Bumgarner Pitches Giants to Third MLB Title in Five Years

Madison Bumgarner pitched the San Francisco Giants to their third World Series title in five years, leading them to a 3-2 road victory last night against the Kansas City Royals.

The Giants, who also captured titles in 2010 and 2012, won the best-of-seven championship series four games to three by becoming the first road team to win a World Series Game 7 since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates in Baltimore.

Bumgarner, who won Games 1 and 5 of the series, pitched five scoreless innings in relief for the Giants. He was named the series Most Valuable Player, following his MVP award for the National League Championship Series.

“I wasn’t thinking about inning or pitch counts, I was thinking about getting outs,” Bumgarner said in a televised interview. “I’m not tired now, we just won the World Series.”

Bumgarner, 25, who three nights earlier had thrown a four-hit shutout and struck out eight Royals in a 5-0 victory in Game 5, entered the game in the fifth inning. He allowed two hits over the next five innings, striking out four and quieting the Kauffman Stadium crowd.

“I was stunned,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I was thinking, ‘OK, this kid is going to come in and maybe throw two or three (innings). This kid is an incredible competitor. He’s in a league of his own.”

The Giants are the first franchise to win the World Series three times in a five-year span since the New York Yankees won four titles from 1996 to 2000, including three in a row. No other Major League Baseball team has accomplished that feat in the past 40 years. The Cardinals were the most recent National League team to win the World Series three times in a five-year span, in 1942, 1944 and 1946.

Payroll Difference

The salary difference of $58 million between the Giants and Royals was the widest between World Series teams since 2009, when the New York Yankees were at $201 million and the Philadelphia Phillies were at $113 million.

Playing in the 31st-biggest television market, the Royals started the season with the 18th-biggest payroll in MLB at $90.5 million, according to USA Today’s annual rankings. The Giants were No. 6 at $148.5 million, playing in the sixth-largest TV market.

It’s the eighth world title in Giants franchise history, having also won five as the New York Giants from 1905 through 1954. The team moved to San Francisco in 1958. The Giants’ 57 wins in World Series games are third-most in MLB history behind the Yankees (134) and Cardinals (58).

“We play a team sport, and I’ve never seen a team play so well together,” Giants President Larry Baer said while accepting the championship trophy. “They’re a model for a team sport.”

Fewest Wins

The Giants’ championship run caps a season in which they went 88-74 and tied for the fewest regular-season wins of the 10 teams that made the playoffs.

San Francisco knocked off the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL wild-card game between non-division winners, then topped the Washington Nationals 3-1 in the best-of-five divisional series. The Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 in the best-of-seven NL Championship Series to face the Royals, who were making their first World Series appearance since 1985.

The last World Series to go to a seventh game had been in 2011, when the Cardinals topped the Texas Rangers. The last Game 7 before that was in 2002, when the Anaheim Angels beat the Giants.

San Francisco, which had finished six games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West division, becomes the sixth team to win the World Series as a wild card. The last was the Cardinals in 2011.

This also marked the second time the World Series featured a pair of wild-card teams. The only other was the 2002 meeting between the Angels and Giants.

Team Values

Before this season, Forbes ranked the Giants as the fifth-most-valuable team at $1 billion, while it put the Royals next-to-last in value among the 30 MLB clubs at $490 million.

The Royals, who went 89-73 this season, fell to 1-2 all-time in the World Series.

The Giants took a 2-0 lead in the top half of the second inning on sacrifice flies by Michael Morse and Brandon Crawford. The Royals responded immediately, scoring two in the bottom half of the inning on a run-scoring double by Alex Gordon and Omar Infante’s sacrifice fly.

San Francisco regained the lead in the fourth inning on a run-scoring single by Morse.

San Francisco’s Tim Hudson, at 39 the oldest Game 7 starter in World Series history, lasted just five outs before he was taken out of the game. It was the second straight night that the Giants’ starter had failed to make it through two innings -- the Royals knocked out Jake Peavy in Game 6 while scoring seven runs in the second inning of a 10-0 win.

Affeldt’s Performance

Reliever Jeremy Affeldt got the next seven outs for the Giants, and then turned the ball over to Bumgarner -- who is now 4-0 in World Series games, with a 0.25 earned run average that is the best in MLB history. Affeldt was awarded the win and Bumgarner a save.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he didn’t have to think very hard about whether to take Bumgarner out of the game.

“Our horse was out there and we rode him,” Bochy said during the trophy ceremony. “It’s historic what this kid has done. He was throwing so well, there was no way I could take him out, just get on him and ride him.”

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