By Cheval John
The Kansas City Royals had always found a way to win when everything looked bleak.
They rallied to win the Wild Card playoff game against the Oakland Athletics.
They swept their way into the World Series.
They battled their way to a Game 7 against the San Francisco Giants with history seemingly on their side (home team have won Game 7s since 1980 9-0).
However, it was not meant to be as the Royals ran into a buzz saw in Madison Bumgarner and lost 3-2.
It really was not a question of if Bumgarner was going to pitch in the game, but when.
The key factor was that the Giants had to score enough runs to give Bumgarner the opportunity to pitch a masterpiece.
Tim Hudson, who became the oldest pitcher ever to start a World Series game, only lasted 1 2/3 innings that was the catalyst in the Royals tying the game at 2.
The Giants did not panic because of a spectacular play by Joe Panik that prevented the Royals from breaking the game wide open in the bottom of the third.
With a runner on first and no outs, Eric Osmet hit a sharp grounder to right field that seemed to be a base hit.
However, Panik made a diving stop, had the presence of mind to flip the ball out of the glove to short stop Brandon Crawford, who stepped on the bag and then tried to throw out Osmet, who seemingly beat the throw.
But Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy challenged the call and the replay official confirmed that Osmet was out and as a result, the call was overturn.
That huge call changed everything as the Giants took the lead 3-2 in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI single by Michael Morse.
From there, Bumgarner entered the game in relief and that was when a person sensed that the end was near for the Royals.
Bumgarner retired 11 of the 12 batters and was one out away from the greatest clutch performance ever before the Royals made things very interesting.
With two outs in the ninth inning, Alex Gordon hit a single to left field and the ball got away from Gregor Blanco that allowed Gordon to reach third.
Kansas City could not tie the game as Salvador Perez hit a fly ball in foul territory that allowed Pablo Sandoval to catch it for the final out and gave the Giants their third World Series Championship in five years.
The Giants have showed their team unity and persistent spirit despite facing the odds in winning a Game 7 of the World Series.
If it was not for Bumgarner’s dominant performance in the World Series, the Royals would have won it for the second time in their history.
By Cheval John
Nobody expected the Washington Redskins to beat the Dallas Cowboys.
With all the turmoil that the Redskins were going through with the injury of Robert Griffith III, a.k.a. and the benching of Kurt Cousins, this was suppose to have been an easy victory for the Cowboys.
Even all the experts on Monday Night Countdown chose the Cowboys to win this game.
I also chose the Cowboys to win, even thought I am a San Francisco 49er fan.
The Cowboys was on a 6-game winning streak and it looked like it should have been their seventh consecutive win.
Well, the Redskins proved everyone wrong and shocked the Cowboys in overtime 20-17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Colt McCoy, who started the game for Washington, did everything right to keep his team in the matchup.
He did not make too many mistakes and managed the game.
McCoy went 25 of 30 for 299 yards and one interception.
When it counted, McCoy came through in the clutch.
On a 3rd and 3 in overtime, McCoy was flushed out of the pocket and he kept the play alive and found Jordan Reed, who made a one-handed catch and kept his feet inbounds for the crucial first down.
A couple plays later, Kai Forbath kicked a go-ahead 40-yard field goal to give Washington a 20-17 lead.
Needing a touchdown to win, the Cowboys had to play four downs to tried to get out of their own end of the field.
After a few plays that did not benefit Dallas, they tried to keep their drive alive on fourth and 3.
However, the Washington defense forced quarterback Tony Romo to throw an incomplete pass that secured the win and sent the Washington bench in a frenzy.
We should not have underestimated Washington in this game since the Cowboys are their rivals.
Also, with McCoy starting the game in his home state, that should have been a huge sign that Washington was going to win and the fact that his family was there to support him.
This tweet by freelance writer Corey Roepken explains it all.
— Corey Roepken (@RipSports) October 28, 2014
By Cheval John
Madison Bumgarner’s pitching dominance led the San Francisco Giants to a 5-0 victory against the Kansas City Royals to take a 3-2 lead.
Bumgarner had 8 strikeouts in the game and improved his Earned Run Average (ERA) to 0.29, which is the lowest in World Series history.
