by Sam Martin
The last three games of the World Series were supposed to be a toss-up—anybody could win them. There seemed to be no clear favorite between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals after they split the first four games, 2-2.
Then Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner took over. Winner of Game 1, he made all the difference in the last three games. He started the pivotal Game 5 and pitched a four-hit, complete game shutout, which the Giants won 5-0. The Royals could not touch Bumgarner’s pitches, striking out eight times and not drawing a single walk.
The series returned to Kansas City for Game 6. Needing a win to keep the series alive, the Royals hammered the Giants for 10 runs. For the Giants, it became less about winning Game 6 than preparing for Game 7.
Tuesday, October 29, baseball crowned a champion for the 2014 season in Game 7. Despite the other 49 players on the rosters, one name became the deciding point of this series: Madison Bumgarner. Only two days after throwing 118 pitches and nine innings in Game 5, Bumgarner entered Game 7 in the fourth inning and never looked back. He blanked the Royals hitters for the last five innings, holding them to only two hits, not allowing a single walk. The Giants won the game 3-2.
With the victory, the Giants captured their third title in 5 years. Madison Bumgarner was the unanimous World Series MVP, capping off a magical October. His final pitching stats: 52 2/3 innings pitched, 28 hits allowed, .153 Batting Average Against, and a 1.03 ERA. He was the difference maker for the Giants.
And so with baseball done for the year, there’s only 121 days until Spring Training.