World Series Game 7: SF vs. KC — A True Giant Victory

Okay, before the game, one of the pre-game color commentators mentioned that the team that scored first would probably win tonight’s game, as they had for 5 of the last 6 games. He wasn’t wrong in the least, but he certainly was wrong in his prediction as to which team that would be. The Giants thus struck first in the 2nd inning — a hit-by-pitch and 2 singles loaded the bases with no outs very quickly into the inning before two back-to-back sacrifice flies scored 2 runs and put the Giants on top 2-0.

I want to talk about what I’ve been talking about since the beginning of the postseason — the National League’s great pitching. Now, I can’t say much about tonight’s starter, who allowed the Royals to tie up the game in the 2nd inning with an RBI double and sacrifice fly to score the tying run. After another allowed single, the Giants’ starter was replaced by one of the ridiculously reliable pitchers the Giants have in their bullpen. Affeldt finished the 2nd and pitched his way rather flawlessly through the next two innings; but I’ve come to expect nothing less from him. (Fun fact: Affeldt played for the Royals briefly before eventually ending up on the 2010 Giants roster, ending up being part of the crucial bullpen that helped them win the 2010 and 2012 championship.)

The Giants responded to Affeldt’s strong outing in the 4th inning. Two singles and a fly out put runners on the corners, one of which would score on a single and put the Giants on top 3-2. In the meantime, the Giants’ wicked defense just kept any Royals’ attempt at some small ball curbed. There was one particular double play in the 3rd that had the 2nd baseman diving to stop the ball, flipping it to the shortstop for the out at 2nd, before the ball was thrown to the waiting 1st baseman. Initially, the runner was ruled safe, but upon a challenge and review, it was overturned and declared a double play. It was one of those highlight reel moments.

And then in the 5th inning, the Giants brought out Bumgarner, who normally is one of their starters, but truly a fantastic work horse. Bumgarner was willing to do whatever was necessary to help his team win tonight. And backed by their impressive defense, Bumgarner went an impressive 5 innings, giving up just 2 hits but no runs and no walks, striking out 4 Royals’ batters.

The only time the Royals really even threatened once the bullpen was on the mound was in the bottom of the 9th. The entire sold-out crowd in Kansas City was on their feet. The ocean of blues deafeningly praying for a miracle, the smattering of orange praying for a quick 3 outs. Two outs in, it looked like it was almost settled. But then a Royals’ batter hit the ball into left-center field for a single, but the outfielder mishandled the ball and the runner ended up at 3rd on the error. Both sets of fans’ heavenly petitions only increased in fervency. But for one team, it was not to be as a pop up to the Giants’ gregarious 3rd baseman (Sandoval, affectionately known to his fans as “Panda”) put an end to the City of Fountains’ dreams of a championship. He collapsed on the field; the air and enthusiasm sucked out of the stadium as it empties in disappointment rather quickly; the smattering of orange joining the cheering of fans not in Kansas City tonight; and the Giants stormed the field in celebration.

Bumgarner earned the save (Affeldt earned the win) and even set a new record for most innings pitched in the postseason at 48 2/3 and now has the lowest postseason ERA at 0.25. I should also remind everyone at this point that Bumgarner is also only 25 years old, with plenty of years left to further his career and record. I’m not one for making comparisons, but it was at times like watching a young Andy Pettitte (maybe it’s the left-handed thing) and how he helped dominate the postseason in those early Yankee years nearly 20 years ago. (And in that vein, I’ll take this time to put in my opinion: what does it take to get Bumgarner to pitch for the Yankees when his contract is up in San Francisco and can you please make that happen soon?)

Bumgarner, Affeldt, and Sandoval are just a few of the many players that have been part of the team’s drive to win their 3rd championship in 5 years — 2010, 2012, and now 2014. (Perhaps the Giants just like even years? Must be one of those baseball superstition things.) Bumgarner was also awarded the World Series MVP Award, which included a special trophy and a brand new truck from Chevy (one of the major sponsors of MLB and the World Series). But really, this is so well-deserved that I think many people were already campaigning for him to receive the MVP award by the 7th inning; I know I was.

