The San Francisco Giants are back on top of the mountain in Major League Baseball. With a 3-2 victory against the Kansas City Royals in World Series Game 7, they earned their third World Series championship in five seasons and their eighth in franchise history.
For the Giants, it was their toughest postseason road during this recent stretch of success. As the National League's second wild-card team, they had to go through the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road just to make the NLDS. Once in the tournament, they eliminated the NL's top two seeds, the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals, before running into baseball's hottest team and best story, the Kansas City Royals, in the World Series.
The Giants won eight of nine World Series games in 2010 and 2012 but were pushed to the limit by this resilient Royals squad. In fact, if not for a remarkable and gutty Series performance by Madison Bumgarner, it's possible the championship flag would be flying in Kansas City for the first time since 1985.Wed, Oct 29San Francisco3 - 2Kansas CityGame Recap
The San Francisco Giants clinched their third World Series championship in five yearswith a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals in Game 7.
The winner-take-all battle was every bit as dramatic as one would anticipate from these two teams. The Giants weren't intimidated by the moment or the raucous crowd at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals proved resilient again, battling until the final out with the tying run at third, but fell short of winning their first championship since 1985.
The game also played out as expected from a strategic standpoint. Both managers wasted little time pulling struggling starting pitchers, and both were willing to exhaust their best available options. In the end, San Francisco emerged thanks in large part to the five-inning relief outing from World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.
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Royals minor leaguer critical of Yordano Ventura wearing Dominican flag following Game 6, later apologizes
So much for organizational camaraderie or human compassion.
After Yordano Ventura's gem of a pitching performance in World Series Game 6, which the Kansas City Royals won 10-0 to force a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday, a Royals minor leaguer named Zeb Sneed took to Twitter to criticize Ventura for wearing and displaying the Dominican flag over his back during postgame interviews.
As most of the viewers were aware, Ventura dedicated his Game 6 performance to Oscar Taveras, who was killed along with his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, in an automobile crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Taveras, 22, was a blooming star out of the Dominican just like Ventura.
It seemed inevitable the moment we knew the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals would meet in the World Series. Now it's a reality. With the Royals' 10-0 victory in Game 6, one of the most exciting single games possible in sports is set up for Wednesday night in Kansas City: Game 7 of the World Series.
It has been a rare event recently. This will be the first World Series Game 7 since 2011, and only the second since 2002. Yet it felt inevitable because the two teams involved were playing so well coming in. The Giants entered winners of nine straight postseason series dating back to 2010, including this season's NL wild-card game. The Royals set an MLB record winning their first eight postseason games, sweeping through the AL wild-card game, ALDS and ALCS.
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Kauffman Stadium was so loud during the second inning of World Series Game 6, the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants could barely hear themselves think on the field, let alone hear calls and orders barked out by the umpires.
That led to some confusion and an unusual scene playing out as Eric Hosmer actually took a swing at a pitch after asking for and being granted timeout at home plate. He made solid contact, too, driving what would have been a run-scoring single to center field.
Here's how it played out.
With four Royals runs already scored in the inning and Giants starter Jake Peavy recently knocked out of the game, the crowd was at a fever pitch as Hosmer stepped in with runners at first and third and one out against reliever Yusmeiro Petit. Another hit there, and the fans sensed Game 6 would already be put safely out of reach. The players sensed it, too, which is why there was laser sharp focus at the plate.
As thousands gathered in the Dominican Republic for the funeral services of Oscar Taveras, who was killed in a car accident on Sunday along with his girlfriend Edilia Arvelo, the St. Louis Cardinals paid a very special tribute to their fallen player on Tuesday.
The lone light shines in right field, a position Taveras played in 62 games during the 2014 season and was expected to compete for in spring training. Recognized as the No. 3 prospect in MLB by Baseball America, it was viewed as only a matter of time before Taveras grabbed the position full time. And once seized, he was expected to be there for many years while wearing a Cardinals uniform.
After news broke that St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend were killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, a stunned baseball community immediately reached out via social media to pay its respects and express its sadness.
Among the many were Taveras' Cardinal teammates, who just 10 days ago were battling alongside him against the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.
So sad to hear about Oscar. My prayers go out to his family. In complete shock.. So sad.. Life isn't fair
Absolute Tragedy.. My prayers go out to Oscar Taveras family.
Wow! My heart truly hurts to hear the passing of Oscar! I've played with him every year and we truly lost a great person! #RIPOscarTaveras
Last 30 minutes I've been sick to my stomach. Keep thinking about Oscar's big smile in the dugout whenever we made a big play/got a big hit
Oscar was the last teammate I saw in St. L.
The Baltimore and Kansas City police departments weren't the only ones with a friendly bet riding on the American League Championship Series. It turns out the mayors of both cities, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore and Sly James of Kansas City, had a bet of their own that was a little more intricate.
As we all know, the Royals went on to sweep that series 4-0, and now are two wins away from winning the whole thing with Game 5 of the World Series approaching on Sunday night. That result meant Rawlings-Blake was forced to produce a video of her singing John Long's parody of Lorde's hit song "Royals."
With assistance from the Baltimore School for the Arts, which produced the video and provided two very worthy backup singers, Rawlings-Blake took her shot this past week.
Here's the finsihed video with the performance beginning at the 1:05 mark.
One of the many subplots as the World Series scene has shifted to San Francisco this weekend has been the noticeably saturated infield at AT&T Park. The resulting muddy field conditions were the talk of social media early on in Game 3, with the universal sentiment being a form of gamesmanship on the part of the Giants and their grounds crew to try and slow down the Kansas City Royals speedy baserunners.
Kansas City led the league with 153 stolen bases during the regular season and had an additional 13 through the first two rounds of the postseason. The stolen base is one of their signature offensive weapons, and their team speed in general has a game-changing effect when they get rolling. It actually makes sense to at least try to limit that advantage, if possible. And it is possible in this case, because the league won't step in unless they feel the safety of the players is being put at risk.
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If you can't be inside AT&T Park for a San Francisco Giants World Series game, the next best place might be right outside the ballpark in McCovey Cove.
Granted, you can't see the action, but you can certainly hear it and feel like you're a part of it, while enjoying an incredible view and the company of hundreds.
One Giants fan in particular was thinking along those same lines for Game 4, and he went all out to enjoy his experience while bringing a little bit — OK, maybe quite a bit — of home with him.
Captured on the Fox broadcast during the bottom half of the fourth inning, this fan had social media buzzing because his kayak actually looked more like a floating apartment. In that small space, he managed room for a small grill that looked like it doubled down as a furnace. He also had a cooler, a pumpkin representing Halloween decorations, an American flag showing off his patriotism, a life jacket in case of emergency, and his dog.
Because what would any World Series outing in McCovey Cove be without the dog, right?