Giants' three titles include nine constants
KANSAS CITY -- With Wednesday night's 3-2 victory in Game 7, the Giants became the first club to win three World Series titles in a five-year span since the Yankees won four from 1996 to 2000.
And while the Giants' roster has changed throughout those five seasons, nine names have remained a constant, driving this extended postseason success.
Catcher Buster Posey, third baseman Pablo Sandoval, ace Madison Bumgarner, relievers Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Tim Lincecum and manager Bruce Bochy have comprised San Francisco's championship core as members of the active roster for all three World Series runs.
"You're so blessed or fortunate to get in the World Series and to get one, it just doesn't happen that often," said Bochy, who became the second manager in franchise history to win three titles. "To look at this and see that we won three times, I mean, I'm amazed with what these guys did and the fact that we have won three times in five years.
"It's not that easy. But when you have a group of warriors like we have, I mean, they continue to just amaze you. They were relentless."
Together, these Giants are 34-14 in October and have won 10 consecutive postseason rounds, which is the second-longest such streak in Major League history, trailing only the 1998-2001 Yankees (11).
"If it's not [a dynasty], I don't know if we can really get much closer," Posey said.
As for the formula to that dynasty, Posey added: "Great pitching, good defense, timely hitting. We have a great manager, we have guys who don't quit."
An essential ingredient to the Giants' postseason success has been Bumgarner. This year's World Series MVP pitched five scoreless innings of relief in Game 7, just two days after tossing a 117-pitch shutout in Game 5.
Bumgarner has allowed just one run through 36 career innings in the World Series for a 0.25 ERA, which is the best all-time among pitchers with at least 25 innings pitched in the Fall Classic.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," Bumgarner said. "There's not been near enough time to think about it. This is as good as it gets, World Series Game 7. It's pretty stressful at the same time. So we're just thankful for the opportunity, and we're blessed to have the success that we've had."
Another key contributor, Sandoval, stepped up once again for the Giants with a 3-for-3 night Wednesday. The free-agent-to-be has hit .426 (20-for-47) with four doubles, three homers, eight RBIs and nine runs scored in 12 career World Series games.
"Great players, they have a way of rising to the occasion," Bochy said. "He did that. You could see a difference in Pablo once the postseason started."
For Affeldt, who began his career with four-plus difficult years in Kansas City, this third championship was especially momentous.
"This is a really, really big deal for me," Affeldt said on FOX. "This is probably my favorite, because I started with the Royals and it was a tough time for me, so to come back here and to feel this -- and now all three of my boys have championship rings -- it means a lot to me."