October baseball is recollection season for Giants fans. No matter how the rebuild goes, we’ll always have 2010-2014 to look back on during the postseason. We’re just four days away from the 5-year anniversary of the last World Series win, you know.
That could wind up being the day of the Nationals’ victory parade or Game Six of a tense World Series. On the other hand, if the Nationals can do the thing this weekend, that would mean Madison Bumgarner’s history-making relief appearance in Game 7 and Alex Gordon’s 9th inning triple would get a lot more limelight by the rest of the baseball world.
But if you’ve been Online at all the past week, then you know the Giants’ postseason exploits have already been reshared.
We’re two games into the 20th World Series of the century and over at FanGraphs the other day, Brandon Gawlowski ranked the 19 that have been completed. It might seem hard for some people to accept, but the Giants have played in four World Series this century.
There was a World Series played in 2002.
It did not go well for the Giants.
Tomorrow, in fact, will be the 17th anniversary of the fateful Game Six. A lot has happened in those seventeen years, of course. A lot has happened in just the past ten years. The past five, even. Has time been kind to the World Series of the recent past?
Over the years, it’s clear that 2010 is the favorite of most Giants fans. It’s not an overwhelming favorite, but it’s the one I’ve heard most often. We can assume that 2012 is nobody’s favorite but it makes for a great story — Pence speech, Posey grand slam, #RallyZito, the Giants fought elimination all postseason and then swept the World Series — and 2014 is all about Madison Bumgarner. Remove the context of fandom, though, and 2010 and 2012 don’t hold up as classic World Series for the general baseball audience.
Oh sure, they had classic moments — Lincecum’s first inning brain fart, Renteria’s home run, butt tag on Prince Fielder, the Giants butting in the 10th inning to setup the winning run in 2012 — but they don’t amount to a series of classic games, and when a series doesn’t go seven games, they have to be real standouts to make history.
There have (so far) been six 7-game World Series in the 21st century, and the two the Giants played (2002 and 2014) were deemed by FanGraphs be to the two “worst” (5th and 6th place, respectively), which sounds like an outrage, until you consider the totality of the assessment. Ahead of 2002 and 2014:
Can we make the argument that either the Rally Monkey World Series or the Blowout-Blowout-Blowout-Tight-Blowout-Shutout-Blowout-Tight World Series of 2014 (still work shopping that one) are better than the Cubs breaking their curse or the Diamondbacks upsetting Mariano Rivera and the Yankees in the shadow of 9/11? Nah. It’d be petty to even mount one.
But what about the other two?
FanGraph’s adoration for 2011 comes down to David Freese’s walk-off in Game Six:
Freese walked it off in the 11th, where Joe Buck echoed his father’s famous “We will see you tomorrow night” call in what might be his finest moment as a broadcaster. The rest of the series was good too, but Game 6 might be the game of the decade.
2017 was all about two heavyweights duking it out with dingers and power pitching.
The Astros and Dodgers traded runs and leads in a seven-dinger, 25-run fireworks show that culminated in Alex Bregman’s dramatic walk-off single. Houston split the remaining games in Los Angeles to take the title, and while Charlie Morton’s four-inning save in Game 7 wasn’t quite Bumgarner-esque, it made for a nice moment on its own merits.
Both of these series carries the same juice that 2002 did: teams that had never won a World Series or hadn’t won in a long time as participants. Gawlowski dings 2002, though, because of the rally monkey, but was that any goofier than all the home runs hit in 2017? Does Freese’s dinger and Joe Buck’s call really best a blown 5-0 lead or Barry Bonds’ unending home run off of Troy Percival?
2014 featured too many blowouts (four) and no extra innings games. 2002 didn’t have any extra inning games, either, and had two blowouts. So, in fairness to FanGraphs, this rank feels . . . pretty accurate. Although, I’m contractually bound to argue that the Giants winning the World Series is better than the Giants losing the World Series and, therefore, 2014 should be the fifth-best of the century.
But, hey, look at us, arguing about the Giants’ World Series appearances . . .
Which World Series had the most drama?
This poll is closed
2002 (7 games; three 1-run games; blown 5-0 lead; Barry Bonds’ 4 HRs)
2010 (Tim Lincecum’s brain fart; Renteria’s home run)
2012 (Pablo Sandoval’s 3 HRs; Scutaro’s 10th inning hit)
2014 (7 games; BUMGARNER BUMGARNER BUMGARNER)