World Series Update: Heading to Game 5
Written by: Sam Soergel
The Royals and Giants left Kansas City for San Francisco with the World Series tied at one apiece after two blowouts. The Giants dominated the first game 7-1 behind Madison Bumgarner, but the Royals evened the series winning 7-2, breaking a 2-2 tie with a five fun sixth. After two games in the Bay Area, the teams are tied again with one game left in San Francisco.
Game three of the series was the closest game so far. Kansas City jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. Alcides Escobar led off the game with a double, and after an Alex Gordon groundout moved him to third, Lorenzo Cain’s groundout brought him home. Starters Jeremy Guthrie and Tim Hudson would keep it a 1-0 game, until the Royals struck again in the 6th.
In the top of the 6th, Escobar hit a one out single and scored on an Alex Gordon double. Tim Hudson’s night was done after getting Cain to groundout and Javier Lopez came in to finish up the inning. Tim Hudson went 5 2/3, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. Lopez battled Eric Hosmer for 11 pitches, but Hosmer got the best of him as on that 11th pitch he sent a single up the middle to score Gordon and give the Royals a 3-0 lead.
Guthrie did not get an out in the 6th inning as the Giants rallied. Brandon Crawford hit a leadoff single. Then Michael Morse stepped into the batter’s box to pinch hit for Lopez. He doubled down the left field line, scoring Crawford. This was not Morse’s first important pinch hit as he tied game five of the NLCS with a home run off of Pat Neshek in the 8th and Travis Ishikawa’s walk-off 3 run shot would send the Giants to the World Series.
Guthrie was taken out and relieved by one of the many dominant parts of the Kansas City bullpen, Kelvin Herrera. Herrera walked Gregor Blanco on four pitches and a groundout by Joe Panik moved Morse to third and Blanco to second. The next batter was catcher Buster Posey. Posey grounded out, but scored Morse. Posey hit well in the playoffs before the World Series, but is only hitting .188 in the fall classic. Pablo Sandoval would groundout to end the inning and the Giants rally would fall short. Kansas City’s bullpen continued to be lights out. Hunter Pence walked and he would be the only other Giant to reach base as the Royals held on to win 3-2.
The Royals were not so lucky in game four, but before a pitch was thrown, the Giants honored Bryan Stow. Stow, a Giants fan, was badly beaten in 2011 at Dodger Stadium and is now living with his parents who constantly care for him. The wheelchair-bound Stow yelled “play ball” into the microphone and the Giants heard his call.
San Francisco took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st. Jason Vargas issued a leadoff walk to Gregor Blanco, who took second on a wild pitch and then stole third. Buster Posey walked and Hunter Pence grounded in to a fielder’s choice, scoring Blanco. The Royals answered in the 3rd with a two out rally.
With Alex Gordon at 3rd after a Lorenzo Cain infield single, Eric Hosmer had an infield single of his own which tied the game at 1. Ryan Vogelsong walked Mike Moustakas and the bases were loaded. Omar Infante broke the tie with a two run single up the middle and the next batter, catcher Salvador Perez, scored Moustakas, giving the Royals a 4-1 lead. Vogelsong could not make it out of the 3rd, going 2 2/3 giving up 4 runs on 7 hits. Things looked good for the Royals, who, with a win here would put them one win away from their first title since 1985.
In the bottom of the 3rd Matt Duffy pinch hit for Jean Machi, who replaced Vogelsong, and singled. Moving to second on a groundout by Gregor Blanco, he would score and make it 4-2 when Buster Posey singled.
The Giants would tie it in the fifth. Jason Vargas was taken out and replaced by Jason Frasor after a leadoff double by Joe Panik. Panik would score on a Huter Pence single. Frasor would then be replaced by Danny Duffy. A Juan Perez sacrifice fly would score Hunter Pence who went to third on a Pablo Sandoval single. Now tied at 4, it would stay that way until the bottom of the 6th.
With the game tied and the bases loaded, Pance hit a grounder to Escobar. Instead of trying to turn a double play and end the inning, he fired home to get the lead runner out. While this may seem like the wrong choice, Pence was flying down the baseline so a double play was not guaranteed. However, with two outs, RBI singles by Sandoval and Brandon belt were all the Giants would need to hold off the Royals.
They would add four more in the 7th on an error by Kansas City pitcher Tim Collins, and doubles by Panik and Pence.
The Royals got two more hits in the last two innings, but Hunter Strickland was able to close out the game and even the series at 2.
The action continues tonight at 8 ET on Fox. It’s a battle of the aces as “Big Game” James Shields will go for the Royals against Madison Bumgarner who has dominated the playoffs so far. The last time these two faced the Royals only scored one run off Bumgarner and James Shields did not make it out of the 4th. For baseball fans, let’s hope this one is a little closer.