Giants on the cusp of history
By DAVID ROBERTS
College Contributor Network
The San Francisco Giants are one victory away from winning their third World Series in five years, capping the most successful run in franchise history.
San Francisco finds itself ahead of the Kansas City Royals 3-2 with two games left to play in the series, and nine innings away from history.
In fact, if the Giants are able to finish off the Royals Tuesday night in Kansas City, the team will have won nine straight postseason series, a mark that would serve as the second-longest postseason series win streak, and would topple a streak set by the New York Yankees that began in 1927 and ended in 1941. By the time the Yankees' streak ended, they had fielded 16 future Hall of Famers, including legends such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.
To put things in perspective, Ruth was the highest paid Yankee during that stretch, earning $80,000 in 1933 and 1934, which is approximately $1.4 million when adjusted for inflation.
Because of the one-series playoff that was implemented by Major League Baseball until 1969, the streak set by the Yankees stretches over 14 years compared to the Giants' streak that began in 2010.
The Yankees won 11 straight postseason series from 1998 to 2001, which currently serves as the longest streak.
To keep its improbable World Series run alive, Kansas City will roll Yordano Ventura out to the mound Tuesday in a rematch of Wednesday's Game 2. After allowing a home run to Gregor Blanco -- the first batter of the game -- Ventura settled in and surrendered only one more run in the Royals' 7-2 victory. The home run came on a fastball that reached 98 miles per hour, something the Giants have handled routinely all season.
Coming into Game 2, San Francisco was hitting .275 on pitches higher than 95 miles per hour this season, including a .377 mark on pitches of the same variety in the postseason, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
However, when the Royals stormed back to take the win, they won their seventh-straight game that featured Ventura on the mound. The last time Kansas City lost a game that Ventura pitched in -- Sept. 12 to the Boston Red Sox -- the Giants and Royals were each one game back in their respective divisions.
The Giants will counter with Jake Peavy, who only made it five innings in the Game 2 loss. Kansas City designated hitter Billy Butler gave San Francisco fits during Peavy's last outing, tagging the 33-year-old pitcher for a one-run single in the first inning, then collecting a second one-run single against reliever Jean Machi in the sixth inning.
In his career, Butler is 14-33 (.424) against Peavy, adding three home runs and eight RBI's. Butler's career batting average is the highest on the team against Peavy, against whom the Royals are hitting 58-196 (.296), including three players with multiple home runs off the Giants' pitcher.
If the Giants manage a Game 6 win, it will conjure up discussions of whether or not this World Series victory is just the latest by a newfound dynasty. The World Series wins in 2010 and 2012 are the first by the Giants' franchise since moving from New York, where they appeared in four straight World Series from 1921 to 1924, winning the first two before losing the final couple.
Since making the move to the West Coast, the Giants have made a habit of engineering postseason runs in even years, making appearances in the Fall Classic in 2010, 2012 and 2014, but failing to reach the postseason each year in between.
So, will we be watching a dynasty in the making Tuesday night? Better shelve that question until 2016.
David Roberts is a fourth-year English major at the University of South Carolina. He was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, but relocated to the land below the Mason-Dixon line in grade school, citing earthquakes and Raiders fans as minor nuisances. David is a die-hard Cubs fan and still breaks down when thinking about the 2003 NLCS. Follow him on Twitter: @davidjayroberts