October 22, 2014

World Series 1: Giants 7, Royals 1

Giants - 300 200 200 - 7 10  1
Royals - 000 000 100 - 1  4  1
There is a growing body of evidence that would suggest James Shields is known as "Big Game James" the same way fat guys are called "Tiny" and bald-headed gentlemen are nicknamed "Curly".

In the first game of the 110th World Series, Shields (3-7-5-1-1, 71) surrendered five hits and three runs in the first inning. He was pulled from the game after the first three Giants reached base in the fourth. Although Shields retired the side in both the second and third, there were several hard-hit outs.

On the other side, Madison Bumgarner (7-3-1-1-5, 106) was magnificent, retiring 14 of 15 batters from the third into the seventh, as his San Francisco teammates were putting the game out of reach. The Giants are trying to become only the second National League team to win three World Series titles in five seasons. The St. Louis Cardinals did it in the mid-1940s, winning in 1942, 1944 and 1946.

Gregor Blanco began the game with a single to center. He raced to second on Joe Panik's fly to deep left-center and moved to third as Buster Posey lined a soft single to left. Pablo Sandoval doubled into the right field corner, scoring Panik. Posey also tried to score but was thrown out at the plate fairly easily. Hunter Pence drilled a two-run homer to right-center for a 3-0 Giants lead.

Pence reached base four times in the game, doubling in the fourth and walking in the seventh and ninth. He and Blanco both scored twice. Blanco and Sandoval reached base three times each, and Panda drove in two runs.

The Royals had a golden chance to get back into the game in the bottom of the third. An infield error and Mike Moustakas's double put runners at second and third with no outs. Bumgarner bore down, striking out Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki. Lorenzo Cain walked, loading the bases, but Eric Hosmer grounded Bumgarner's first pitch to second.

The Giants then added insult to the Royals' ineptitude by scoring twice off Shields and reliever Danny Duffy, upping their lead to 5-0. Pence doubled, Brandon Belt walked, and Michael Morse lined an RBI-single to center. Duffy relieved Shields and after a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third, Duffy walked both Brandon Crawford and Blanco, forcing in a run.

In the seventh, Panik tripled home Blanco, who had walked, and scored on Sandoval's single.

Salvador Perez homered for Kansas City's only tally. That Royals run snapped Bumgarner's streak of World Series shutout innings to begin a career at 21, second only to Christy Mathewson's 28 innings. Bumgarner's streak of postseason scoreless road innings was ended at 32.2, a major league record.


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World Series
Game 1: Tuesday, October 21    Giants at Royals
Game 2: Wednesday, October 22  Giants at Royals
Game 3: Friday, October 24     Royals at Giants
Game 4: Saturday, October 25   Royals at Giants
Game 5: Sunday, October 26     Royals at Giants
Game 6: Tuesday, October 28    Giants at Royals
Game 7: Wednesday, October 29  Giants at Royals

Giants (8-2)
October  1  NLWC    Giants 8, Pirates 0
October  3  NLDS 1  Giants 3, Nationals 2
October  4  NLDS 2  Giants 2, Nationals 1 (18)
October  6  NLDS 3  Nationals 4, Giants 1
October  7  NLDS 4  Giants 3, Nationals 2
October 11  NLCS 1  Giants 3, Cardinals 0
October 12  NLCS 2  Cardinals 5, Giants 4
October 14  NLCS 3  Giants 5, Cardinals 4 (10)
October 15  NLCS 4  Giants 6, Cardinals 4
October 16  NLCS 5  Giants 6, Cardinals 3

Royals (8-0)
September 30  ALWC    Royals 9, Athletics 8 (12)
October    2  ALDS 1  Royals 3, Angels 2 (11)
October    3  ALDS 2  Royals 4, Angels 1 (11)
October    5  ALDS 3  Royals 8, Angels 3
October   10  ALCS 1  Royals 8, Orioles 6 (10)
October   11  ALCS 2  Royals 6, Orioles 4
October   14  ALCS 3  Royals 2, Orioles 1
October   15  ALCS 4  Royals 2, Orioles 1
This year's World Series features both wild card teams, only the second time that has happened in 20 years. (The other series was in 2002 (Giants/Angels).) The winner of this year's fall classic will be the sixth wild card team to win the World Series, joining the 1997 Marlins, 2002 Angels, 2003 Marlins, 2004 Red Sox and 2011 Cardinals.

Elias reports that the combined winning percentage of the Giants (88-74) and Royals (89-73) - .546, 177-147 - is the second-lowest for any World Series, only one percentage point higher than the .545 (176-147) mark for the 1973 WS between the A's (94-68) and (82-79).

The 2014 World Series is the first ever (following a non-shortened regular season) without a team that won 90+ games. The only two World Series to date without a 90-win team were in 1918 (Red Sox 75-51, Cubs 84-45; World War I) and 1981 (Dodgers 63-47, Yankees 59-48; players' strike).
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And then there were two!

Only two readers correctly picked the Royals and Giants to make it to the World Series in the JoS 2014 Postseason Contest.

And, as luck would have it, one picked the Giants to win the World Series and the other chose the Royals.
             ALCS      NLCS      WS        WS RS
Peter Y      KCR 6     SFG 6     SFG 5       39
Drew B       KCR 7     SFG 5     KCR 6       32
The winner will receive a copy of "Don't Let Us Win Tonight", autographed by me, co-author Bill Nowlin, and former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar (who wrote the book's foreword).

1 comment:

FenFan said...

Great post, Allan.

I only caught the first inning but, wow, Shields looked awful. Let's hope the Royals can salvage a split tonight or it's going to be a short series.

That said, it would be remarkable if the Giants can pull off a third WS title in five seasons. They have quietly dominated baseball over the past several seasons.