San Francisco advanced to the World Series the hard way.
The Giants became the second team to earn all three wins in a best-of-five series on the road when they went into Cincinnati after dropping the first two games at AT&T Park, and stunned the Reds in the Division Series.
In winning the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, San Francisco rebounded from losing three of the first four games to win the final three games.
So there had to be at least a little drama when they completed the 21st sweep in World Series history at Comerica Park on Sunday night. And there was, as the Giants came from behind twice in a 4-3, 10-inning win in the clinching victory.
A few additional notes:
It was the 56th time that a World Series game was decided in extra innings, the 22nd time the NL team won.
The Giants became the eighth team to win the final game of a World Series in extra innings, the second team to do it in a sweep. The Yankees swept the Reds in 1939, finishing it off with a 7-4, 10-inning victory at Cincinnati. Three Reds errors set up the three-run inning in which Joe DiMaggio had the only hit, an RBI single.
In 1991, Minnesota, after beating Atlanta 4-3 in 11 innings in Game 6 on a Kirby Puckett home run, won the Series with a 1-0, 10-inning victory. Jack Morris went the distance, claiming his fourth win of the postseason, half of the team's total of eight.
Morris' break came after Lonnie Smith, the Braves' designated hitter, led off the eighth with a single. Smith hesitated near second base on Terry Pendleton's ensuing double when Twins infielders Chuck Knoblauch and Greg Gagne feigned a double play and only made it to third. Smith had to hold third on a groundout by Ron Gant, and then Sid Bream grounded into a double play.
Atlanta is the only team to experience World Series-ending losses in extra innings in back-to-back years. In 1992, Dave Winfield's two-run double in the top of the 11th of Game 6 provided the extra margin Toronto needed for a 4-3 victory and the first of its back-to-back championships.
The 1991 World Series was one of four World Series that went the distance and ended with an extra-inning game.
In 1912, Boston pulled out a 3-2, 10-inning Game 8 victory against the New York Giants on Larry Gardner's sacrifice fly. Christy Mathewson went the distance of 9 2/3 innings and took the loss. The two teams had played to a 6-6, 11-inning tie in the second game of that World Series.
In 1924, Washington beat the New York Giants, 4-3, in 12 innings in Game 7, Walter Johnson earning the victory in relief after having lost his two starts in the Series. Earl McNeely, who hit .222 in the Series and was hitless in five previous at-bats in the game, delivered the game-ending double.
And in 1997, Florida, created out of expansion in 1993, knocked off Cleveland, 3-2, in 11 innings in Game 7. Craig Counsell, who reached base on an error by second baseman Tony Fernandez, scored the World Series-ending run on an Edgar Renteria single.
The New York Giants needed five games to win the World Series in 1933, but they had to go 10 innings to earn the 4-3 victory against Washington in the final game. Mel Ott delivered the game-deciding home run off Jack Russell with two out in the top of the 10th.
The longest World Series games, two of them, went 14 innings.
The Chicago White Sox beat Houston, 7-5, in 14 innings of Game 3 in 2005. Ezequiel Astacio gave up a Geoff Blum home run, and then walked Chris Widger with the bases loaded in the top of the 14th.
The Boston Red Sox beat the Brooklyn Robins, 2-1, in 14 innings in Game 2 of the 1916 World Series. Babe Ruth earned the win and Sherry Smith took the loss, both pitching complete games. Del Gainer delivered the game-winner with a one-out, pinch-hit single.
In 1991, the Twins and Braves played three extra-inning games. In addition to Minnesota's wins in Games 6 and 7, Atlanta pulled out a 5-4, 12-inning victory in Game 3.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com.