By Paul Sullivan
Tribune News Service
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Waiting on "Bum" was the general theme of Game 7 of the World Series.
When would Madison Bumgarner come on in relief, and what could the Royals do finally to solve the riddle of the talented, young left-hander who dominated them in two Series starts?
It was one of several delicious Game 7 storylines Wednesday night. The answer came in the fifth inning, when Bumgarner entered with the Giants up one run despite another short outing from their starter.
In another dominant performance, Bumgarner threw five shutout innings to lead the Giants to a 3-2 victory and their third title in five years. His save after two victories earned him the Series MVP award.
This game was what Game 7s are supposed to be, full of energy and drama. When Alex Gordon reached third with two outs in the ninth on a single and two-base error, the sellout crowd had one last chance.
"I didn't see it, but I was starting to get a little nervous," Bumgarner said. "He can run a little bit and this is a big outfielder. ... It was a little nerve-wracking."
Bumgarner said he knew the Royals were aggressive, so his plan was to throw fastballs "a little bit higher than high." Salvador Perez took the bait and hit a foul popup that landed in the glove of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, putting the raucous Royals' crowd on mute.
"To end up losing the ballgame by 90 feet is tough," said Royals manager Ned Yost.
In winning two games along with a five-inning save in the Series, Bumgarner posted a jaw-dropping 0.43 ERA, lowest of any pitcher with 15 or more Series innings since Sandy Koufax's 0.38.
So is this a Giants' dynasty? Can a second-place team with 88 regular-season victories dare to make the claim?
"Even if there (was) not a (Series title) this year, how could you not describe it as one?" Giants starter Tim Hudson said. "Getting to the World Series three out of the last five years is truly amazing."
Giants GM Brian Sabean said the question of whether the Giants are a dynasty is "not for me to answer."
Does he even care?
"I care for our fans," he said. "I care for the organization. That'd be a nice thing to be said. But you do these jobs, you put teams together, and you don't think 'I'm putting a dynasty together,' or 'Boy, I'm a failure' if I haven't been a general manager for a dynasty. Somebody else figures that out."