Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Game Wrap 2014 World Series Game 7: Giants 3 Royals 2. Giants are World Series Champions!

Well, Madison Bumgarner did not pitch the first 5 inning of this game or even the first 3, but he did pitch the last 5 shutting down the Royals offense once again to lead the Giants to their 3'rd World Series Championship in 5 seasons.  Key Lines:

Blanco, Panik, Posey- 0 for 12.  If you had told me the first 3 batters in the lineup would go a combined 0 for 12, I would probably have told you the Giants would surely lose.  Panik made the defensive play of the game, though, to take away a basehit up the middle from Eric Hosmer and make a glove flip to Crawford to start a DP in the 3'rd inning.  Blanco came very close to being the goat when he misplayed what should have been a single for Alex Gordon into a 2 base error that left Gordon at 3B with 2 outs in the 9'th inning.  For a second there, I actually thought Gordon would take it all the way around and score the tying run right there.  A heartstopping moment and Blanco has been so good on defense all series.  Brought back nightmares of Jose Cruz Jr!

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 4, HBP.  BA= .429.  Sandoval just kept pounding out the hits.  Clearly Pabs was intentionally swinging for basehits rather than power all series and it paid off big time in this game with a couple of runs scored.

Hunter Pence-  2 for 4.  BA= .444.  Pence also seemed to suppress his power urges this series and broke out of his slump by peppering the field with singles.

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4.  BA= .308.  No dingers and no Runs or RBI's but Belt had productive outs and kept the line moving for others to score and drive in runs.  Nice game for The Belter.

Michael Morse- 1 for 3.  BA= .250.  Giants secret weapon was Morse at DH.  Perfect fit!

Brandon Crawford- 0 for 3, SF.  BA= .308.  Crawford hitting 8'th is like magic.  Maybe the best #8 hitter in baseball!

Juan Perez- 0 for 3.  BA= .250.  Perez did not get any hits, but made a nice catch on a slicing liner down the LF line that I am not sure if Ishikawa would have had.  I know the other members of my family who were watching did not think Ishikawa would have had it.

Tim Hudson- 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 6.14.  Huddy did not have it.  Very poor command, pitches up the zone.  Bochy might have waited too long to get him, but the 2 run lead gave him some rope.  Personally, if Bummy was able to go multiple innings, I would have started him, but it sure worked out in the end.

Jeremy Affeldt- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 0.00.  Every contract Affledt has signed, people have complained about him being overpaid, but I'll say it right now.  Without Affledt, the Giants do not win 1 World Series in the last 5 years let alone 3!  Another clutch, shutdown performance by the accident prone dude.

Madison Bumgarner- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 0.43.  Man!  The big guy just put the team on his back and carried it across the finish line.  Once he got rolling, you knew he was going to finish it!  What a series by a truly special talent.  And look who is the toast of Major League Baseball now!  Clayton who?  And how many Best Pitchers in Baseball have the Giants left drowning in their wake over these 3 postseason runs?  Let's see, Doc Halliday, Cliff Lee, Justin Verlander, Kershaw…. am I missing anybody?  Anyway, once again, it was an historic Series and postseason for Madison Bumgarner.

Chevy Salesman- Man, when that Chevy salesman  went into his sales pitch while trying to present Bummy with the MVP car, I though Bud Selig was going to walk over and grab him by the throat!  Oh man!  Stankeye, body language, eye rolling, head rolling, face palming, Selig did it all within about a 90 second time frame!  LOL!

KC Royals-  Royals were a very worthy and classy opponent.  Another organization that has taken a lot of guff from baseball oriented internet based media, they played with class, heart, skill and enthusiasm.  They may not have come in with the reputations of the Texas Rangers in 2010 or Detroit Tigers in 2012, but they played a whole lot better.  They have a ton of young talent on that team. They will be good in the coming years even if James Shields moves on to greener pastures.

The Win give the Giants 4 wins in the best of 7 series.  They are the World Series Champions for the 3 third time in 5 season.  I went back through the full list of WS champions in history and was only able to find 7 teams that have won as many in such a short time frame:

Philly A's- 3 times in 4 seasons 1910-13.

Red Sox- 3 times in 4 seasons 1915-18.

Yankees- 4 straight 1936-39 and 5 of 6 1936-41.

Cardinals- 3 of 5 1942-46.

