Bochy's bunch unfazed by tough task of winning Game 7 on road
By Paul Casella
Giants manager Bruce Bochy knew the odds were stacked against his team entering Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night. Most of the recent history pointed toward a Royals' victory -- and Bochy and the Giants couldn't hide from it.
They heard the numbers and the statistics repeatedly following the team's Game 6 loss Tuesday night and again leading up to Game 7.
For a team that defied the odds for much of the season, however, it didn't seem to faze the Giants that no road team had won a World Series Game 7 since 1979. Nor did they much care that no team since the 1975 Reds had missed on a chance to wrap up the World Series in Game 6, only to then bounce back and win Game 7 on the road.
"To do this on the road was really going against all odds," Bochy said after the Giants' 3-2 victory in Game 7. "We kept hearing the odds. Once you lose Game 6, you know, and the odds weren't very good on us winning this game. So to accomplish it, I just think that the guys, too, that haven't gotten a ring, the [Tim] Hudsons, the [Mike] Morses, and all these young kids, that's what makes this so much more special."
Each of the last nine World Series Game 7 matchups since that '79 Fall Classic had been won by the home team, including the '02 World Series in which the Angels defeated the Giants. Making matters all the more difficult, the Giants were coming off a 10-0 loss in Game 6 in which the Royals had dominated every aspect of the game, setting the stage for a winner-take-all showdown in front of Kansas City's home crowd.
The Royals were in some good company. Not only do the scales tip toward the home team in Game 7, but they do so especially when that team won Game 6 to set up a Game 7. Going back to 1982, when the home team had won Game 6 to tie the series (in both the World Series and League Championship Series), it was 14-1 in the ensuing Game 7. That list again includes those '02 Angels, who rallied to defeat the Giants in Games 6 and 7.
"We won Game 7 of the World Series on the road, so it was definitely emotional," said Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, who completed his historic postseason with an unprecedented five-inning save in Game 7. "It's been an unbelievable year for us. So many ups and downs. We faced a lot of adversity. I couldn't be happier for my teammates."
The odds of the Giants winning their third World Series title in the past five seasons were already long enough. The only National League team that had previously accomplished such a feat was the Cardinals, who won three titles from 1942-46.
Aside from that, the Giants had to win a do-or-die Wild Card Game just to make it to the NL Divison Series. Their reward for winning the Wild Card Game was an NLDS matchup with the top-seeded Nationals followed by an NLCS meeting with the defending NL champion Cardinals.
Given what it took just to reach the Fall Classic, it's understandable that Bochy and his club didn't pay much attention to those Game 7 odds.
"They're all special. With this one, I will say it was a lot tougher," Bochy said. "This road was a lot tougher. We had to beat the odds winning today. We knew what they were, but these guys don't care about the odds and they found a way to get it done."
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.