Championship Series AL Game 2: KC vs. BAL, NL Game 1: SF vs. STL — Defense vs. Pitching

It feels almost odd to talk about a Royals postseason game that didn’t go into extra innings, like something’s not quite right with the world. Of course, the fact that the Royals are actually in the postseason and not say (I don’t know, just throwing this out there) the Yankees should have been my first clue that something’s not quite right with the world. But I digress…

The ALCS is in full swing, and the biggest problem for the Orioles is that they’re not swinging enough to put a damper on the Royals’ lingering dreams of a World Championship this millennia. That’s right, for all you “underdog-rooters” out there, the Royals are already 2-0 as they travel back home to continue their postseason streak. Okay, actually, the Orioles technically out-hit the Royals (13-9), but Kansas City’s pattern of tying up the game consistently and then a last-minute push over the top to win.

The Royals hit first with a 2-RBI single in the 1st, to which the Orioles answered back with a run of their own on a sacrifice fly in the 2nd. When the Royals pushed ahead with an RBI double in the 3rd, the Orioles decided to tie up the game for the first time in that same inning with a 2-run home run. Even a solo home run by the number 9 hitter on the Royals roster (who is decidedly the best postseason hitter and still batting 9th!) was later answered by the Orioles in the 5th with a ground out. And like every other Royals game, it stayed tied until the last inning, but this game the last inning would be the 9th inning — the Royals scored on an RBI double and an RBI single. It would be 6-4 Royals.

Now, the odd thing is that the Orioles were constantly loading the bases due to their plethora of hits this game. The orange-saturated sold-out crowd was in a constant state of hope and flux. Look, the Royals’ outfield is very good, just edging out the Orioles’ in defensive standards; the infield defense, however, I must give the edge to the Orioles. So when you have a power-hitting team like the O’s that love hitting the long-balls, it’s only natural that a shortened long-ball will end up in a good defensive glove like that on the Royals’ outfielders’ hands. I have to conclude this is the reasoning behind these games because neither has ridiculously outstanding pitching to credit for their victories.

ALCS Game 2: Royals over Orioles 6-4, Royals lead series 2-0

And about halfway across the country, a sea of red watched their Cardinals get trounced on by the visiting Giants to start the NLCS. Now, while the ALCS is seemingly void of quality pitching, the NLCS seems to have it in spades. And tonight’s game can be full attributed to the mastery of the Giants starting pitcher who ended up going into the 8th inning, giving up just 4 hits to the Cards and striking out 7 of their batters. And his 2 relievers kept that streak going, and the deflated St. Louis crowd watched their Cards struggle and ultimate get shut out of their first game of this series.

The Giants’ offense struck early into the Cards’ pitching staff. In the 2nd, they loaded up the bases and then scored on an RBI single and a fielding error. And then added another run in the 3rd on a sacrifice fly. It would put the Giants up 3-0 early, but it would certainly be enough to defend for the rest of the game.

NLCS Game 1: Giants over Cardinals 3-0, Giants lead series 1-0

No Yankee news… you may now carry on with your lives…

Go Yankees!

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