Yankees- 5 straight 1949-53 and 6 of 7 1947-53.

Oakland A's- 3 straight 1972-74

Yankees- 3 straight 1998-2000 and 4 of 5 1996-2000.

The only National League Team to match the Giants is the 1942-46 Cardinals.  The Dodgers were next closest with 3 out of 7 1959-1965.

No Big Red Machine. No Toronto Blue Jays.  No Baltimore Orioles of the 60's and 70's.  No Braves of the 90's.

I've seen pushback in some corners against calling this Giants team a dynasty, and I admit it is a subjective term, but if you look at the history of the World Series, the Giants deserve to be counted among the great multiple championship teams in baseball history.

Blast From the Past: The Highest Leverage At Bat In Baseball History

In 1962, the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees played one of the tightest, most competitive World Series in baseball history.  The 1962 Series ended appropriately, but sadly for the Giants, with The Highest Leverage At Bat In Baseball History!  The Giants reached the World Series for the first time since moving to San Francisco by beating the Dodgers in a 3 game playoff.  The Yankees were playing in their umpteenth consecutive World Series and playing for their 20'th WS win.

Game 1 was in San Francisco with Billy O'Dell facing the legendary Whitey Ford.  Ford's WS consecutive scoreless innings streak ended at 33.2 IP in the second inning when Willie Mays scored.  The game was tied 2-2 after 6, but the Yankees pulled away at the end for a 6-2 win with Ford getting the W.  Yankees up 1 game to 0.

The Giants came back to win Game 2 behind their ace, Jack Sanford facing Ralph Terry.  The Giants scored a run in the bottom of the first and Willie McCovey hit a HR for an insurance run in the 7'th inning.  Sanford pitched a CG, 3-hit shutout for the 2-0 win.  Series tied 1 game each.

The Series moved to New York for the next 3 games.  A 3 run rally by the Yankees in the 7'th inning of Game 3 broke a scoreless pitching duel between Bill Stafford of the Yankees and the Giants Billy Pierce.  Ed Bailey's 2 run HR in the 9'th inning was too little, too late.  Yankees up 2 games to 1.

A young Juan Marichal started Game 4 for the Giants and took a 2-0 lead into the 6'th on a 2-run HR by catcher Tom Haller.  The Yankees fought back to tie it in the 6'th, but Chuck Hiller hit a grand slam HR in the 7'th, the first GS by a National League player in WS history, and the Giants won the game 7-4 with Don Larsen, yes THAT Don Larsen, getting the W in relief.  Series Tied 2-2.

Game 5 was delayed for a day by rain with Jack Sanford and Ralph Terry facing off again.  Tom Tresh hit a 3 run home run in the bottom of the 8'th and the Yankees won this one 5-3.  Yankees up 3 games to 2.

The Series headed back to San Francisco, but was delayed for 4 days by a torrential rainstorm in Northern California.  When it resumed, Billy Pierce got the start against Whitey Ford and pitched a CG 3 hitter with the Giants winning 5-2.  Roger Maris homered in the game.  Series tied 3 games apiece!

Game 7 came down to Sanford vs Terry for the 3'rd time in the series, although neither pitcher was on short rest due to the rain delay.  The Yankees scratched out a run in the 5'th inning on a DP groundout by Tony Kubek.  The score remained 1-0 going to the bottom of the 9'th inning and the home team Giants batting.  Matty Alou, pinch-hitting for reliever Billy O'Dell, reached first base on a bunt single.  Terry struck out Felipe Alou and Chuck Hiller.  Willie Mays then went opposite field for a double down in the RF corner.  Maris played the ball perfectly and got the ball quickly to Bobby Richardson, the relay man.  Matty Alou held at 3B.  That brought Willie McCovey to the plate with 2 outs, runners at 2'nd and 3'rd and the Yankees clinging to a 1-0 lead.  It's been called the single highest leverage At Bat in the history of baseball!  With Mays on 2B and the runners going on contact, any hit would likely score 2 runs for a Giants win, while an out would end the game in the Yankees favor.  McCovey had tripled of the CF fence in his previous AB but was stranded at 3B.

