SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The big man they call MadBum is a playoff MVP.

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Post info: By NationsNational on October 21st, 2014
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Post info: By NationsNational on October 20th, 2014
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Madison Bumgarner has thrown 249 innings since Opening Day. Bruce Bochy did not check on him before deciding to hand him the baseball for Game 1 of the World Series. “I think I would insult him if I did,” Bochy said. The Giants are making very few changes as they prepare to play Missouri’s other team, the Kansas City Royals, in Game 1 on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Bumgarner, the NLCS MVP, will oppose right-hander James Shields and Jake Peavy will follow in Game 2 against right-hander Yordano Ventura. Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong would remain in the rotation for Games 3-4, with Yusmeiro Petit revising his role as a swingman. And yes, Tim Lincecum will remain on the roster as well, Bochy said. “I’m pretty sure at some point he’ll be in a game,” Bochy said of Lincecum, who wasn’t used in the wild card game at Pittsburgh, the NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals or the NLCS triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals.  Bochy didn’t comment on his lineup or options at designated hitter for the first two games in Kansas City, where the Giants were swept in August by scores or 4-2, 5-0 and 7-4. But it’s expected Michael Morse’s dramatic, tying home run in the eighth inning of Game 5 against the Cardinals makes him an obvious candidate to DH. [RELATED: Giants' experience may not be enough to beat Royals ] Why stick with 12 pitchers and keep Lincecum, when perhaps the Giants could use an extra pair of legs (Gary Brown or Ehire Adrianza) to pinch run for Morse? Especially when the Royals swiped five bases against Lincecum in a train wreck of a start in August? “Well, Timmy’s done a lot for us,” Bochy said. “I’ll start with that. You get in a playoff series and there’s always a guy or two who doesn’t get a lot of work. But it doesn’t mean Timmy won’t play a big role.”  Bochy pointed out that Lincecum would’ve pitched the 18 th inning of Game 2 at Washington if the Giants hadn’t taken a lead. No, it’s not at all likely the Giants will face that situation again. But left unsaid by the manager: Peavy and Vogelsong are coming off short starts, while Hudson is 39 years old and pitching past the first round for the first time in his career. It’s not as if they can just plug in three or four innings from Petit every day. The additional coverage on the innings side might be more valuable, potentially, than another pinch runner. “You can’t ever have enough pitching or experience,” Bochy said. “I think about Timmy, trust me, the fact he hasn’t been in there, because I know what he’s done for us and what he could do for us, and I want him to be a part of this.” As for going with Vogelsong as the No.4 starter over Petit, Bochy cited Vogelsong’s strong start in the NLDS and Petit’s value and versatility in his current role. There “wasn’t a thought” of switching the two, he said. – Andrew Baggarly, CSN Bay Area

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Post info: By NationsNational on October 20th, 2014
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By Larry Fine Oct 18 (Reuters) – One of Major League Baseball’s wildest postseasons heads into its final chapter as the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants tangle in an unlikely World Series matchup. The American League champion Royals return to the World Series for the first time in 29 years when they host the National League pennant-winning Giants to open the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship on Tuesday. …

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Post info: By NationsNational on October 19th, 2014
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By Larry Fine (Reuters) – One of Major League Baseball’s wildest postseasons heads into its final chapter as the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants tangle in an unlikely World Series matchup. The American League champion Royals return to the World Series for the first time in 29 years when they host the National League pennant-winning Giants to open the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship on Tuesday. …

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Post info: By NationsNational on October 19th, 2014
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(Reuters) – Brief profiles of the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, who will meet in Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven World Series starting on Tuesday. …

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Post info: By NationsNational on October 18th, 2014
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SAN FRANCISCO — By now, you may know about Madison Bumgarner’s playoff beer celebrations. They’re both a social-media phenomenon and a San Francisco Giants superstition. Bumgarner chugged four beers when the Giants won the NL wild-card game. Well, chugged/bathed in/spilled four beers, whatever. When the Giants beat the Washington Nationals in the NLDS, Bumgarner moved up to five beers . When the Giants won the National League Championship Series on Thursday night — thanks to a Travis Ishiwaka walk-off homer that’s sending them to Kansas City to play the Royals in the World Series — Bumgarner knew what he had to do. The personal six-pack. You’ll notice in the video above that teammates even tried to add some champagne to this booze shower. Congratulations, Madison Bumgarner, on wasting 6 MORE BEERS. pic.twitter.com/lZpACYGuu0 — Katie Nolan (@katienolan) October 17, 2014 “I did six,” Bumgarner told The Stew. “I don’t know if I can hold any more than that. I had to keep it going though, because we seem to keep winning. We don’t want to change anything up.” Between bullpen sessions, he’ll have to work on holding seven beers in case the Giants can top the Royals and capture their third World Series title in five years. Six empty beer bottles won’t be Bumgarner’s main keepsake from the NLCS, though. He was named the series MVP after pitching the Giants to victory in Game 1 of the series. In the Game 5 clincher, Bumgarner threw eight innings, giving up five hits and three runs. He wasn’t as good as he had been previously in the 2014 postseason , but he did enough to get his team to the World Series.  Cheers to that. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

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Post info: By NationsNational on October 18th, 2014
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The Giants’ cast of characters reached their third World Series in five years after another thrilling victory.