He became the second pitcher to throw a shutout in a World Series game.
The last pitcher to do so, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Sanford in the second game of the 1962 World Series against the mighty New York Yankees.
Bumgarner’s World Series record has improved to 4-0.
Even if the Giants had lost the night before, this series would have gone back to Kansas City because of the pitching dominance of Bumgarner.
It does not hurt that he can hit too.
Video courtesy of Major League Baseball (MLB)
By Cheval John
When a person’s name is called to go into a game, they must go in with the mentality that they will make a difference for the team.
That is exactly what Marco Pappa did by scoring two goals in the Seattle Sounders’ 2-0 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy to capture their first ever MLS Supporter’s Shield.
Both teams came into the final game of the regular season tied with 61 points even though the Sounders had two more wins than the Galaxy.
The Galaxy needed to win this matchup in order to secure their fifth Supporter’s Shield, which would have been a record.
The Sounders only needed a draw or a win to secure the regular season title and home field advantage in the playoffs.
That set up an intriguing game at CenturyLink Field, where the atmosphere of 57,673 thousand screaming fans made it felt like an English Premier League contest.
Both teams played intense as they were fouls committed all over the place and a total of six yellow cards issued in the match.
The Sounders did not registered a shot in the first half and were looking to get on the board.
Then Sounders’ coach Sigi Schimd decided to bring in Pappa at the 73rd minute to replace Brad Edwards that changed the course of the game.
Pappa came through in the clutch in the 85th minute when he received a pass from Obafemi Martins in the box and buried the go-ahead goal in the net that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
His second goal that secured the win, came in stoppage time when he took away the ball from goal keeper Jaime Penedo and chipped it over a defender into the net.
Despite the proven star power of Clint Dempsey and Galaxy’s Landon Donovan that brought viewers to watch this important game on NBC, Pappa stole the show and lifted the Sounders to their first ever Community Shield title.
Did you think the game lived up to the hype? Leave your comment below.
Videos courtesy of Major League Soccer
By Cheval John
The Houston Texans had a 13-0 lead for most of the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Texans defense created havoc that disrupted the offensive flow of quarterback Ben Rothlesberger that it caused the Steelers faithful to boo loudly.
It seemed like the Texans was going to maintain control and carry the lead into the second half.
Until the Steelers found new life and scored 24 unanswered points in the final 2:54 of the second half to take a 24-13 lead.
The Texans tried to come back in the game after scoring 10 points in the second half and came within an onside kick of tying it.
But it would not be enough as the Steelers hang on to win 30-23.
Pittsburgh became the first team to accomplish this feat since the Seattle Seahawks scored 24 unanswered points in 2002 within a three-minute time frame.
Unfortunately for the Texans, they had to be on the wrong side of history.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien sums it up here on a tweet by Houston Chronicle editor Nick Mathews.
Bill O'Brien: "Terrible second quarter. Couldn't come back from it. Too many turnovers."
— Nick Mathews (@Nick_Mathews) October 21, 2014
The Steelers started the rally with a field goal by kicker Shaun Suisham that cut the Texans’ lead to 13-3.
Houston could not get anything going and was forced to punt after going 3 and out in their series.
A couple of plays later, Rothlesberger found Martavis Bryant for a 35-yard touchdown to bring it close to 13-10.
The Steelers built on their momentum swing and recovered an Arian Foster fumble on the Texans’own 3-yard line.
A few plays later on a trickery, wide receiver Antonio Brown connected with Lance Moore for a 3-yard touchdown to gain a 17-13 lead.
The Texans’ nightmare continued when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception to Brett Keisel, who returned it 16 yards to the Houston’s 8-yard line.
Rothlesberger completed the massacre a couple of plays later with a 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Le’Veon Bell.
All of a sudden, the Texans found themselves trailing going into the third quarter.
Pittsburgh received criticism from former head coach Bill Cowher and former wide receiver Hines Ward about their mental toughness.
In the majority of the first half, both Cowher and Ward were correct.
In the final 2:54 of the second quarter, the Steelers responded to their criticism and pulled off a houdini with 24 unanswered points.