(Note to those keeping track of my postseason predictions: I was right, sans number of games again. I out-predicted most broadcasters and reporters. I may be a little competitive, but I guess you could tell as I write about competitive sports and I like winning. But who doesn’t like winning?)

World Series Game 7: Giants over Royals 3-2, Giants win Series 4-3

Today’s edition of “This Day in Yankees History” takes us back almost a century ago to 1920. The year after their landmark acquisition of Babe Ruth, the Yankees hired his former manager Ed Barrow to be the Yankees’ General Manager (then known as the Business Manager). Barrow would go on to compose the team that would start the legendary years of the Yankees’ first dynasty and the roster that became known as “Murderers’ Row” (1927). The team under Barrow would win 14 AL pennants and 10 World Series championships over his nearly 25 year tenure. One of Barrow’s latter deals included the signing of a young outfielder named Joe DiMaggio. Essentially, this day 94 years ago changed the course of the Yankees and their historical impact on baseball and this country for the next century with a simple smart hiring.

A big congratulations to the Giants on their win. But be warned: the Yankees are coming after you in 2015. I mean, it will be an odd-numbered year, and we all know you don’t like to win in those…

Go Yankees!

World Series Game 6: SF vs. KC — Giants Royally flushed

I hate writing about games that end up as a complete slaughter because there’s no close drama, no tight rollercoaster of emotions tugging at the fans on both side, no real solid competition. It’s just clearly in one team’s control the whole time, and there’s nothing interesting to write about. Honestly, even when it’s the Yankees that just pummel their opponent, it’s often difficult to find the right angle to make a blog post interesting. Because just saying, “[Random Team] just trounced on [Opposing Team]” without talking about the give-and-take of a normal game is just boring.

I guess all I can say is that you are thus warned… I’m sorry. Blame the Royals.

Yes, the Royals won and tied up the series, but it was more in how they won. Or rather how it was certainly handed to them that made it rather painful to watch. It was the 2nd inning, that was either seen as ridiculously awesome to Royals fans or ridiculously awful to Giants fans. The Giants’ starter struggled a bit in the 1st inning, but not enough to cause much concern for the Giants. And then he just couldn’t seem to find his rhythm in the 2nd. Here’s what happened: single, single, RBI double, strikeout, single to load the bases, RBI single keeping bases loaded, (pitching change), 2-RBI single, 2-RBI double, RBI double, ground out, and foul pop up. Yes, if you kept count with all that, your math would add up to 7 runs for the Royals (on 11 batters).

Ouch is the appropriate sentiment, even if you are rooting for the Royals in this series.

The Royals then expanded that lead in the 3rd with a 2-out RBI ground-rule double, and then again in the 5th on an RBI double, and once more in the 7th with a lead-off solo home run.

And how did the Giants’ offense answer back? Get men on base but don’t let them score. Yes, we go to Game 7 with Kansas City jumping for joy with a big shutout. I’m not going to talk about the negative, so I’ll skip any comments on the entire Giants’ pitching staff. But I will say something about the Royals’ rookie starter — he’s pretty good. In honor of his late friend and cross-state competitor Oscar Tavares, Ventura wrote on his hat that this game (in which he would pitch so well) was dedicated to the memory of his friend. Our prayers continue to go our to the Tavares and Arvelo families during this time of loss.

World Series Game 6: Royals over Giants 10-0, series tied 3-3

Instead of the Yankee trivia bit, I thought I’d shake things up a bit and mention a couple of things in Yankee Universe. First, about halfway between the home towns of the two World Series teams, a slew of young hopeful prospects continue in the Arizona Fall League. If you don’t know what the AFL is, you’re not alone. It’s a special season in which prospects from each team are chosen to participate in an time of extended baseball; they are selected by their team, mostly from the AA and AAA levels. The league is set-up for players to develop and refine their skills and then play in front of scouts, executives, and other team personnel in a game setting. (The Wikipedia overview; and MLB information with current scores and standings.)

