The San Francisco Giants won the World Series for the third time in five years but not before a dramatic pitching performance by Madison Bumgarner and a dramatic decision by the Royals to hold a runner in the ninth inning.
After pitching a complete game shutout in game five, Bumgarner was called upon in the fifth inning of game seven with the Giants up 3-2. After giving up a single to the first batter he faced, Bumgarner went on to retire the next 12 batters he faced leading into the ninth inning.
Amazingly, the Giants decided to stick with Bumgarner for the ninth inning. After Bumgarner retired the first two batters he faced while still nursing a 1-run lead, Alex Gordon lined a ball into center field that was misplayed by center fielder Gregor Blanco as well as left fielder Juan Perez.
Paul Rudd was excited.
But here is where controversy enters. With two outs in an inning, it is standard practice for the third base coach to take chances on a runner rounding third and possibly heading home.
We never got a definitive replay from Fox. But Gordon was nearing third base as the throw was coming in from the outfield wall to the relay (these are back-to-back frames from Fox).
In the worst-case scenario, Gordon is rounding third base as the relay throw is taken, meaning it would have taken a perfect throw to the plate to get Gordon.
But the Royals did not send Gordon home.
Gordon was held at third base against all baseball logic. There were two outs and the Royals’ season was riding on the shoulders of the next batter, Salvador Perez, who was injured earlier in the game.
He fouled out to Pablo Sandoval in foul territory and the Giants were world champs.
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