(KMAland) -- The World Series went seven games for the fourth time in the last six years. For the first time in history, the visiting team won all seven of those games. Now, the Washington Nationals are World Series champions.
Bill James – the great historical baseball analyst – posed a question on Twitter. I think it is quite ridiculous, but he’s just asking questions. He asked: "Was that the best World Series of the last 10 years?"
I responded to the tweet with my top 10, but I’m not about to give this whole blog away in one fell swoop. So, let’s count down the top 10 World Series of the last 10 years. Spoiler: The Cubs’ triumph is definitely not No. 1. Sorry, not sorry.
10. 2012 – Giants beat Tigers in 4
This was the only sweep of the decade, but there were some pretty good games. The Giants won Game 2 2-0 behind a dominant performance from Madison Bumgarner (weird, I know). They also won Game 3 by the same score, and it was Ryan Vogelsong doing the damage on the mound. Finally, they won the fourth game in extra innings by a single run. Remember when Pablo Sandoval was good? He was named the MVP.
9. 2010 – Giants beat Rangers in 5
The Rangers would play in a much better World Series the next year, but the Giants were again a winner in a yawner. There weren’t any one-run games in this series, but there were two two-run games. The Rangers won the first of those in Game 3 after San Francisco outscored them 20-7 in the first two games. Then, Bumgarner threw a gem (8 shutout innings, 3 hits), and Tim Lincecum’s outstanding outing clinched it in Game 5. Edgar Renteria (!) was the MVP. I remember him.
8. 2018 – Red Sox beat Dodgers in 5
We sure thought this was going to be a good series. Unfortunately, the Red Sox just kept winning the close games. Maybe this is a little low, considering the 18-inning marathon in Game 3, but the fact is, it only lasted five games. And there are a bunch of other great series that lasted longer. The Sox won the final two games at Dodger Stadium by a combined 14-7 score.
7. 2013 – Red Sox beat Cardinals in 6
The 2018 Dodgers were much better than the 2013 Cardinals, but this did go six games. And there were some really good games. After an 8-1 beat down for Boston in Game 1, St. Louis won the next by two and the next by one. Boston came back with a pair of two-run wins before a 6-1 series-clincher at Fenway in Game 6. David Ortiz was insane for the series, and Jonny Gomes hit a monster home run to turn the series.
6. 2015 – Royals beat Mets in 5
Hey, I gave this one a little boost because it’s actually my favorite World Series of the decade. And actually, there were some really good games packed into the five that were played. The Royals won the first game in 14 thanks to a game-tying home run by Alex Gordon – the biggest hit in franchise history. I can still see that ball continuing to sore over the fence and feel the stadium rocking (this is a humble brag to remind you that I was there!). What a moment. They split the next two, but the Royals used late-inning magic to win Game 4 by a 5-3 count and Game 5 in 12 innings. God, I love that team.
5. 2019 – Nationals beat Astros in 7
This just happened! It was a seven-game series, but was it really that much better than the Red Sox/Cardinals or the Royals/Mets? I don’t think so, but we have to give it credit for going seven and for the historic value of all the visiting teams winning. In the end, the only drama really came in the middle innings, but by the time the ninth came around six of these seven games were decided. The run differentials in the games: 1, 9, 3, 7, 6, 5 and 4. Yawn.
4. 2014 – Giants beat Royals in 7
I was a proud Royals fan, despite the loss, but I was also pretty sad knowing how difficult it is for a small market team to make it all the way to a seventh game of the World Series. You have to capitalize on that opportunity, I thought! Little did I know they would come back even stronger and better the next year and win the dang thing. That’s all a bunch of words laid out there designed for me to simply not talk about Madison GD Bumgarner, who was the only reason San Francisco won this thing. Kansas City had the better TEAM. San Francisco had a dang freak on the mound. There wasn’t much late-inning drama here other than the 3-2 Game 3 win for KC, and the 3-2 Game 7 win for SF.
3. 2016 – Cubs beat Indians in 7
Some call this the best World Series EVER. They’re mostly Cubs fans that never watched any other World Series before it, so I have to forgive them for such a ridiculous take. Fact is, the run differentials in the first six games were 6, 4, 1, 5, 1 and 6. Two pretty good games, but four others that weren’t that great. Now, the Game 7 was epic. Maybe it’s the best Game 7 in World Series history, but this is not the best series of the decade. Whatever happened to that young and dynastic Cubs team that was going to run MLB for years to come?
2. 2011 – Cardinals beat Rangers in 7
This really should have been Texas in 6 if Nelson Cruz could catch a dang ball. Or if Ron Washington would have made a defensive replacement for Cruz like he would generally do in those situations. Instead, David Freese became a hero and then later became an even bigger hero with the walk-off home run. That Game 6 is among the greatest World Series games ever, but it was also surrounded by two other one-run games, a two-run game and then two other games that were within four runs. Pretty dang good series, folks.
1. 2017 – Astros beat Dodgers in 7
But there was no series over the last 10 years that was better than this one. Game to game there was high drama throughout. The first pitch of the bottom of the first inning was hit out of the park, and it was tied 1-1 into the sixth when the Dodgers scored two on Justin Turner’s home run. That turned out to be the game-winner.
The second game of the series went to extra innings, and it saw Houston score in the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th innings, and the Dodgers score in the 10th and 11th. That’s a lot of incredible. Game 3 belonged to Houston by a mere two runs, but the Dodgers scored FIVE runs in the ninth of a 1-1 game in Game 4 to even the series. Game 5 was just bonkers with the two teams combining for 25 runs and 28 hits. The Dodgers rallied in the ninth again to tie the game, but Houston won on a walk-off hit by Alex Bregman.
Game 6 put Justin Verlander on the mound with a chance to finish the Dodgers off, but LA got to him in the middle innings, scoring three runs for a 3-1 victory. Game 7 was probably the worst game of the series. Houston scored five runs in the first two innings, and then Charlie Morton just cruised on from there. There were a lot of very good to great World Series in this decade, but there were none better than this one. And frankly, it’s not very close.
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