MLB postseason: The ten best playoff MVPs

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /
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2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

3. Madison Bumgarner, 1.182, 2014 World Series

The 2014 World Series is recent enough for most every baseball fan to recall Bumgarner’s oversized accomplishment in bringing that season’s World Series flag to San Francisco.

Bumgarner made three appearances, two of them starts, working 21 innings. That was three times as many as any other Giants pitcher. He allowed just nine hits and only a single run.

Bumgarner’s first performance was a virtual walkover, a 7-1 win that the Giants led from the first inning on. He allowed just three hits in seven innings of work.

But the series was tied 2-2 when Bumgarner went to the mound again in Game 5. This time he delivered a complete game shutout, holding the Royals to just four base hits and striking out eight.

When Kansas City won Game Six 10-0, it sent the series to a seventh game and forced Giants manager Bruce Bochy to rely on veteran Tim Hudson as his starter. San Francisco took a 3-2 lead after four innings, prompting Bochy to turn to Bumgarner, who took the mound on just two days rest.

Bumgarner was not to be denied. After allowing a leadoff single to Omar Infante, he retired the next 14 Royals in order before Alex Gordon touched him for a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth. He got Salvador Perez to pop up for the series-clinching out.