Affeldt could barely see in Game 7 of '14 WS

May 15th, 2020

The pressure of entering Game 7 of a World Series is immense in its own right, but imagine doing so when you can barely see the mound.

That's the challenge that faced former Giants reliever when he was called on to relieve starter Tim Hudson in the memorable final contest of the 2014 World Series. Affeldt did his job, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings to run his personal streak to 22 straight scoreless postseason appearances before handing the ball to Madison Bumgarner for his historic five-inning save. But as it turns out, a medication Affeldt was taking had caused a bubble to form behind one of his eyes, thereby affecting his vision when he took the mound that night in Kansas City.

"I couldn't see; I bet you didn't know that," Affeldt revealed to the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday. "I had an eye problem. I'd been trying to figure it out. ... For whatever reason, one eye was picking up stuff that was close and the other eye was picking up far, and I wasn't getting to where everything was coming together. It was like seeing in 3D, or things were jumping at me. I felt like I was looking through a glass of water. Colors were different from eye to eye.

"I'm picking up two of [catcher] Buster [Posey]," Affeldt continued. "I can see him in 3D. I don't know if I'm seeing the Buster image that's close to me or the one that's farther away."

Affeldt, who was credited with the win, admitted that he persuaded Posey not to tell manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti about the issue, as Affeldt was a key part of the skipper's path to Bumgarner that night. Affeldt came in and got Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki to ground out to halt a second-inning rally with the game tied at 2-2, and then got double plays in the third and fourth innings before giving the ball to Bumgarner.

Should Affeldt have told his manager he couldn't see? Well, Bochy seemed to be at peace with it -- once the Giants claimed the Commissioner's Trophy.

"We win and Bochy comes back to me on the plane and says, 'You couldn't see? Maybe you should pitch all the time when you're blind; you threw more strikes than you usually do,'" Affeldt recalled. "We're all laughing."