1. October 29, 2014: World Series Game 7, Giants vs. Royals
The Kansas City Royals lost Game 5, but survived an elimination game behind shutout pitching from rookie Yordano Ventura in Game 6 to force Game 7.
The KC Royals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning, only to watch the Giants to counter with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame.
The Royals opened the third inning with a single by Lorenzo Cain, but second baseman Joe Panik made a diving stop on a hard grounder by Eric Hosmer and turned a double play to avert what could have developed into a big inning.
In the following half inning, Royals second baseman Omar Infante stopped a hard smash by Pablo Sandoval but failed to get the ball out of his glove. That leadoff single turned into the lead run when designated hitter Mike Morse stroked a one-out single to score Sandoval.
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner entered the game in the fifth inning as a reliever to hold the narrow 3-2 margin. Like his two dominant wins earlier in the series, Bumgarner stifled Royals hitters until Alex Gordon came up in the ninth inning with two outs.
In a play that will remain one of the most poignant “what-if’s” in Kansas City Royals history, Alex Gordon smacked a single deep into the left-center gap which San Francisco center-fielder Gregor Blanco misplayed into a triple.
When Blanco failed to pick up the ball at the wall, many observers thought Gordon could have come around third to score. However, third base coach Mike Jirschele put up the stop sign. Catcher Salvador Perez popped out to end the game.
The KC Royals lost the 2014 world Series at Kauffman Stadium with the tying run 90 feet away.
Ouch. I can’t imagine any loss more painful than that.