By KELSEY DRISCOLL and MATT AVERNA
In what is becoming an even-year tradition, the San Francisco Giants are once again back in the Fall Classic. Following World Series victories in both 2010 and 2012, the Giants will be hoping to earn their third title in the last five years to become this decade's baseball dynasty.
San Francisco took advantage of the extra invitation handed out by MLB's new postseason format and duly knocked off the PIttsburgh Pirates in the Wild Card round by a score of 8-0.
Up next was a trip to D.C. for two games against the Washington Nationals. San Francisco's tight 3-2 victory in Game 1 only set the stage for an absolute epic in Game 2. Stretching to 18 innings, and setting an MLB postseason record in the process, the Giants squeaked out a 2-1 win and headed home up two games. After a small speed bump in which they dropped Game 3, they successfully closed out the series with a 3-2 win in Game 4.
In what was billed as a battle of National League royalty, Bruce Bochy's bunch ended up making quick work of the Cardinals over five games, with Madison Bumgarner continuing his fine season with two solid outings in the series.
After five days off before its showdown with the red-hot Royals, San Francisco will trot out Bumgarner once more in the hopes he can get the Giants off to a winning start in Kansas City. With Buster Posey behind the dish and Hunter Pence patrolling the outfield, Giants fans will be hoping 2014 holds yet another World Series parade.
Check out our gallery above to get caught up on all the action from the Giants' playoff run.