Whoever called this year’s matchup at the beginning of the series, “the most boring of all time” is probably now biting their tongue.
Tuesday night, the Kansas City Royals shutdown the favored San Fransicso Giants in Game 6, forcing a final game.
The Giants entered the game with the power to become champions that night, as they lead the series 3-2. The Royals had another plan.
In a 10-0 victory, Kansas City shocked the Giants and most likely all the viewers.
Jake Peavy started the game and was quickly taken out after two runs for the Royals. Kansas City established their first lead in the second inning, with a double from Mike Moustakas, which brought Alex Gordon home. The lead was extended when Nori Aoki hit a single to make it 2-0. The Giants sent out reliever Yusmeiro Petit, who gave up a two run single to Lorenzo Cain. Eric Hosmer then smacked a double, followed by Billy Butler’s double. Kansas City scored 7 of their 10 runs in the second inning.
Yordano Ventura pitched seven scoreless innings for the Royals, with four strikeouts and only three hits given up.
It was clear Kansas City would be unstoppable after the second inning. Omar Infante even ignored the third baseman coach’s signal on an Alcides Escobar double, extending the Royals lead further. The game ended with closing pitcher Jason Frasor striking out Gregor Blanco.
With the series now tied at 3 games apiece, Game 7 will take place Wednesday night in Kansas City.
Fortunately for Kansas City, the last 9 teams to play game 7 at home have won the World Series. However, this year’s series has proved that statistics don’t really mean anything.
The Giants were favored to win from the start. Polls showed more people wanting the Royals to win, but statistically, the odds were in San Francisco’s favor. The Giants are very familiar with postseason play, and experience is always important. With 7 World Series titles under their belts, (2 as the San Fransicso Giants, 5 as the New York Giants) compared to the Royals 1, one would guess the more experienced team would dominate the other.
Those titles were in the past, different players, and an entirely different team. In terms of the Giants, more than half of their titles were under a different franchise.
This is what makes postseason baseball the most exciting. Despite the regular season record that got them here, you see entirely new teams in the postseason.
Tim Hudson (3.72 ERA) is set to pitch for the Giants Wednesday night, facing Royals Jeremy Guthrie (2.70 ERA).
At 39 years old, Hudson will be the oldest pitcher to start a Game 7 in history. He pitched a totally of 208 2/3 inning between the regular and postseason, with 15 strikeouts in the post.
Guthrie, 35, passed his personal record of most innings pitched, with 212 2/3 pitched between the regular and postseason.
In this series, Hudson pitched game 3 and only allowed one run in five innings, then was charged with two runs in the sixth.
Guthrie too held the Giants off in game 3 through five innings, giving up two hits in the sixth before he was pulled out.
Both teams’ bullpens are well rested and ready to go in. Considering this will be the last game either team plays until April, every pitcher is ready and willing to go in.
You can analyze each team’s pitching rotation, speed, records, and statistics, but this series has proved that really, anything can happen.