The MLB Playoffs are a complete crapshoot. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We all know it. We saw the No.1 seeds in both the AL and NL get taken out in the first round; one of them getting swept. We saw the Oakland A’s, one of the league’s best teams this year, blow a four run lead in the AL Wild Card Game. We saw the San Francisco Giants continue their incredible postseason play since 2010, featuring Buster Posey and the Panda.
These Giants though, are no crapshoot. Three championships in five years is a dynasty. I don’t care what the definition is. I don’t care what other people think. The Boston Red Sox won a ring in-between the Giants 2012 and 2014 campaigns, only to completely self-destruct this past year. The Giants have been a team who plays above average, but not spectacular in the regular season, then get hot at the right time, and with powerful pitching, it takes them to another ring.
This series, the pitching completely took off. Madison Bumgarner had a absolutely phenomenal postseason, pitching in seven games and posting a 1.03 ERA. Bumgarner set a record for most inning pitched in a postseason, and got his 3rd ring in the process.
The most incredible thing though, took place in Game 7 of the World Series. In a strange game, Tim Hudson made it 1.2 innings in, giving up two early runs. We didn’t expect the starters to be in the game long, but this wasn’t what the Giants hoped for. Jeremy Affeldt replaced him, and ended up taking the statistical win in the clinching game. Affedlt was pulled after 2.1 innings, then Bumgarner came in, and completely dominated. Bumgarner threw five shutout innings, giving up only two hits, and got the final out for the Giants.
That final out though, didn’t come easy. Down to his final strike, Alex Gordon hit a deep ball to left center field. What should’ve been a double ended being a triple when Gregor Blanco had trouble picking it up. Sounds ridiculous, hun? Well, the obvious was immediately identified by me and my Dad, who couldn’t believe what was happening. He was nervous. His hands were shaking. He didn’t want to be the one to blow it, and because he was thinking about it, he almost did. Blanco finally fielded the ball and Gordon ended up at 3rd. A base hit would tie the game at 3, eerily similar to the Diamondbacks-Yankees Game 7 from 2001 (Ask my Dad about his memories of that, he’s got a good story).
With Salvador Perez coming up to bat, hobbled by a HBP that hit him in the upper left leg earlier in the game, he had a really ugly at-bat to end the season. One of Mad-Bum’s signature pitches is the fastball up high, and not only did he throw it, but Perez swung at it, and swung at it, and then swung at it again.
He wasn’t gone on three pitches, but the three he swung on were upper fastballs.
Anyways, it was a stellar way to close out a incredible postseason and World Series. It was truly incredible. Mad-Bum did something that we probably won’t see again, and that’s what makes him special. It’s why he won MVP.
The Kansas City Royals had the whole country rooting for them. When your the underdog, that’s what happens. But these Royals were more than an underdog. Having not been to the Playoffs since 1985, when they won the World Series, it was the longest drought in the current MLB. And the fact that they not only beat the A’s in that Wild Card Game, but doing what they did to get to the World Series, was most incredible part. I’ve said this before, but the funniest thing is, nobody saw it coming.
The Royals lost Game 1, automatically ending their furious win streak. It wasn’t a huge disappointment, because the Royals chances of winning the Series were slim anyways. That was only one game, and in the next game, they beat the Giants close to same score (Game 1: 7-1 Giants, Game 2: 7-2 Royals) .
It’s amazing how this World Series had it’s share of blowouts, and incredibly close games. Four of the seven games were what you consider “blowouts”, and the others were close. It had it’s fair share of diversity, but that’s what we expect, right? This was only the seconds series to go Game 7 since 2001, with Rangers-Cardinals from 2011 going seven games also.
Overall, what the Royals did was absolutely incredible. For themselves, for Baseball, for their city. KC was on fire during this postseason. Everyone had gear. Everyone was supporting win or lose. The Royals and their might not have even cared about the outcome of the World Series, because for most of them, they hadn’t seen their team here, at all. It was all about the joy of them making it there.
I remember watching the post game interviews after Game 7. Seeing the Royals devastated, along with their fans. The Giants, however, we’re celebrating, giving interviews and such. But during those interviews, they weren’t screaming into the microphone. They were calm. You could tell they were happy, but it wasn’t overkill.
You know why?
They’re used to it. It was the 3rd time in five years they had won. They’ve been here before. They handled it perfectly. Now, as I understand, some of the first years guys on the team, like Michael Morse, were definitely happy. Tim Hudson has pitched 15 seasons, and finally got that glorious ring he desired. Now he had a reason to go nuts. He’s 38, and was part of the “Moneyball” era for a little bit while in Oakland. It’s quite possible this was his final year, and if so, he would’ve capped it off with a bang.
Game 6 was over-shadowed by the death of Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras. The news broke during the game. I will tell you this. That kid was going to be a star.
Taveras was killed in a car accident along with his girlfriend in the Domican Republic. I found out on Twitter like many others. I saw a tweet that stated (below).
That summed up the whole. 45,000 people are watching Game 6 of the World Series, while people in the press box are crying, and can’t believe what they have read. That shows how much of a shock this was, and what Taveras was going to become.
FOX did a report about the news during the game, and handled it properly. For some people, it may been similar to John Lennon’s death announcement in 1980 on Monday Night Football, but this was presented on a bigger stage. Taveras wasn’t as popular as Lennon, but he had the chance to be.
That was all the Cardinals did as tribute, and it was perfect.
Like the NHL Playoffs last year, these 2014 MLB Playoffs were absolutely incredible. It makes you truly appreciate baseball. Kids nowadays talk about how boring it is and such, but really, if you only care about the postseason, you should check out the first 162 games of the season, because secretly, they’re just as great.