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The Giants acquired outfielder Michael Morse and starting pitcher Tim Hudson in the offseason. At one point, the Giants had twice as many wins as they had losses, sporting a 42-21 record. However, their 9.5 game lead over the Dodgers dissipated. Lincecum pitched his second no-hitter, also against the Padres. With a won-loss record of 12-9, Lincecum achieved more wins than his previous 2 seasons, though second-half struggles put Lincecum out of the starting rotation.
The Giants finished the season with an 88-74 record, the first time in baseball's modern era that they had reached the postseason with under 90 wins. The Giants defeated the Pirates in the 2014 National League Wild Card Game, 8-0, with Madison Bumgarner pitching a complete game and Brandon Crawford hitting a grand slam off of Pirates starter Edinson Vlquez, the first in MLB postseason history by a shortstop. The Giants won the 2014 NLDS, defeating the Nationals and passing the Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine for a new National League record in consecutive postseason victories. The Giants played the Cardinals in the 2014 NLCS rematch, winning in five games. Travis Ishikawa hit a game winning walk-off 3 run homer in game 5. Madison Bumgarner was named MVP of the series. The Giants faced the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series, defeating the AL Champions in 7 games, winning 4 games to 3. Madison Bumgarner was also named the World Series MVP.
The championship was the Giants' third in a five-year span, spurring debate over whether the Giants could be considered a modern-day baseball dynasty.
The Giants-Dodgers rivalry is one of the greatest and longest-standing rivalries in team sports, and has been regarded as the most intense in American baseball.
The Giants-Dodgers feud began in the late 19th century when both clubs were based in New York City, with the Dodgers based in Brooklyn and the Giants playing at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan. After the 1957 season, Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley decided to move the team to Los Angeles primarily for financial reasons. Along the way, he managed to convince Giants owner Horace Stoneham (who was considering moving his team to Minnesota) to preserve the rivalry by taking his team to San Francisco as well. New York baseball fans were stunned and heartbroken by the move. Given that the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have long been competitors in economic, cultural and political arenas, their new California venues became fertile ground for transplantation of the ancient rivalry.
Both teams' having endured for over a century while leaping across an entire continent, as well as the rivalry's growth from cross-city to cross-state, have led to its being considered one of the greatest in sports history.
The Giants-Dodgers rivalry has been marked by the Giants' slightly better success. While the Giants have more total wins, head-to-head wins, National League pennants and World Series titles in their franchise histories, the Dodgers have won the National League West 5 more times than the Giants since the start of division play in 1969. Both teams have made the postseason as a National League wild card twice. The Giants won their first world championship in California in 2010, while the Dodgers won their last world title in 1988. As of the end of the 2014 baseball season, the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the San Francisco Giants in California World Series triumphs, 5-3, whereas in 20th century New York, the Giants led the Dodgers in World Series championships, 5-1. The combined franchise histories give the Giants an 8-6 edge in MLB championships, overall.