The Yankees are represented on the Scottsdale Scorpions (part of the East Division of the AFL, also populated by members of the Mets, Phillies, Pirates, and Giants) by pitchers Caleb Cotham, Kyle Haynes, and Alex Smith; catcher Kyle Higashioka; infielders Dante Bichette Jr and Greg Bird; and outfielders Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge. And though the Scorpions aren’t doing so well in the standings, word from Arizona is that some of these Baby Bombers have already sparked some conversation and interest — Bird, Austin, and Judge.

And finally, earlier this month, thieves broke into the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in New Jersey and stole an undisclosed number of World Series rings and two of his MVP plaques. Berra won the AL MVP in 1951, 1954, and 1955. He won his 10 rings as a Yankees player in 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, and 1962; as a coach with the Mets in 1969; and as a coach with the Yankees in 1977 and 1978. The police are still searching for the thieves, and the case is still open and ongoing.

In the mean time, the Yankees, the Mets, and MLB have supplied the Berra Museum with authentic replicas of the missing items. Fingers crossed here for total recovery and justice served in this case, but in the mean time, it’s nice to know that New York and Baseball still has Berra’s back all these years later. It certainly says a lot for his legacy, impact, and closeness to the game, the city, and the league.

“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.” — Yogi Berra

Go Yankees!

World Series Game 5: KC vs. SF — A Giant shutout

Okay, I know I’ve raved about the starter for the Giants from tonight’s game, but tonight he continued to just boost my esteem for him to whole new levels. Well, I guess throwing a complete shutout in the World Series would certainly do that for most pitchers in my mind, but his stats tonight are just spectacular — 117 pitches, 9 innings, just 4 hits allowed, and 8 strikeouts. The only negative thing I can find about this young pitcher is that he doesn’t play for the Yankees.

I’m guessing the Royals weren’t all that happy about playing against a young pitcher on a roll either.  Here’s what happened in the Royals’ offense: 4 hits, no runs, no walks, no other baserunners. (So the correct answer would be “nothing”.)

But the Giants were a very different story, with 12 hits, 2 walks, and 5 runs. In the 2nd, with 2 runners on, a ground out scored their first run, and an RBI single scored the second in the 4th. But the real kicker for the Giants was their offensive attack on the Royals relievers in the 8th inning. After a solid 7th inning for the Royals reliever, he promptly gave up 2 singles to put runners on base to threaten enough to have the Royals’ manager replace him. A strikeout later, a Giants’ batter hit a deep, almost home run ball for a double that scored both of those runners; that batter ended up on 3rd due to a throwing error during the play. He would then score on the next batter’s single.

And the Royals’ response? Go quietly into the cool San Francisco evening, and regroup on their way back home to Kansas City. Now, the Giants are looking to win Game 6 to win their 3rd series in 5 years, while the Royals are praying for a Game 7 to win their first series in 29 years. It’s still anybody’s game, anybody’s title to win. Well, not anybody. The winner will definitely either be Kansas City or San Francisco, but you know what I mean.

World Series Game 5: Giants over Royals 5-0, Giants lead series 3-2

In very sad news, word circulated today during the game that a young rookie from the Cardinals’ organization was killed today in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Oscar Tavares played on the postseason roster with the Cardinals and even hit the game-tying home run against the Giants just 2 weeks ago in St. Louis. The accident that killed the 22-year-old outfielder also took the like of his 18-year-old girlfriend. Please keep the families of Tavares and Edilia Arvelo in your prayers as they deal with their inexplicable loss.