Willie hit a long foul down the RF line on the first pitch.  Terry jammed Willie Mac with the second pitch, but Willie pulled his arms in and hit a line drive that appeared to be going over the head and just to the left of second baseman, Bobby Richardson.  Willie Mac has said it was the hardest he ever hit a ball, but that is questionable.  What is not questionable is that the ball had enough topspin on it that it sank in the air and all Richardson had to do was take a step and glove the ball.

Game over.  Yankees win 1-0 and take the 1962 World Series 4 games to 3.

The Highest Leverage At Bat In Baseball History!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Game Wrap 2014 World Series Game 6: Royals 10 Giants 0

When I was trying to think of an opening line for this post, the phrase "a royal whipping" came to mind.  I also thought of "the BABIP gods struck back with a vengeance" or "the Giants got a royal BABIP'ing."   Jake Peavy and the Giants got into one of those innings in the bottom of the second frame where no matter what pitch you throw or where the ball is hit, you just can't get an out to save your life.  When the BABIP'ing ended, the Royals had themselves a 7-0 lead and you knew the game was over.  Key Lines:

Jake Peavy- 1.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 12.79.  Peavy actually looked really good for the first two batters, much better than his Game 2 start.  Then he walked Lorenzo Cain and gave up a hard single to Eric Hosmer.  He managed to get out of the first on a groundout by major nemesis, Billy "Country Breakfast" Butler.  The bottom of the second inning started with a soft single to CF by Alex Gordon followed by a line-drive single by Salvador Perez and then a seeing-eye groundball double down the first base line.  Rags came out to check with Peavy and Infante struck out, but then all hell broke loose.  Nori Aoki hit a weak bouncer to Belt who was off the bag.  Belt checked Perez at 3B who was headed back to third and then started to take it to the first base bag himself for what should have been the 2'nd out of the inning.  Peavy who had his back to Perez at 3B started yelling at Belt to throw home and Belt froze for a split second, just enough to let Aoki beat him to the bag at first.  Now the bases were loaded with 1 out instead of 2'nd and 3'rd with 2 outs and you just knew it was going to get worse, way worse!  I'll spare you the unpleasant details, but Yusmeiro Petit could not stop the bleeding either.

That was pretty much the ballgame right there.  It's a little mystifying why Buster Posey, who appears to be exhausted, did not come out until the 7'th inning.  Bochy somehow managed to avoid using Affeldt, Romo or Casilla, or Tim Lincecum.

The Loss tied the best of 7 series at 3 games each.  It is now a one game do or die, mutual elimination match for Game 7.

Bochy has a couple of big decisions to make here:

1.  IMO, Juan Perez absolutely has to start in LF tomorrow.  His D is way better than Travis Ishikawa's and his bat is actually hotter right now too!

2.  Does he start Tim Hudson on normal rest and hope he competes his way to a win, or does he bring back his ace, Madison Bumgarner on short rest?  If it was any other game, I'd say no way to Bummy coming back, but this is the end of the season, win or lose.  Bummy has all winter to get rested up.  Heck, let him come to spring training 2 weeks late!  I don't think you have to get another CG from Bummy or even 6 innings.  I would be down with Bummy for as little as 3 innings with Affeldt, Romo and Casilla throwing 2 each.  The two Tim's would be saved for a possible extra inning game.  Probably more ideal would be 5 innings from Bummy with 2 from Affeldt and 1 each from Romo and Casilla.  I'm not going to call Bochy an idiot if he goes with Huddy, but if it's me, I ask Bummy to give me 3-5 more innings in the final game of the season.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thoughts on Madison Bumgarner's Place in Postseason and World Series History

Given a choice between seeing a great individual performance by a Giants player in the postseason and the team winning the World Series, of course, I would take winning the World Series.  On the other hand, what makes me remember World Series past is not generally the team that won, but the performances of individual players.  I mean which do you think is remembered by more people, who won the 1954 World Series or the picture of Willie Mays making The Catch?  Who won the 1956 World Series or Don Larsen's Perfect Game?

I can remember as a kid, listening to and reading about Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson pitching WS shutouts and wishing like crazy that it was Juan Marichal.  I remember Lou Brock dominating at the plate and on the basepaths or Roberto Clement's great series and wishing like hell it was Willie Mays.

When the Giants finally won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, they won as a team.  Sure, there were top notch individual performances by Matt Cain, Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum and others, but nobody was carving out a World Series resume for the ages.  The 2014 World Series, win or lose, has finally produced an individual performance that just might be the best of all time of it's kind, Madison Bumgarner's dominance through 3 postseasons and World Series.

