morse’s 2nd RBI of the night. This gave the Giants a 3-2 lead.
In the 5th inning, Giants manager Bruce Bochy made his 2nd pitching change. This time, he brought in his ace. Madison Bumgarner. After allowing a single to his first batter, Bumgarner shut the door. He retired 14 straight batters. The Royals bullpen did their part, shutting down the Giants offense for the rest of the game. So, it was 3-2 Giants in the bottom of the ninth. Alex Gordon stepped up to the plate, with two outs.
On the 2nd pitch of the at-bat, Gordon ripped a line drive into left center field. He slowed up around first, thinking it was a single. Suddenly, he starts sprinting towards 2nd base! The Giants’ center fielder had misplayed the ball, and it got past him! The ball rolled to the wall. The left fielder came over to retrieve the baseball as Gordon rounded 2nd base. The left fielder bobbled it before throwing it in. Gordon settled into 3rd base safely.
It was like the Royals were meant to get the W. That error almost cost the Giants the lead. Meanwhile, I was mad. I was sick of the Giants winning. I wanted to see the Royals win at home. I was mad at Alex Gordon for slowing down at first. Because if he hadn’t, he would’ve scored on that play. Now, I understand why he slowed down, and I probably would’ve done the same thing. But if only he didn’t slow down….
Anyway, the Royals had a man on third base. Bottom of the ninth. Down to their last out. Salvador Perez hobbled up to the plate, barely able to run after he was hit by a pitch in the 2nd inning. The tying run at third base, the winning run at the plate. Boy, how amazing would it be if Perez hit a home run. It would be like a fairy tale. But Madison Bumgarner wasn’t having any of it. Bumgarner got Perez to foul out, and the Giants won the World Series.
Bumgarner set the MLB record for most postseason innings pitched (52 2/3) and maintained an ERA of 1.03 throughout the playoffs as well. He was named the 2014 World Series MVP, at the age of just 25. We’ll be seeing a lot more of this guy in the future. This World Series capped off a good MLB season, and even though I was really tired this morning, it was worth it to watch the whole thing!