“This Day in Yankees History” takes us once again to 1996. 18 years had passed since the “Bronx is Burning” years, the Reggie Jackson-fueled team of controversy and dynamism that took them to the Series and won twice. And under new manager Joe Torre, with some fresh-faced rookies (or semi-rookies) named Rivera, Posada, Pettitte, and Jeter, not many people really believed that 1996 would be their year. But oh, how these tough rag-tag group of guys proved them all wrong. On this date in 1996, the Yankees beat the Braves 3-2 in Game 6 and thus their 23rd title, starting what would be known as the “Torre Dynasty” (1996-2003, winning the title 4 times over those years). The Yankees were back, and they weren’t going anywhere any time soon.

Go Yankees!

World Series Game 4: KC vs. SF — Storming Giants

Despite having a starter really struggle through his outing, the Giants certainly know how to pick their battles successfully. In just 2.2 innings, the Giants’ starter threw 62 pitches and gave up 7 hits and all 4 of the Royals’ runs. On the flip side of the field, the Royals’ starter only went 4 innings (and 82 pitches) himself and still gave up 6 hits and 3 runs to the Giants. You know, something I’ve noticed lately is that pitchers aren’t getting nearly as many strikeouts as I’m used to seeing, especially from the starters. I mean, each pitcher has their specialty; on the Yankees, for example, pitchers like Tanaka and Sabathia are “strikeout pitchers”, while former pitcher Pettitte and currently Kuroda are seen more as “ground out pitchers”. But it’s still weird (to me, at least) to see such low numbers in the strikeout category, especially after all the raving about how “great” these pitchers are supposed to be.

Anyway, it was quite a game in San Francisco. The Giants struck first in the bottom of the 1st — a batter walks, stole 2nd on a wild pitch, stole 3rd for kicks and giggles, and then scored on a ground out (trying to get the double play). The Royals took advantage of the struggling starter in his weak 3rd inning to answer the Giants’ jump to lead the game — an RBI single, a 2-RBI single, and another RBI single. It would push the Royals up and over the Giants 4-1. But an RBI single in the 3rd pushed the Yankees back into contention.

In the 5th, the lead-off batter doubled, setting himself up to score on the RBI single 2 batters later, while a sacrifice fly scored a run that tied up the game 4-4. In the 6th, the floodgates flew wide open. Two singles were advanced on a ground out, but stalled on an infield ground out. An intentional walk loaded the bases. The second out became a fielder’s choice and the out was nabbed at home trying to add to the Giants score. A single scored 2 runs, officially bringing the winning runs to the place. Another single added yet another run.

But a 7-4 lead wasn’t really enough yet. I mean, it’s the postseason so do what you must to discourage your opponent from scoring any more runs. In the 7th, they added 4 more runs through a bunt single (and throwing error), 2-RBI double, and an RBI double. So the Giants spent the last few innings defending their 7-run lead, once again, rather successfully.

World Series Game 5: Giants over Royals 11-4, Series tied 2-2

“This Day in Yankee History” travels way back in time to 1939. On this day 75 years ago, Joe DiMaggio was chosen as the AL MVP, his first of three (1939, 1941, and 1947). To win the MVP award this year, the Yankee Clipper played in just 130 games, scored 108 runs, notched 176 hits and 30 home runs, and maintaining an outstanding batting average of .381 (his all-time career record). Joltin’ Joe was still early in his illustrious career, but playing in New York and being ridiculously amazing, already garnered the young outfielder much unwanted attention. (Check out my blogpost on DiMaggio for more information.)

Go Yankees!

World Series Game 3: KC vs. SF — Quality, quantity, pitching, remembering

I think one of the things I’m kind of fascinated with in the postseason (as compared to the regular season) is how the teams use their pitching staff. I guess I’m used to watching teams push their starters to go as long as possible, preferably at least 7 innings to set up the 8th inning guy before calling on their closer. (Using the early 2014 Yankees as an example: Tanaka pitches innings 1-7, Betances comes in for the 8th, and then Robertson to close for the save and win.) But in the postseason, if a pitcher makes it to the 7th inning (and I’m not even talking about finishing that inning), it’s seems to be rather a rarity anymore.