When I think of great postseason performers, I think of players who dominated in multiple postseason series over multiple years.  Names that come immediately to mind when I think of great postseason pitchers include Whitey Ford, Koufax, Gibson.  Looking back into the more distant past, Christy Mathewson certainly deserves mention.  Madison Bumgarner has now pitched in 3 postseasons including 3 World Series and has put together a resume that rivals those great names I mention.  I thought it might be interesting to look up the stat lines of some of these stars of the past and compare them with what we are witnessing from Bumgarner now.

Whitey Ford:  10-8, 2.71, 146 IP, 34 BB, 94 K's.  Ford appeared in 11 World Series and pitched in 22 WS games, a record that will likely never be broken.  His ERA was probably hurt by the sheer sample size.  What I can't figure out, though is howtheheck he lost 8 World Series games with a career WS ERA of 2.71.  Talk about getting Cained!

Sandy Koufax:  4-3, 0.95, 57 IP, 11 BB, 61 K.  Koufax pitched in a total of 4 World Series.  He was the MVP of the 1963 and 1965 Series.  Amazingly, he lost 3 WS games despite a career WS ERA of 0.95.  While I have always considered Koufax to be the best pitcher of my lifetime(Clayton Kershaw is currently challenging that notion and Bummy may before his career is over), his losses in Game 2 of both the 1965  and 1966 WS kept me from ever ranking him as a great WS pitcher, despite the dominance in the 4 games he won and the minuscule WS ERA.  Of course, as a Giants fan who wanted nothing more than to see Juan Marichal pitch a World Series game, I took no end of delight in Koufax's WS losses!

Bob Gibson:  7-2, 1.89, 81 IP, 17 BB, 92 K's.  Gibson played in 3 WS and started 9 WS games, 3 in each series.  All 9 of those WS starts were Complete Games!  9 Starts, 81 IP.  Think about that for a minute!  He was the MVP of the 1964 and 1967 WS going 2-1 in '64 and 3-0 in '67.  He went 2-1 in '68 including a 17 strikeout performance in Game 1, but the Detroit Tigers eventually beat him in Game 7 to win the series and keep him from his 3'rd Series MVP.  To me, Bob Gibson has alway been the Gold Standard of postseason pitchers, but even he was not perfect.

Jack Billingham:  Postseason- 2-1, 1.93, 42 IP, 15 BB, 32 K's.
                            World Series- 2-0, 0.36, 25.1 IP, 9 BB, 19 K's.  The reason I post Billingham's numbers here is that he was the previous WS ERA record holder for pitchers with at least 20 IP.  Billingham pitched in 3 WS for the Big Red Machine and pitched in 7 WS games, but only started 3.  The Big Red Machine is remembered for Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez rather than their pitchers.  Their pitching was vastly underrated, but in my mind, the fact that Billingham was actually more of a reliever than starter for those teams diminishes his accomplishment in my mind.

Curt Schilling:  Postseason- 11-2, 2.23, 133.1 IP, 25 BB, 120 K's.
                         World Series- 4-1, 2.06, 48 IP, 10 BB, 43 K's.  I have to admit that I did not realize the degree of Schilling's dominance in postseason play.  He does deserve to be in the discussion of top postseason pitchers of all time, much as I hate to admit it.

What about Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens?  Nobody can compete with those two guys for sheer volume of postseason competition.  Pettitte went 19-11 in his postseason career and holds the record for most postseason wins.  Both Pettitte and Clemens had ERA's well north of 3.00 in both postseason and WS play.  Again, the sheer sample size may have hurt them.  They pitched in an extreme hitter's era.  It's hard to think of them in the same terms as Gibson, Koufax and Schilling.  I also did not include relievers here even though Mariano Rivera had a great postseason career and Francisco Rodriguez, much as I would like to forget it, won 5 postseason games as a reliever in 2002.

Madison Bumgarner:   Postseason- 7-3, 2.77, 83.1 IP, 15 BB, 73 K's.
                                     World Series- 4-0, 0.29, 31 IP, 5 BB, 27 K's.

