By Bob Elliott
KANSAS CITY _ When you think dynasty you think of a couple of things:
Championships and the same people forming a team’s core.
Like the New York Yankees who won three consecutive World Series (1998-2000) with Derek Jeter at short, Jorge Posada catching, Bernie Williams in centre, Andy Pettitte starting and Mariano Rivera closing.
Or the Oakland A’s who won three straight American League titles with Mark McGwire at first, Rickey Henderson in left, Jose Canseco in right, Dave Stewart starting and Dennis Eckersley closing.
And then you have the San Francisco Giants.
Three World Series wins in five years (winning seven more games and two more World Series than the 1988-90 A’s from across the bay) and yet people ask is this more like a dynasty?
Or more like Duck Dynasty with bearded Madison Bumgarner as its ace?
Well, three World Series in five years — first by a National League team since the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1940s — assures that the Giants are a dynasty.
The one constant in the lineup catcher Buster Posey hit (.154 4-for-26) in the World Series. Pablo Sandoval played more games at third all three years but in 2010 he was on the bench in the World Series. Juan Uribe was at third and Edgar Renteria at short.
The Giants won with two different first baseman (Brandon Belt and Aubrey Huff), shortstops (Brendan Crawford and Uribe); right fielders (Hunter Pence and Nate Schierholtz) and aces (Matt Cain and Bumgarner).
The Giants won with three different second baseman (Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Theriot and Joe Panik), centre fielders (Aaron Rowand, Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco) and closers (Brian Wilson, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo).
The Giants won with four left fielders (Pat Burrell, Melky Cabrera and Mike Morse with Blanco taking over in the World Series when Cabrera was wearing suspenders in 2012.
So, beside Posey, what are the constants?
How about general manager Brian Sabean, manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti.
“Players will go through a wall for Bochy,” said assistant GM Dick Tidrow. “Why? Because he stands behind them, He always has their backs.”
The ace that the Giants had this year was more impressive than any other and we’re going farther back than 2012 or 2010 as he worked the most innings ever in post season.
Privately, the Giants had a concern when this began that it could turn into two kinds of World Series:
One with the 6-foot-5, 240 pound Bumgarner on the mound.
And one without him.
Without him three times Giants starters worked less than three innings: Ryan Vogelsong recorded eight outs in Game 4, Jake Peavy four in Game 6 and Tim Hudson five in Game 7.
What kind of pitching staff is this?
A winning one when you add a large dash of MadBum, who is dadgum good.
Bumgarner pitched seven innings in Game 1, a complete game shutout in Game 5 and then five scoreless relief on two days rest in Game 7. He’s a throw back … to some horse from the 1950s or 1960s, working 21 innings. The rest of the rotation 16 1/3.
“To pitch seven, then throw nine and then, two days later, to throw five?” asked lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt, who picked up the win in Game 7. “You’re in the World Series, facing the best hitters in the world. In Game 7. That can’t happen. I don’t think it will ever happen again.
“He flat-out carried us.”
From the on-field celebrations as Giants hugged and cried and spraying Mumm Napa Brut Prestige champagne from Napa, Calif. as they had in Arlington in 2010 and at Comerica Park in 2012.
Not that the Giants are confident but the champagne bottles had SF logos and a Giants crests on them.
They probably just hauled them down from the shelf.
“It was a historic performance by two people, that’s why we won,” said Peavy in the clubhouse referring to Pablo Sandoval’s record 26 hits and Bumgarner.
Allowing a two-out single in the ninth to Alex Gordon, Bumgarner looked up to see Blanco misplay the ball and Perez fumble it on the track, so Gordon was at third.
Sal Perez popped up to end it making only the fourth time a World Series had ended with the tying run 90 feet away and the first since 1992 when Atlanta pinch runner John Smoltz was on third, Blue Jays reliever Mike Timlin fielded Otis Nixon’s bunt and threw to jumpin’ Joe Carter for the final out.
“I’ve been around (Hall of Famers) Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan, I’ve never seen the kind of pitching performance like that,” said senior advisor Tony Siegle.
