We just witnessed the most exciting postseason ever, right? There’s really no way to quantify that or back it up with numbers, other than to say that seemingly every single night there was a tight, well-played game full of memorable moments. The regular season was predictably great, with everything from monster home runs to selfies to witnessing pitchers at the top of their game, but the postseason did it one better.
And last night it all came to a close with an incredible Game 7. The San Francisco Giants became the first visiting team to win a Game 7 in the World Series in 35 years, beating the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, after surviving a hit in the ninth inning from left fielder Alex Gordon that turned into a triple through a Gregor Blanco error.
Not only did the Giants join an elite club by winning their third World Series title in five years, but pitcher Madison Bumgarner completed a run that rivals just about anything we’ve seen in the modern era. He is the first pitcher since legend Sandy Koufax WAY back in 1965 to finish the World Series with two wins and a sub-.50 ERA in at least 20 innings. Last night, he came out of the bullpen to toss 68 pitches — three days after rolling through Kansas City with 117 in Game 5 — to finish with just one run allowed and 14 hits across 36 innings. Simply amazing.
Despite the loss, Kansas City has to feel good about where their team is at. If we learned anything from the Royals over the past few weeks, it’s not that having a trio of great relievers helps win games — every team wants great relief pitching, and always has — it’s that simply getting to the wild card game is enough to give you a prayer, even when the odds seem stacked against you. (And if you’re Oakland, you know a great first half and a win at the trade deadline doesn’t guarantee you anything.) San Francisco most likely feels the same way, having used their play-in game against Pittsburgh as a way to boost their run to a World Series championship.
For every other team, that might change how they perceive their own outlook. Maybe they aren’t the first or fifth or even 10th-best team in baseball, but simply being good enough to get to that one-game play-in game might be enough, and we could see some moves this winter that show teams are thinking this way.
So with the Giants taking home another World Series title, what can we expect to see this winter and into next season from Kansas City and the rest of baseball? Well, Here are 4 Things You Can Expect This Offseason in Major League Baseball.
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