As you can see, Bumgarner's numbers are very competitive with the greatest postseason heroes of all time, and maybe even better than that.  The ERA in 4 WS starts over 3 seasons is extremely impressive and very worthy of being listed as a record.  Of course, his postseason career may be far from over and could suffer in future competition, or he could just add to his already most impressive resume.

Where do you think Madison Bumgarner's postseason and World Series career performance ranks in the history of baseball?

Game Wrap 2014 World Series Game 5: Giants 5 Royals 0

Madison Bumgarner pitched an historically great game and the Giants scored some runs, but mostly Madison Bumgarner pitched an historically great game!  Key Lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4.  BA= .364.  Before the game, in response to a question, Pablo Sandoval stated, "we don't care about home runs!"  As long as you are getting hits and keeping the line moving, Pablo, that's OK.  The hot trend in MLB that Sabers are just starting to wake up to is contact.  Don't let yourself get too deep into a count.  Avoid two strike counts(well, except for Hunter Pence).  Get more hits!

Hunter Pence- 2 for 4.  BA= .474.  Pence hit a 3'rd ball about as hard as you can hit it.  It was caught in deep right-centerfield by Lorenzo Cain, whose leg did not appear to be bothering him.

Juan Perez- 1 for 1, 2B.  BA= .250.   Juan Perez knew Oscar Taveras and was in tears in the dugout during the game.  He came up in the 8'th inning with 2 runners on base and provided the backbreaker with a drive off the fearsome Wade Davis that hit a few millimeters below the Ian Kinsler mark on the CF wall.  Little Juan scored on Crawford's hit and a tense ballgame was suddenly an easy win for the Giants.  He also made a catch of a drive off the bat of Salvador Perez look easy when it wasn't.

BTW, Travis Ishikawa did not figure in the scoring, but went 2 for 3.  Who do you start in LF for Game 6?

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4.  BA= .333.  I've talked about the unique skills Crawford has developed for hitting 8'th.  In this game, he and the Giants may have benefitted from the Royals having a little too much respect for Bummy's hitting and not enough respect for Crawford, although Crawford made productive contact with pitches that were out of the zone.  Sometimes you have to do that when you are hitting 8'th with runners on base.

Madison Bumgarner- 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 0.56.  OK team!  Listen up here!  We are witnessing one of the great postseason pitchers of all time, and he pitches for the team we root for!  Where do I start?  This was the first time in WS history that a pitcher allowed no walks with at least 8 K's in a complete game shutout, not Koufax, Gibson, Whitey Ford, not even Don Larsen's Perfect Game!  Bummy's career WS ERA now stands at 0.29 in 4 starts, best in history for at least 3 starts and 30 IP, topping Jack Billingham of the Big Red Machine.  His career postseason record stands at 7-3, 2.27, 83.1 IP, 15 BB, 73 K's.  When I think of great postseason starting pitchers, I think of Whitey Ford, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson.  I'm adding Madison Bumgarner to tha list!

The Win put the Giants up 3 games to 2 in the best of 7 series.  The Series now moves back to Kansas City for Game 6 and Game 7 if needed.  Jake Peavy and Yordano Ventura face off in a rematch of Game 2 in Game 6.

Around the league:  Devastating news for the St Louis Cardinals and baseball fans everywhere who love to see great talent.  Oscar Taveras, the ultra-talented rookie OF for the Cardinals was killed in an auto accident in the Dominican Republic along with his girlfriend.  You may remember Taveras hitting a HR against the Giants in his first MLB AB this season as well as a pinch hit HR in the NLCS.  He had his struggles as a rook, but you could see the enormous talent was there.  Just very sad news and a huge loss for baseball and the world.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Game Wrap 2014 World Series Game 4: Giants 11 Royals 4

Wow!  OK, team.  I'm not gonna lie.  When the Giants went down 4-1 in the 3'rd inning I did not see this coming!  With their backs to the wall after a BABIP fueled Royals rally put the visiting team up 4-1 in the top of the 3'rd inning, Yusmeiro Petit did his usual shutdown thing and the Giants offense came to life with sustained rallies in multiple innings to bury the Royals and even the Series at 2 games each. Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 2 for 5, BB, SB(1).  BA= .267.  Blanco led off the game with a walk.  Advanced to 2B on groundout by Panik then stole 3B to set up a score when Hunter Pence beat the relay throw in a potential DP grounder.  Blanco walked a tightrope as the grounder went Moustakas at 3B.  He initially held his ground and only headed for home once the relay throw at 2B was released to 1B.  Blanco had 2 more hits in the game, I have to admit I lost track of when, but yeah, he's having a strong series and strong postseason with terrific D in CF.

