Heading into the playoffs, the San Francisco Giants really were an after thought. In fact, throughout the entire playoffs they were hardly given a chance in each series. After Wednesday’s Game 7 victory, the Giants have won three championships in the past five years.
Each of those three years featured Giants teams that many did not give a chance of winning the Series. Like this season, the Giants were almost an after thought. Without the flashy players or eye-catching manager, the Giants were a team that was relatively boring in the media. As many continued to overlook them, the Giants just went about their business winning at every step along the way.
The Giants are a dynasty, there is no doubt about that anymore. While they have stars (Buster Poser, Madison Bumgarner), they are really made up of players who are just very good at their specific roles and a manager who understands him team perfectly.
That brings us to Bumgarner, a guy who just had arguably the best postseason of any pitcher (or even any player) in baseball history. Just take a look at his numbers:
- 4-1 record
- 1 save
- 45 strikeouts
- 1.03 ERA
- 0.65 WHIP
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, his five-inning save in Game 7 was undoubtedly a legendary performance – one that will go down as one of the greatest World Series performances of all time. Not only was he pitching on two days rest, but at one point he even managed to retire 14 Royals hitters in a row. Throughout the entire World Series, Bumgarner allowed one run over 21 innings for a startling 0.43 ERA. More than worthy of the MVP award.
To put it simply, the Giants don’t win the championship if not for their ace. In the World Series games Bumgarner started (games 1 and 5), the Royals scored one combined run. In the other five games that were started by different Giant pitchers, the Royals scored 26 combined runs. That is a staggering comparison between the two, and it shows just how imperative Bumgarner was to the success of the Giants.
Get this – at 25 years old, Bumgarner already has three championship rings. Considering he is currently in the middle of a 5 year, $35 million contract that runs through 2019, San Francisco was given the pure definition of a steal. If that isn’t a bargain for the Giants, I don’t know what is.
For the Giants, their dynasty has come without fanfare or sexy predictions. Unlike the New York Yankees and New England Patriots, San Francisco was not expected to be one of the teams winning three championships in five years during the past 20 years. In fact, perhaps they best replicate the San Antonio Spurs – two teams who battle and play their sport like old-school teams and they flew under the radar.
When next year comes, the same thing will happen – we will push aside the Giants and never give them a second thought. And as they usual do, they will find a way to remind us that the Bruce Bochy era in San Fran will go down as one of the greatest dynasties the game has ever seen.
Cover Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
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