Madison Bumgarner won Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors Wednesday for the third time in this World Series and led the Giants to its third title in five years.
Bumgarner, who pitched five scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits, striking out four and earning the save, is top player in the decisive Game 7. The Giants beat the Royals in the game 3-2 and won the series 4-3. The Giants previously won the World Series in 2010 and 2012.
Bumgarner had a Box-Toppers game score of +7.0, highest of any Giants player. He had been Player of the Game in World Series Game 1 and Game 5—both games he started. In Game 7, pitching on two-days’ rest, the Giants ace entered the game in unfamiliar territory for him— in relief in the fifth inning with the Giants already leading 3-2.
In the Giants four wins in the World Series, Bumgarner—who won World Series Most Valuable Player—was Box-Toppers Player of the Game in three of them. The only game in which Bumgarner was not Player of the Game was in Game 4, the Giants’ second win of the series. The honor that game went to Hunter Pence.
Bumgarner also earned Player of the Game honors five times during the postseason. Previously, he was Player of the Game:
• Oct. 1 in the National League Wild Card win over the Pirates.
• Oct. 11 in the NL Championship Series Game 1 win over the Cardinals.
• Oct. 21 in the World Series Game 1 win over the Royals.
• Oct. 26 in the World Series Game 5 win over the Royals.
Bumgarner was top player in nearly half the games the Giants won this postseason—five of 12. No other player earned Player of the Game honors more than twice during the postseason. The players who won it twice:
• Travis Ishikawa of the Giants: In National League Championship Series Game 3 and Game 5.
• Yusmeiro Petit of the Giants: In NL Division Series Game 2 and NLCS Game 4.
• Wade Davis of the Royals: In American League Championship Series Game 1 and World Series Game 3.
• Lorenzo Cain of the Royals: In ALCS Game 2 and World Series Game 6.
During the regular season, Bumgarner earned 22.6 Box-Toppers points, ranking third among all players and second among NL pitchers. He was the highest-ranked player remaining in the postseason and the only player in the World Series in Box-Toppers top 10 player rankings.
Bumgarner had originally been credited with a win in the game, even though he entered the game with the Giants already leading. That was corrected by official scorers within an hour after the game, giving the win to Jeremy Affeldt and the save to Bumgarner who was a five-inning closer. Affeldt, who pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief, was the pitcher of record when the Giants took the lead.
Had Bumgarner been pulled in favor of a closer—possibly Santiago Casilla—in the ninth inning, he still likely would have won Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors, even though Casilla would have been credited with the save and Bumgarner would have earned a no decision (no win or save). Under Box-Toppers rules, non-decision-earning pitchers are eligible to earn Player of the Game honors if they pitch three or more innings. After eight innings, Bumgarner pitched four innings and had a Box-Toppers game score of +6.0.
Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.
Previous Box-Toppers 2014 World Series previews:
Giants have clear Box-Toppers advantage over Royals in World Series, but since 2014 is underdog year, watch out for David slaying 'Giant'
Royals sweep Giants in series—in regular season, interleague series back in August, that is
Can a Royals diehard fan of the 1970s rekindle lapsed fandom with Kansas City's 2014 World Series team? A personal essay
Top 4 players in World Series Game 7
Here are the top four Giants players in Wednesday’s World Series Game 7, ranked from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score (how game score is calculated). Madison Bumgarner, who had a Box-Toppers game score of +7.0, is Player of the Game (POG). Pablo Sandoval was the Giants’ batter with the highest Box-Toppers game score of +2.0. Only four Giants players had Box-Toppers game scores of 0.0 or above.