Drama to be recognized with Postseason Storyline GIBBY
Every year, postseason memories are created that live on in baseball lore. There were a number of amazing postseason angles this year, which makes the voting for MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Award for Postseason Storyline even more difficult.
Whether it was clutch hitting or pitching, the Giants did it all in October, picking up three nominations. The Royals, who also had a flair for the dramatic, got a nod for their spectacular postseason run. The Cardinals, who lit up Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw twice in the National League Division Series, have also been nominated for the award.
All five storylines deserve recognition, but only one can win the GIBBY. Here's a closer look at the nominees:
• In Game 7 of the Fall Classic, Joe Panik's defensive gem preserved a tie before a Michael Morse hit put the Giants ahead for good. Madison Bumgarner then added to his October legend, tossing five scoreless relief frames on two days' rest -- following his Game 5 shutout -- and stranding Alex Gordon at third in the ninth to seal San Francisco's third title since 2010.
• Travis Ishikawa became an unlikely hero for the Giants in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series and the second Giants player to belt a pennant-clinching homer. Ishikawa was not the only hero of the game, as Morse overcame an oblique injury to tie the contest with a pinch-hit eighth-inning blast off All-Star Pat Neshek.
• While Kershaw may have finished the 2014 season as the NL Cy Young Award winner and the NL MVP Award winner, he didn't find the same success against the Cardinals in the NLDS. St. Louis tagged him for eight runs in the series-opening contest and hammered him once more in the deciding Game 4 -- thanks in large part to a three-run seventh-inning homer from Matt Adams.
• With a 1-0 lead in Game 2 of the NLDS, Nationals manager Matt Williams elected to pull starter Jordan Zimmermann when he was just one out from a complete game. The move cleared the way for Pablo Sandoval's game-tying double and -- nine innings later -- Brandon Belt's game-winning homer, which capped the 18-inning marathon.
• Going 29 years between playoff appearances, the Royals made it to the Fall Classic behind clutch hitting and spectacular defense. Kansas City mounted a thrilling four-run comeback in the American League Wild Card Game that culminated with Salvador Perez's walk-off single in the 12th. The victory sparked an MLB-record eight-game winning streak to begin the postseason.
Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2014 GIBBY trophies based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 25 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best Starting Pitcher, Hitter, Closer, Setup Man, Rookie, Breakout Hitter, Breakout Pitcher, Bounceback Player, Defensive Player, Manager, Executive and Postseason Performer.
GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top Play, Outfield Throw, Storyline, Hitting Performance, Pitching Performance, Oddity, Walk-Off, Cut4 Topic, Regular-Season Moment and Postseason Moment, with video available via MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
All 30 clubs are represented among the award candidates. In fact, every team has multiple nominees in 2014 -- a testament to the parity of talent around the game.
In the past several seasons, fans have cast millions of votes across the GIBBY categories, none of which are restricted to individual league affiliation. That's how you know the GIBBYs are considered the best of the best.