With Madison Bumgarner due on the mound Wednesday evening at Kauffman Stadium, the flashbacks to the 2014 World Series were impossible to avoid.
Especially when they’re plastered on the clubhouse TV.
The highlights of the series — which Bumgarner finished with five scoreless innings in the deciding Game 7, clinching the Giants’ third championship in five seasons — played on loop inside the Royals locker room before Wednesday’s game.
It wasn’t some sort of motivational ploy. Rather, the TVs traditionally play footage of the day’s opposing starting pitcher as a last-minute scouting report. The screens face the hitters’ lockers.
On Wednesday, that meant the tall, burly, left-handed Bumgarner locked onto the screen. The Royals probably didn’t need the reminder of his brilliance in the 2014 World Series. He was named the championship MVP after giving up only one run in 21 innings, spanning two wins and the save in Game 7.
The video included multiple outings from Bumgarner, but those inside Kauffman Stadium had a way of standing out. Among the highlights: Royals outfielder Alex Gordon’s single (and two-base error by Gregor Blanco) in the bottom of the ninth, putting the game-tying run 90 feet away. And an ensuing reminder that the season finished with him stationed there.