As the World Series draws to a close, the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals have both made clutch plays and unbelievable mental errors, with Giants hurler Madison Bumgarner drawing comparisons to some of the greats of the game.
San Francisco holds on to a three games to two lead after Bumgarner’s four-hit gem in Game 5 as the scene shifts back to Kansas City, with the Royals finding themselves in the same predicament as they did during the 1985 World Series. Those Royals, trailing 3-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals, won Game 6 (the Don Denkinger game), 2-1, and completed the triumph with an 11-0 rout in Game 7.
It would behoove the Giants to go close out the Royals during Tuesday’s Game 6, as the last team to lose Game 6 with a 3-2 World Series lead and go on to win the Series was 1997, when the Florida Marlins turned the feat against the Cleveland Indians.
San Francisco and Kansas City's remarkable seasons will end this week. Both of the teams blew division leads, neither won 90 games, and the Royals were down to their final five outs against the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wild-Card Game before coming back in thrilling fashion.
"For the past two years, we've been trying to let this team know it's a good team, a championship team. It was not until we were down four runs in that game that they really believed it. It was that sudden. They decided they weren't going to go home," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It happened just like that."
This series has seen a lack of power (the teams have gone three straight World Series games with a home run; the last time that happened was 1948). But what both teams have, as SI's Tom Verducci writes, is a "an offensive approach that may indeed be the way forward for future champions."
Whoever wins the World Series, subscribers to Sports Illustrated won’t be left out in the cold. Subscribers can download Verducci's story to their device and update the earlier version. Subscribers will also receive more content, including a photo gallery of the winning World Series team.
For more on the World Series, check out this week's Sports Illustrated (subscribe here)
Also featured in this issue: Profiles on the Seattle Seahawks, as they try to repeat as Super Bowl champions; the youngest Gronkowski, Kansas State’s Glenn; a look at Toronto Raptors rookie forward Bruno Caboclo; and a book excerpt (written with SI’s L. Jon Wertheim) from broadcaster Al Michaels.
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