Blasting away 10 runs in Game 6, the Kansas City Royals forced a deciding Game 7 against the San Francisco Giants, set for Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
It’s been a back and forth series between the squads. The Giants took Game 1 handily 7-2 and ended the Royals undefeated postseason run. But Kansas City bounced back to win two straight. Then came San Francisco’s 11-4 thumping in Game 4, which exposed the Royals bullpen for the first time during these playoffs.
The Giants then took a 3-2 series lead with Game 5’s 5-0 shutout, highlighted by another stellar performance from lefty starter Madison Bumgarner. But the Royals, seeking their first championship since 1985, responded with a 10-0 blowout Tuesday to force the final game.
A Game 7 is arguably baseball's most exciting event due to its winner-take-all result, and neither side should disappoint this year.
Before the game starts, lets take a look at the history for each team in Game 7s, their respective managers, some key players and other tidbits that only baseball can provide.
- San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner has won both of his two starts during the series, and he could make an appearance in Game 7. He’s currently the favorite to win MVP, but only two pitchers have won the award over the last 12 World Series: Cole Hamels for the Phillies in 2008 and Josh Beckett for the Marlins in 2003.
- After Bumgarner, right fielder Hunter Pence and third baseman Pablo Sandoval are under consideration for MVP honors. Sandoval took home the award back in 2012. Right now Pence has the edge, with a .435 average, six runs scored and another five knocked in.
- Should the Royals prevail, catcher Salvador Perez has largely powered the offense with his .381 batting average, though he’s one of four Kansas City players with four RBI.
- Other Royals who could earn some votes are center fielder Lorenzo Cain and second baseman Omar Infante. Following up a performance that earned him ALCS MVP honors, Cain knocked in three runs to stave off elimination in Game 6.
- Cain could be the first player since St. Louis’s David Freese in 2011 and Hamels again in 2008 to win MVP in both the championship series and the World Series in the same postseason.
Game 7 History
- The Giants last Game 7 in the World Series was 2002, which they lost 4-1 to the Los Angeles Angels.
- Counting all of the rounds in the postseason, the Giants have been involved in seven other Game 7s throughout the modern era, winning three.
- Back in 1912 the Giants played the Boston Red Sox in an eight-game World Series due to a tie in the fifth game. They won Game 7 to tie the series, but lost the deciding eighth game 3-2.
- The Royals have played in two Game 7s, both coming in the their 1985 championship run.
- The Royals needed seven games to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS in 1985. Hall of Famer George Brett was named the MVP of that series, hitting .348 with three home runs and five RBI.
- Later against the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series dubbed “I-70 Showdown Series,” the Royals won in seven games.
- The Royals thumped the Cardinals 11-0 in the final matchup, with starting pitcher Bret Saberhagen picking up MVP honors.
- San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy, who managed the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 2006, has a career 41-30 postseason record as manager.
- Kansas City’s Ned Yost is enjoying his first trip to the postseason as a manager, and has won 11 out of 14 games. All three of those losses have of course come at the hand of Bochy and the Giants.
- Bochy played in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series with the Padres. Yost appeared in Game 6 of the 1982 Series with the Brewers. Both lost in those games, and each series.
Odds and Ends
- The Giants have made 27 postseason appearances, compared to eight all-time for the Royals. However the Royals only became a franchise in 1969, while the Giants have been around in one form another since 1883, according to Baseball-Reference.
- Since 1979 only one road team has won a Game 7 in the World Series. The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates outlasted the Baltimore Orioles 4-1.
- All of those games since 1979 were decided by four runs or less, except when the Royals routed the Cardinals in 1985,