Bumgarner lowered his career World Series ERA to 0.25, best of by any arm with at least 25 innings pitched, while his ERA this postseason (52 2/3 innings) was 1.01, lowest of a pitcher with 40 or more innings.
“He’s been doing this for a while, he did it when he was a baby against Atlanta in 2010,” said Tidrow
The lefty pitched six innings to eliminate the Braves in the NL Division Series.
Knocked as wild-card winners with 88 victories (This Might be the Worst World Series Ever read one pre-game headline) yet they lost their lead-off hitter and centre fielder Angel Pagan, Cain was injured, their second baseman Panik didn’t start until June 22 when it was apparent Marco Scutaro was re-injured and bench players Juan Perez and Travis Ishikawa, released by the Pittsburgh Pirates this season shared left after Morse was injured although he did DH.
“I don’t think anyone picked us to win,” said Siegle, “in fact I don’t think anyone picked us any of the three years.”
Posey who caught almost every inning — back up Andrew Susac had four at-bats in the 17 post-season games the Giants played sat on an orange-trimmed black trunk, exhausted outside the coach’s office when he was asked about Bumgarner.
“He had a little trouble in his first inning, because he wasn’t really loose,” Posey said, of Omar Infante’s lead-off single. “Once he went out again, there was no difference between Game 5 and now. After the seventh, I figured he’d finish it.”
It’s not the same seamless group.
They followed up 2010 with 86 wins.
They came off their 2012 title with 76 victories.
Argue all you want, the Giants do own this decade the date.
Championship Giants through the years
2010 (right) 2012 2014
C Buster Posey C Posey C Posey
1B Aubrey Huff 1B Brandon Belt 1B Belt
2B Freddy Sanchez 2B Ryan Theriot 2B Joe Panik
3B Pablo Sandoval 3B Sandoval 3B Sandoval
SS Juan Uribe SS Brandon Crawford SS Crawford
LF Pat Burrell LF Melky Cabrera LF Mike Morse
CF Aaron Rowand CF Angel Pagan CF Pagan
RF Nate Schierholtz RF Hunter Pence RF Pence
2010 2012 2014
Matt Cain Cain Madison Bumgarner
Jonathan Sanchez Bumgarner Tim Hudson
Tim Lincecum Zito Ryan Vogelsong
Barry Zito Vogelsong Lincecum
Bumgarner Lincecum Cain
2010 2012 (right) 2014
Brian Wilson Santiago Casilla Sergio Romo
(Not on post-season roster in 2010: Zito; 2012: Cabrera 2014: Cain, Pagan)
Most innings Pitched in post season
2014 Madison Bumgarner, Giants 52 2/3 innings
2001 Curt Schilling, Diamondbacks 48 1/3
1903 Deacon Phillippe, Pirates 44
2003 Josh Beckett, Marlins 42.2
1988 Orel Hershiser, Dodgers 42.2
2001 Randy Johnson, Diamondbacks 41.1
1981 Fernando Valenzuela, Dodgers 40.2
2009 Cliff Lee, Phillies 40.1
1998 Kevin Brown, Padres 39.1
1986 Bruce Hurst Red Sox 38
1995 Greg Maddux, Braves 38
1996 John Smoltz, Braves 38
2 Wins, 20 IP, Sub-0.50 ERA
In A World Series
2014 Madison Bumgarner, Giants
1965 Sandy Koufax, Dodgers
1946 Harry Brecheen, Cardinals
1933 Carl Hubbell, Giants
1921 Waite Hoyt, Yankees
1905 Christy Mathewson, Giants
MVPs of both the LCS and World Series
2014 Madison Bumgarner, Giants
2011 David Freese, Cardinals
2008 Cole Hamels, Phillies
1997 Livan Hernandez, Marlins
1988 Orel Hershier, Dodgers
1982 Darrell Porter, Cardinals
1979 Willie Stargell, Pirates
2015 faves to win the World Series
1. Los Angeles Dodgers 15/2
1. Washington Nationals 15/2
3. Detroit Tigers 10/1
3. Los Angeles Angels 10/1
5. San Francisco Giants 12/1
16. Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Blue Jays 33/1