I was talking with my brother before and during the game comparing both teams’ strengths and weaknesses. And he made mention about the rotating bullpen that seems to be rather popular in October. So, I guess does this break down to a sign of weakness or strength to the current status of the pitching staff? Does this frequent pitching change signify that the pitching staff isn’t strong enough to meet the intensity of the postseason pressure? Or is it simply a sign that the bullpens are so strong that teams can cycle through their pitchers to meet whatever strategy the manager is playing during the game? I suppose it’s somewhere in between those two, but I’m thinking it’s also just because the managers’ strategies to win is so much more desperate than the 162-game season-long effort to make it to this point. If I had time, I think I would try to research whether the quantity of pitchers affects the outcome of the game.

But perhaps that’s the problem all along — quantity over quality. I think anyone would rather have good quality pitching that a whole bunch of mediocre stuff. So can quantity also add up to quality sometimes? Maybe. Maybe not. This postseason’s been rather a mixed bag of results in that respect.

To put things into perspective, tonight’s starters each pitched into the 6th inning but didn’t complete it, getting into trouble quickly. Both threw 76-77 pitches total, allowing 4 hits a piece. But what made the difference was their relievers. Tonight, that landed in the Royals’ favor, but just barely.

Offensively, it was rather quiet for both teams after two games where the winner would score 7 runs. The Giants starter allowed a lead-off double, who advanced to 3rd on a ground out before scoring on another ground out. The Royals spent the rest of their game defending their lead. However, both pitchers kept the opposing teams pretty tight. Until that 6th inning, that is.

The Royals got first crack at denting the Giants’ defense — an RBI double and an RBI single pushed the Royals up to a 3-0 score over the Giants. But then when the Giants were up to bat, the chipped away at the Royals’ lead — an RBI double and an RBI ground out put the score at 3-2 Royals. Both teams were into their bullpens before the end of the inning, and like I said above, it just went the Royals’ way tonight. And that 6th inning score would become permanent 3 innings later.

World Series Game 3: Royals over Giants 3-2, Royals lead series 2-1

Before tonight’s game, retiring MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was on hand to present this year’s Roberto Clemente Award to two deserving (and non-World Series playing) players — Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and recently retired White Sox legend Paul Konerko. It is usually given to just one player per year, but apparently, voting tied Rollins and Konerko, so they decided to split the award. The Roberto Clemente Award is an annual award given to the players who embody both the spirit and professionalism of MLB as well as make an active impact in their communities. After each team nominates their candidate, a mixture of fan votes and a panel established by the wife of the late Pirates’ legend select the final award winners every year. Rollins’ philanthropy includes programs to assist inner-city students as well as various fundraisers for noble causes and foundations. Konerko and his family co-established foundation that helps foster families connect, develop, and thrive. (Past Yankee winners include Ron Guidry, Don Baylor, and Derek Jeter.)

And for “This Day in Yankee History”, we travel back to 1996. The Yankees are facing off against the Braves in the World Series. The Series is tied 2-2, and 24-year-old Andy Pettitte started Game 5 and prepared to throw what will be one of the best games of his career. It would be easily the tightest game in the 1996 Series. Pettitte threw 96 pitches, struck out 4, allowed 5 hits and 3 walks, but no runs over his 8.1 innings. Yes, Pettitte threw a World Series shutout. But the Yankees only cobbled together one run of their own — an RBI double in the 4th inning. It would be enough with the way the young southpaw was throwing that night in Georgia. And one more win later, back in the Bronx, and the Yankees would win their first Series since 1978 and start the beginning of the Third Dynasty (often referred to as the “Torre Days”) and their first of 4 Championships in 5 years.

Go Yankees!

