Last night, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals to claim their third World Series Championship in five seasons. Do you know what this means? You get a parade, and YOU get a parade, and YOU get a parade! Everyone gets a parade!!!
And everyone owes it to one long-hair having, snotrocket launching, serial-killer looking, bad mother shut your mouth: your 2014 World Series MVP, Madison Bumgarner.
In 2010, we had Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain and the rookie, Madison. In 2012, Timmy was gone, leaving Matt and Madison with Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong. But in 2014, there was no Timmy. There was no Matt. There was no Barry or Ryan or Jake Peavy or Tim Hudson. We had one Madison Bumgarner and three prayers. Did Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong contribute? Yes to your heart condition. In these seven World Series games, those three pitched 16.1 innings; Madison pitched 21. The Royals batting average was .351 against the three; it was .127 against Madison. Their ERA was 9.92; Madison's was .043. Madison struck out 17, allowed nine hits, issued one walk, and graciously permitted one Royal to score.
I kid, of course, about Ryan and Jake and Tim. They helped the Giants get here. They put on that uniform with our team and city's name across the chest and they went out and did what they were asked to do the best they could. But they'll be the first to tell you that this World Series, maybe more so than any other ever played, was won by one player. In the 5th inning, Madison did more than walk out of the bullpen and onto the field he walked into history.
Not that you'll hear anyone complain, but that Madison is getting all the rightfully deserved praise is a bit of a shame, because there were so many moments when so many others had to be exactly where they were and do exactly what they did for all this to come together.
Hunter Pence batted .444 and he did not once slip in right field nor did he kick a ball on the warning track. In this World Series, that is no small thing.
Panda batted .429, got 26 hits (a postseason record), and reminded us just how fast a big boy can move. He just earned himself millions of dollars on his upcoming contract pay the man.
All season, the Giants have been looking for a second-baseman. We found him. In the bottom of the 3rd, Joe Panik turned a man-on-first-and-second-with-no-outs into a double play that you'll watch on replay forever. We will love Joe Panik the way we loved Robby Thompson.
We will always sing songs for Travis Ishikawa, but he does not make that catch. Juan Perez, who nearly caused our heads to explode in the bottom of the 9th, saved the World Series for us in the bottom of the 5th. No joke. It's hard to remember now, but when Madison entered the game in the 5th, he was off. Omar Infante, first batter he faced, singled. After a sacrifice, there was one out with Infante on second. Then Nori Aoki lined a ball down the left field line. If it falls, it's a double and Infante scores, tying the game, 3-3, with Aoki on second and only one out. And then, who knows? We can thank Juan Perez for never having to know. Juan Perez caught the ball.
Jeremy Affeldt doesn't start games. He doesn't close games. He comes in when things have gone wrong. He comes in in the 2nd inning when a 2-0 lead becomes a 2-2 tie with a man on first and second and two outs. And then twists the tourniquet, gets the third out, and keeps the score as-is for two more innings. Jeremy Affedlt, who has now pitched 22 consecutive innings of scoreless, postseason baseball, will forever see a "W" next to his name for Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
So many moments when so many had to be exactly where they were and do exactly what they did and they did it. With their 100th win of the season, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. I know it feels funny. I know it feels like this is something we should start getting used to. Don't. Yes, our team just won their third World Series in five seasons, but do not get used to this. This may not happen ever again. This may be the last one for the Giants for years, decades, forever. It's true. So savor it. Buy the new baseball cap with the new World Series logo on the side and wear it everywhere. Go to the parade with one million of your closest friends. If you have friends who are Royals fans, shake their hands and tell them they have one helluva team. If you have friends who are Dodgers fans, smile. Smile, you lucky bastard, because your team won a World Series and another one is not promised to you, so smile for this one...until we do it again in 2016. ;)
Thank you, Giants!!!