Kung Fu Panda & Mad Bum Win World Series!
That headline was too tempting to pass up. San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval, affectionately nicknamed Kung Fu Panda, caught the final out in game 7 last night to win the World Series against the Kansas City Royals!
The score was a close 3-2.
But the real story is about Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner (cheekily referred to as Mad Bum). He was named the MVP and even his teammates marveled at his performance calling him “a different human being.” Bumgarner, 25-years old, now also has a place in the history books.
He’s the third pitcher ever in a World Series to start pitching two games (game 1 and game 5) … and then pitch more than three innings as a relief pitcher (in game 7). Bumgarner pitched an unprecedented 5 innings last night.
(A relief pitcher is a pitcher who doesn’t begin the game but comes in as a substitute later.)
This hasn’t been done in more than a century, not since 1903 … and Bumgarner pitched many more pitches than his earlier counterparts. You can read more about his historic stats here on MLB.com.
Between game 5 and game 7 he didn’t have the usual amount of time required to properly rest his arm — critically important when you pitch over and over at 90+ miles per hour.
But he’d been pitching incredibly well, including a shut-out (no runs) in Game 5. So, they weren’t about to rest him. And virtually no one got a hit off of him last night either.
But there was that one moment …
At two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning the Giants were one pitch away from winning the World Series … when the Kansas City Royals finally got a rare and huge hit off Bumgarner.
Alex Gordon’s hit landed in the outfield and skidded past and out of the hands of TWO Giants players. It was bad. Gordon made it to third base.
Now the entire World Series came down to one pitch. If the Royals hit a home run, they win. If the Giants get an out, they win.
The Royals were —>THIS<— close to coming back to win the championship! It was the first time in almost 30 years they made it to the World Series so a lot of people wanted them to win. The game was in Kansas City in front of their home crowd so it was especially exciting. It didn’t help that they were in last place in the league for home runs, but the batter, Salvador Perez, was the only one who had a home run in the playoffs against Bumgarner. Nail. Biter.
Bumgarner proved too great. And Sandoval caught the final popped-up ball.
The Giants and the Royals both got into the playoffs as wildcards (so just barely). But this was the third World Series win for the Giants in the past 5 years.
Today the Giants are being called a Dynasty and Bumgarner is being called a hero. And even the Royals, though disappointed, had to tip their hat to Bumgarner.