World Series Game 2: The Royal response, Giant loss

If anything can be said about the Royals is that they just don’t roll over and take it, and it’s really the only reason they’re playing in October. Well, I guess the same could be said for the Giants, but tonight, the honor of longest holdout is awarded to the home team. As if they were solely responding to the pounding they endured yesterday in front of their rabid fans in blue, the Royals only trailed briefly before coming back and pouncing on the Giants. For some reason, the Giants starter and bullpen just wasn’t nearly as sharp as they have been.

Okay, if I’m being honest, neither team really pitched a fantastic game tonight. Both teams were awarded with high hit counts (10 total for the Royals, 9 for the Giants), but the Royals were more efficient in how they scored their runs and thus ended up scoring the most.

The Giants struck first with a lead-off solo home run in the 1st inning, but the Royals responded in the bottom of the inning to tie up the game with an RBI single before adding to their score with an RBI double in the 2nd inning. Of course, the Giants tied the game back up in the 4th with their own RBI double. And they kind of stayed knotted there briefly. Until the Giants starter struggled in his 6th inning putting runners on base with a single and a walk before they put the ball in the hands of a reliever.

Unfortunately for the Giants, the reliever wasn’t exactly having a good night either, promptly giving up an RBI single. This began the pitching dosey-do, of sorts. The next pitcher got the first out of the inning before another pitcher was called in. He was having an off day too — a 2-RBI double and a 2-run home run to push the Royals up 7-2. Well, that was it for the Giants as they finally called in the “big guns” (also known as the guy who has one of the lowest postseason ERAs), who promptly shut down the inning in 5 pitches to get those final 2 outs of the inning.

And despite their best efforts, the Giants weren’t going to make up the difference for that terrible 6th inning. It’s been said a million times that if you don’t have pitching, you don’t have anything. And that has never been more true that in this World Series. Yesterday, that was the story for the Royals, and tonight, the tables have turned for the Giants. That’s the thing about baseball — you just never know what’s going to happen; much like life, there are very few guarantees. Winning is never a given until that final out is declared; there’s always a chance your opponent can do something better, even at the last second. “It ain’t over until it’s over”… and this Series ain’t over yet!

World Series Game 2: Royals over Giants 7-2, Series tied 1-1

And now for your new favorite postseason tradition (can I really call it a “tradition” yet?): “This Day in Yankee History” — we go back to 2001. Being delayed due to the events of 9/11, the postseason was pushed back almost a week. So the Yankees, defending their 3rd straight World Series title, faced off against the surging Mariners for the ALCS. On this date 13 years ago, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, and Tino Martinez all hit home runs in Game 5 to clinch the ALCS (and New York’s 38th AL pennant) with a score of 12-3. The Yankees would go on to face the Diamondbacks in the World Series later that week in what would be the most dynamic World Series ever played due to the traumatic events of that year and the history being made on the field (think “Mr. November”); the Diamondbacks ended up taking the Yankees in Game 7, but it still sticks out to me as one of the most important Series ever played in baseball history.

Interestingly enough, on the other side of the field on the day mentioned above was a young Japanese rookie making his dynamic mark and beginning his legendary MLB career with the Mariners; his name was Ichiro Suzuki, and he was celebrating his 28th birthday as the team he would one day play for went on to celebrate their win. Today, however, he celebrated his 41st birthday as a Yankee. A very happy birthday to one of the greats, still a favorite in his former home of Seattle and very much a favorite in his new home of New York!

Go Yankees!

World Series Game 1: SF vs. KC — The Royals’ big “bummer”

I probably should have put my World Series in a previous blog, along with the recap of my Championship Series predictions (and its results). But before I dive into the game recap, here it is: I had the Orioles over the Royals in 5, the Giants over the Cardinals in 6. Results: Royals over Orioles in 4, Giants over Cardinals in 5. So I was .500 (not including the game count) once again. At least, I’m consistent for this postseason. And so for this World Series, I’m saying Giants over Royals in 6 games. Though I will say, it would be way cooler for the Giants if they win it in 5 because they’ll win in San Francisco, and it’s always better to win at home because the crowds are amazing.

