Behind another sterling performance on the mound by Madison Bumgarner, the San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. The Giants won their third World Series pennant in five years.
The San Francisco Giants are 2014 World Series champions.
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Behind Madison Bumgarner's performance on the mound, the Giants beat the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, in Game 7 to win their third World Series pennant in five seasons, per MLB.com's Chris Haft:
"The 25-year-old left-hander joined this distinguished group Wednesday night by completing a World Series performance that just might rank as the finest by a Giant in the (club's) history. He garnished his victories in Games 1 and 5 with five shutout innings of relief to earn the save in Game 7 to help San Francisco outlast the Kansas City Royals, 3-2. The decision sealed the Giants' third World Series triumph in five seasons.
"'Right now, I'm not tired at all,' said Bumgarner, who came on in relief of winning pitcher Jeremy Affeldt. 'We just won the World Series. It's hard to be tired right now. Probably tomorrow, I'll be tired, though.'
"After the Giants scored what proved to be the winning run in the fourth inning on Michael Morse's RBI single, Kansas City used three relievers to blank the Giants the final five innings -- something Bumgarner did all by himself on two days' rest after pitching a four-hit shutout in Game 5.
"'He was throwing so well, there was no way I could take him out,' said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. 'Just get on him and ride him. Again, it's just amazing what he did. The innings were easy, and we had his pitch count about where he ended, and he said he was exhausted at the end.'
"Bumgarner's effort was nothing short of remarkable. He yielded a single to the first batter he faced, Omar Infante, before proceeding to retire the next 14 batters he faced.
"Then, with the Giants one out from victory, Alex Gordon lined a single to left-center field on an 0-1 pitch. After the ball skipped past center fielder Gregor Blanco, left fielder Juan Perez struggled to pick it up as Gordon raced to first base.
"That didn't faze Bumgarner. Salvador Perez popped a 2-2 pitch into foul ground outside of third base, where Pabol Sandoval made a careful, two-handed catch before falling backward in ecstasy. The Giants, many of whom played on the series-winning teams of 2010 and '12, flooded the field in celebration.
"Bumgarner became the first left-hander to pitch at least four innings in Game 7 of the World Series on two days' rest since the illustrious Sandy Koufax beat the Minnesota Twins in 1965.
"...Madison Bumgarner began his much-anticipated relief appearance in the fifth inning of Game 7, recording three outs to pass Curt Schilling for the most innings (48 2/3) in a single postseason.
"It wasn't all smooth; Bumgarner gave up a leadoff single to Omar Infante and a sacrifice bunt to Alcides Escobar before Juan Perez -- starting in left over natural first baseman Travis Ishikawa -- made a running stab of Nori Aoki's line drive to prevent the tying run from scoring. Bumgarner then struck out Lorenzo Cain to break (Curt) Schilling's record, which stood for 13 years.
"That sent Game 7 into the sixth inning, with the Giants clinging to a 3-2 lead.
"...Moments after the Giants took a two-run lead in the top of the second, the Royals tied it up, took Tim Hudson out of the game and almost lost their Gold Glove catcher.
"Billy Butler led off the bottom of the second with a sharp single up the middle, then motored around the bases to barely score on Alex Gordon's liner in the right-center-field gap, a double that gave Gordon only his fourth hit in 25 at-bats this World Series.
"On the next pitch, Hudson's 89-mph cutter caught Salvador Perez on the side of the left knee. Perez had a hard time getting up, and initially couldn't put any weight on his left leg, but he gingerly made his way toward first and remained in the game.
"Gordon then tagged and went to third on Mike Moustakas' flyout to left field and scored on a liner to center field by Omar Infante. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt replaced Hudson after Alcides Escobar's single, then retired the left-handed-hitting Nori Aoki on a chopper that shortstop Brandon Crawford fielded right on top of second for the forceout."
SFGate.com's Bruce Jenkins weighed in on the Giants' latest World Series title:
"Only once before in National League history has a team won the World Series three times in a five-year span, and in truth, the St. Louis Cardinals' achievement (1942, '44 and '46) doesn't measure up to San Francisco's. That was a wartime run, particularly in '44, when the military call to arms caused a serious depletion of major-league talent.
"Let that debate gain inspection some other time. The greatness of the modern-day Giants is now established beyond doubt, and plans are now in progress for a Halloween-day parade in downtown San Francisco on Friday.
"They say it might rain that day. Pretty good chance, in fact. Then let it be so. Symbolically, nothing rains on the Giants' parade.
"It couldn't get much wetter than the team's clubhouse party, champagne flying in all directions, delightfully soaked ballplayers hugging, roaring with laughter, sometimes just staring at each other in amazement. And it seemed every conversation found its way to Madison Bumgarner, who came out of the bullpen to pitch the last five innings -- two hits, no runs -- and win the Series' MVP award."
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