October 30, 2014 at 11:14 am ET
I hadn’t been nervous watching a World Series game since 1991, when the Twins were battling the Braves in what turned out to be Jack Morris’ defining moment. In fact, I hadn’t experienced anxiety watching any contest since Game 163 back in 2009, and almost thought we were going to have a deja vu all over again moment when Alex Gordon’s single was played into three bases, much like Michael Cuddyer’s tenth-inning effort five years ago.
The only difference was that Cuddyer crossed home plate. Alex Gordon would not.
For the past couple of seasons, I have been desperately trying to locate the passion for the game I once had. Little did I know, it was in Kansas City. It’s ...Continue reading »
October 30, 2014 at 12:56 am ET
Like an actor disappearing and someone else emerging completely, like a pianist turning each note into a wave of sound, like the painter who swirls and dabs and brushes and scratches a pallet of colors into one vision, like a chef who combines a host of flavors into one delectable collection of tastes and aromas, like anyone who has the ability to take a craft, learn it, master it, and then it make his or her own; Madison Bumgarner has done so with the ability to take brute force and finesse and intelligence and deliver a series of pitches that no one could see or hit or anticipate.
It was a World Series performance for the ages, to be sure....Continue reading »
October 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm ET
Two dozen pitchers are available for tonight’s game, and we may see most of them tonight. Throughout the postseason, though, the San Francisco Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy and Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost have been happy to use four, maybe five, pitchers each.
For the Giants, they will be thrilled if the oldest World Series starter ever, Tim Hudson, goes six innings. Depending on the matchup, we will likely see lefties Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez along with righties Yusmeiro Petit, then Sergio Romo in the eighth and Santiago Casilla to close.
Madison Bumgarner is available of course, but Giants fans won’t likely enjoy seeing him if he’s in the game, as that ...Continue reading »
October 29, 2014 at 9:32 am ET
Pitchers and catchers for the Giants and Royals reported for spring training in mid-February. Opening Day, Derek Jeter’s farewell tour, an All-Star Game, the dog days, eight teams qualified for the postseason tournament, an amazing Wild Card Game, pennant-winning walk-off and six World Series games since have proven insufficient to settle a champion.
ItÂ all endsÂ tonight.
San Francisco is one win from its third title in five years. Kansas City need a single victory to claim its second crown and first in nearly three decades.
The Giants have all the names and experience, while adjectives oftenÂ used toÂ describe these Royals include taunts of “lucky” and “BABIP.”
Let’s just call them opportunistic....Continue reading »
October 28, 2014 at 8:52 pm ET
I’m no longer totally immersed 24/7 into prospects, especially National League prospects, especially prospects of my 2nd least favorite team.
I may have his baseball card somewhere amongst the few packs and boxes I bought this year. I think it may be in a pile in a box in my office, and I’ll dig it out after we move offices in a week or so.
He didn’t play for the Cardinals’ FSL club that I saw on occasion when I lived in Florida. I didn’t watch a Cardinals game this year until the post season, I don’t think. If I did, I didn’t pay attention to him.
I do know he was very highly ...Continue reading »
October 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm ET
Itâ€™s possible, likely even, or maybe just hypothetical, or imaginary, that I might have been wrong about Kansas City Royalsâ€™ manager Ned Yostâ€™s use of James Shields in the World Series.
Before I go further, I was not wrong about Shields being just above dreadful on the scale of starting pitchers in his recent postseason historyâ€¦but Yostâ€™s use of him against Giantsâ€™ all-world, all-history, all-postseason stud, Madison Bumgarner might have just been a stroke of geniusâ€¦and hereâ€™s why.Â Bumgarner throttled theÂ Royals in both starts. James Shields was not good in game one, but quite good in game five -though not good enough. Both were Royals losses -losses I think the Royals expected. Now that they’veÂ lost the two ...Continue reading »
October 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm ET
After Game 2 of this Fall Classic, I said that all the Royals needed was one win in San Francsico. They were successful in that venture and return to Kauffman Stadium for Game 6, and perhaps a Game 7.
Yordano Ventura pitched into the sixth before being relieved by Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, who pitched 3 and 2/3 inning of one-hit ball while the Royals hung four earned on Jake Peavy in that second contest, a match-up I like again I like in Game 6.
The only specter lingering would be that in a Game 7 scenario, Madison Bumgarner is likely available out of the bullpen for Bruce Bochy, because the new Christy Mathewson has all ...Continue reading »
October 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm ET
Where to start with game four of the World Series?
The Kansas City Royals deciding fastballs were okay to throw to Giants noted fastball killer Hunter Pence?
Royals reliever Danny Duffy abandoning breaking balls away to Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval?
Royals manager Ned Yost pulling his starting pitcher Jason Vargas in the fourth inning with a two-run lead? Needing a pinch hitter for Vargas who had had two fantastic at bats earlier? How about Jason Vargas having a career .262 batting average? How about preventing Jarrod Dyson from stealing with the weak hitting lefty Norichika Aoki up instead of Vargas to keep the right side of the infield open? Having Aoki ground into a double play killing a golden ...Continue reading »
October 25, 2014 at 3:02 am ET
Salvador Perez was flat-out sloppy in game 1 of the World Series. The catcher for the Kansas City Royals wasn’t framing pitches and he wasn’t blocking them either. Sloppines
s cost the team at least three called strikes and two bases on wild pitches. Those pitches should have been blocked, but instead allowed runners to advance, and changed the momentum of the game.
Fast forward 24 hours and then again 72 and Perez looks like a different player. Unlike game one, Perez wasn’t rushing to get the ball out of his glove and back to the pitcher. Instead he was holding the glove for the home plate ump, giving him at least a chance to call ...Continue reading »
October 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm ET
adrenaline and blood flow, mix
for a healthy pitcher
eyes sharp, focused
as a hawk on rabbit
a rocking coil...Continue reading »