(And I promise you I wrote that paragraph before the game started, so tonight’s outcome has nothing to do with why I chose to go that direction. No, it’s pure dumb luck, which is usually how I end up on the favored side of my predictions.)

Let’s be honest here: the Royals are clearly the favorite if you’re rooting for the underdogs, while the Giants are the favorite if you’re rooting for a continuation of whatever dynasty the Giants seem to be building this decade (their 3rd Series in 5 years). And each side has their opinions as to why their selected team will take the Series, the least of which being that their team is just “better”. But mostly, I think people are just picking the lesser of two evils if they’re not already Royals or Giants fans. So basically, it’s just like every other World Series.

Tonight, both teams put up their “ace” pitcher, but only one tonight really proved himself to be a true ace. An “ace” to me is one who can face any situation, any batter, any play with consistency and excellence and shut down the opposing team with the help of his defense at times, but one who is in control of the game from start to finish. That fell to the Giants’ starter tonight in every sense of the word (and my stated definition), one I’ve said in previous blog posts that is a personal favorite (non-Yankee) pitcher to watch because of his (Yankee-like) work ethic and tenacity on the field. Bumgarner certainly outpitched his opponent the Royals’ ace Shields. Bumgarner throwing a solid 106 pitches over 7 innings, giving up just 3 hits and a walk, and the one run the Royals collected tonight (a solo shot in the 7th inning).

Shields and the Royals, however, just struggled in front of their home town crowd. Despite the raucous cheers from oceans of fans donning every shade of blue (save Yankee-like navy), the Royals were limited to minimal offense and just didn’t display the impressive defense they’ve been showing off in every other postseason game this October. Instead, Shields’ whopping 70 pitches took him into the 4th inning, but technically could patch together much, exiting after 7 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, and just 1 strike out. It took him 32 pitches (almost half of his final total tonight) to get through the 1st inning alone, giving up an RBI double and a 2-run home run to put the Giants on top 3-0 quickly.

An RBI single in the 4th forced the Royals into their bullpen early in the game, though his reliever ended up loading the bases with a 2-out walk and then walked the next batter to walk in the Giants’ 5th run. This was before they finally settled down and found their rhythm again. It wasn’t until the 7th inning that the Giants found another opening for their offense against the Royals’ bullpen. A lead-off walk scored on a nice triple, before that runner scored on an RBI single. After the Royals’ single offensive attack in the bottom of the 7th, the score was 7-1 Giants. And there it sat.

Kauffman Stadium was rather quiet unless a “good play” was made by the Royals. At some point about halfway through the game, the fans turned from hoping for a win to cheering for any “good thing” they could, be it a strikeout or easy ground out or sacrifice bunt. Not a bad display of team spirit and loyalty, Kansas City. But I’m guessing the folks across the country at their locales intently watching the game were cheering in their Orange and Black, and very glad for such a solid win in their corner.

The Giants’ win tonight also snapped the Royals’ record-setting postseason at 8 postseason wins. And here’s another fun fact (at least fun for any Giants’ supporters): 10 of the last 11 Game 1 winners have gone on to win the Series that year, including the Giants in their last 2 Series (2010 and 2012).

WS Game 1: Giants over Royals 7-1, Giants lead Series 1-0

Okay, for “This Day in Yankee History”, we go all the way back to 1928 when Yankee legend Whitey Ford was born. The southpaw would grow up to don the pinstripes and become the Yankees’ all-time wins leader and owner of the most World Series wins (10) in history. He was one of the outstanding pitching staff during the Yankees second dynasty (the DiMaggio-Mantle-Berra era in the middle of the 20th century).  (For more, you can check out a post I did on the Hall of Fame pitcher earlier this year.)

Go Yankees!