Joe Panik- 2 for 4, 2 2B, Sac.  BA= .235.  Panik was BABIP'd terribly in games 1 and 2, but finally came through big time tonight.  Even the sacrifice bunt was huge as it moved up 2 runners and led to 2 big runs.  His leadoff double in the 5'th started the game tying rally.  The second double drove in 2 runs in the 7'th inning rally that broke the game wide open.  Just a great game for the Rook.

Hunter Pence- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .467.  Well, Pence's bat is alive and came through with several key hits.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 5.  BA= .333.  I was thinking of writing a comment that Arias might be a better option against LHP's before Pabs came through with 2 big singles batting from the right side.  I will say this though, Pabs is not thin!

Matt Duffy- 1 for 1.  BA= 1.000.  If the Giants should go on to win this Series, in my mind, Matt Duffy will be the guy who started the turnaround.  After they fell behind 4-1, he led off the bottom of the 3'rd inning with a PH single, then scored from 2B on a single to LF where the fearsome Alex Gordon was patrolling.  Matt Duffy!

Ryan Vogelsong- 2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 13.50.  Vogey started out looking strong through the first 2 innings.  It looked like he should get out of the 3'rd inning easily enough, but a series of infield dribblers and his own misplay on an admittedly very difficult cover play at 1B opened the floodgate and he was not able to get out of the inning.  The game really had the feel of being over after the Giants 1-0 lead flipped to a 4-1 deficit.

Yusmeiro Petit- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Yusmeiro to the rescue again!  Is this guy magical or what?  I have to confess to wondering if Bochy might be wasting Petit on a lost cause and might be better off saving him to fight another day, maybe even start a Game 6 if Bummy won game 5. But what to I know?  Petit slammed the door on the Royals while the Giants offense went to work and he ends up with another Win in relief.

The Giants have their own bullpen troika in Affeldt, Romo and Casilla.  They shut it down over the final 3 except Strickland subbed for Casilla in the 9'th due to the non-save blowout situation.

The Win evens the best of 7 Series at 2 games apiece.

Madison Bumgarner takes the mound facing his fellow Game 1 starter James Shields in Game 5 tomorrow evening.

Game Wrap 2014 World Series Game 3: Royals 3 Giants 2

After trading blowouts in KC, the World Series contestants moved to AT&T Park and settled down to the type of game both teams have gotten here by playing.  Alcides Escobar hammered the first pitch of the game for a double to LF.  He came around to score on a couple of groundouts.  That run ultimately was the difference in the game.  The teams traded 2-run rallies in the 6'th inning and the Royals bullpen predictably shut it down the rest of the way.  Key Lines:

Michael Morse- 1 for 1, 2B.  BA= .333.  Seems like Morse would be a perfect DH for some AL team next year.  He might be the best bat on the Giants team right now, but is limited by his fielding woes.

Tim Hudson- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K.  ERA= 4.76.   Hudson would probably like to have the first WS pitch in his career back.  I still don't know what he threw to open the game to Escobar.  Whatever it was had no life and a terrible location.  Escobar drove it off the LF wall for a leadoff double and came around to score in a couple of groundouts.  He settled right down after that and pitched a heckuva game into the 6'th when Escobar got to him again for a single and Alex Gordon double him home to end Huddy's night.

Javier Lopez- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.  You could also look at the hit Eric Hosmer got off Lopez to drive in the 3'rd Royals run as the difference in the game.  Lopez has been just a bit off, even against LH hitters of late.  Credit to Hosmer for hanging around and capitalizing on an 11 pitch AB.

Jeremy Guthrie(Royals)- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 3.60.  As you can see from the line, Guthrie had BABIP luck on his side.  When you add in the little factoid that the Giants had 4 lineouts against him, well, that pretty much tells you the story right there.  One bad pitch by Huddy, a great AB by Hosmer and death by BABIP for the Giants tells the game story in one sentence.

The Win gives the Royals a 2-1 lead in the best of 7 series which historically means they now have a 66.7% chance of being the eventual winner.

Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound tonight facing lefty Jason Vargas in Game 4.