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Post info: By NationsNational on October 17th, 2014
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The champagne had not yet been flung about the clubhouse. The players hadn’t even reached the clubhouse, but general manager Brian Sabean put the Giants’ third trip to the World Series in five years in crystalline perspective. “Luck, eh?” he said with equal parts maniacal glee and metaphorical middle finger-y as he basked under the “Giants 6, Cardinals 3” line score on the center field scoreboard. “We’re a bunch of lucky bastards!” So that, finally, is who these Giants are. After 172 hell-shrieker games and a season that was purest madness from start to end, from Angel Pagan’s strikeout to start Game 1 exactly 200 days to Travis Ishikawa’s three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. A bunch of lucky bastards, to a man. Then again, taking that sentence out of context robs it of its meaning, because for these Giants more than even the 2010 and 2012 champions, luck is the residue of plain ornery pigheaded refusal to stop when there is still some job left uncompleted. [INSTANT REPLAY:  Ishikawa's home run sends Giants to World Series ] And so it was Thursday night, when Ishikawa turned with malice on a 96-mph fastball from St. Louis reliever Michael Wacha and drove a 2-0 pitch into the front row of the right field promenade to score Joaquin Arias, Brandon Belt and himself. Madison Bumgarner, who slogged his way through eight innings to be named Most Valuable Player on a team that had at least six other candidates, had to restrain himself as Ishikawa rounded first base. “I think a lot of us forgot that we had to let him touch home plate,” Bumgarner said. “We wanted to run and tackle him around second base.” Or maybe it was Jeremy Affeldt, who was already running on fumes when he was brought into the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth to face Oscar Taveras. Affeldt eschewed cute, and just threw three 91-mph fastballs, the third of which one-hopped into his glove and caused him to run the 60 feet from the mound to first to record a vital third out. “There was no way I was going throw it to first,” he said. “I wasn’t even going to underhand it. I probably would airmailed it into the stands. I just ran as fast as I can and got to the bag and I kept going (down the right field line, another good 50 feet), and then I walked back to the dugout real slow. I wanted the moment to last a little.” Or maybe it was Michael Morse, the odd man out in left due to oblique problems similar to those that took St. Louis’ Yadier Molina out of this series. Morse batted for Bumgarner to lead off the bottom of the eighth with the Cardinals up, 3-2, in hopes of creating a baserunner (who probably would have been Matt Duffy). Instead, he got a 1-1 fastball from St. Louis’ most effective reliever, Pat Neshek, and drove it into the tunnel near the left field line to tie the game at 3. “That guy’s incredible, man,” Morse said of Neshek. “He’s such a good pitcher. If there was one guy in the bullpen I didn’t want to face, it was him. I had gone into the cage and had our BP guys throw a little sidearm kind of like what he does, to simulate it . . . I got up there, and I just tried to touch the ball. I wasn’t trying to hit a home run, that’s for sure.” But he did, and sprinted around the bases like a racehorse, just as his replacement, Ishikawa, did in the bottom of the ninth, with the added flourish of spiking his helmet, Bill Mazeroski style. And so it went, throughout the night, throughout the postseason. The Giants’ total victory margin in the division and championship series was a robust 12, or barely a run and a half per game. The bullpen, which defines this team to an almost absurd degree at this time of year, has allowed a .161 batting average, an 0.82 WHIP, a .559 OPS and a .220 on-base percentage. They don’t hit home runs and then they hit three in a game. They score 12 of their first 22 runs without a hit as impetus, and then score all their runs in the deciding game on homers by the unlikely Joe Panik, the improbable Morse and the otherworldly Ishikawa. They cheat logic, they put fingers up to conventional wisdom, and they combine continuity with impetuous roster and lineup decisions that seem to disadvantage them but in fact never seem to do so. They forced the Cardinals and before them the Washington Nationals before them into a series of mistakes while making only two egregious ones themselves – Bumgarner’s game-ending throw-away in Game 3 of the LCS, and Ishikawa’s misjudgment on a Jon Jay fly ball in the third that led to St. Louis’ first run So maybe they ARE lucky bastards after all, as Brian Sabean said. But maybe the key isn’t so much that they’re lucky as much as they are bastards . . . to pitch to, to face as hitters, to enter into jams against, to avoid jams at the other end. Maybe they’re just bastards to play, period. They now head for Kansas City and their third World Series in five years, while the Royals have reached only three in their history. Kansas City runs and fields and has a bullpen that creates fear. Kansas City is, if you’ll accept Sabean’s characterization yet again, a bastard to play again, as Oakland, Detroit and Baltimore have found in succession. Kansas City still hasn’t lost a game in the postseason, and only four times in the last month. And yes, Royals general manager Dayton Moore might have said in an equally sardonic way at one point that his team was a bunch of lucky bastards too. And maybe we can all get our heads around the fact that both words are high compliments for both these teams in what might be the least likely World Series since Marlins-Indians in 1997, or A’s-Mets in ’73. They are wild cards of the purest kind, and in their own way, lucky bastards of the first quality. We know this much. The Giants surely do. – Ray Ratto, CSN Bay Area

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Post info: By NationsNational on October 17th, 2014
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Post info: By NationsNational on October 16th, 2014
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