Bay Area Topics
Giants Win the World Series
Fire on the mountain can be a good thing. It can be a beacon of hope through the wilderness.
The Giants entered this postseason as the wild card team, they limped through this World Series with one effective starting pitcher and had to overcome so many injuries and so many flaws. They came through every bit of bramble to win their third championship in five seasons Wednesday night.
They sheltered themselves behind the left arm, strong body and unyielding will of Madison Bumgarner, who somehow turned a Johnny Wholestaff game into an advantage in Game 7 of the World Series.
Bumgarner ambled from the bullpen and turned in an October performance for the ages, shutting down the Kansas City Royals for five innings on two days of rest as the Giants kept out the rain, survived a heart-stopping ninth inning and protected a 3-2 victory at Kauffman Stadium.
Pablo Sandoval reached base four times, scored the tiebreaking run on Michael Morse’s single in the fourth inning and set a major league postseason record with 26 hits this October. Second baseman Joe Panik created a frieze for the ages by starting one of the most acrobatic, dirt-flying double plays in Fall Classic history.
But this was Bumgarner’s month, his series and his night – with Jeremy Affeldt riding in the hero’s sidecar. After Tim Hudson recorded just five outs and gave back a two-run lead, Giants manager Bruce Bochy used Affeldt for 2 1/3 innings. Then he called on his broad shouldered 25-year-old from North Carolina, who walked into a hostile stadium and demanded peace.
With just two days of rest since his 117-pitch shutout in Game 5, Bumgarner simply smothered the Royals while holding them to two hits in five innings while throwing 50 of 68 pitches for strikes.
With 269 2/3 innings already on his left arm this year, and a record total for a single postseason, Bumgarner came through one last fire. Alex Gordon hit a two-out single in the ninth and raced to third when the ball skipped past Gregor Blanco for an error. But Bumgarner came back with high heat on Salvador Perez, finally getting him to pop up in foul ground.
Sandoval camped under the ball, secured it, raised both arms in triumph and splashed flat on his back in a legendary pose. The Giants rushed the field and made a line for Bumgarner, the undoubted MVP, who allowed one run in 21 innings while walking one and striking out 17 in this World Series over two starts and the one epic relief appearance.
The only thing missing was the Marshall Tucker Band. But the fire burned hot enough to warm a city.
Warriors Beat Kings
It was outright eyesore, as ugly as one-eyed, toothless pink toad. And yet the Warriors, on a Wednesday night without vanity, will claim it, perhaps knowing that months from now appearances will not matter.
With David Lee sidelined by a strained hamstring and Andrew Bogut restricted to 19 minutes with an undisclosed illness, the Warriors managed to cobble together a 95-77 opening-night win over the Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
Four Warriors finished in double figures, led by Stephen Curry’s 24 points and nine rebounds. Marreese Speights came off the bench to put in 16 points, while Klay Thompson put in 19. Draymond Green added 12.
The victory provided Steve Kerr with a successful debut as head coach.
Sacramento had won its last eight home openers, and for a while it appeared the Warriors were willing to make it nine in a row. They committed 22 turnovers, shot 44 percent — 6-of-27 from 3-point range — and were outrebounded 50-44.
The Kings however, seemed determined to be worse. They shot 30.8 percent and committed an astounding 27 turnovers — and only part of the ineptitude could be attributed to Warriors defense.