Saturday, October 25, 2014

World Series: Game Three

There was a lot going on at my house last night -- a new episode of Mi Corazon Es Tuyo, a telephone call with Number 2 Son, a fascinating discussion with SmartGirl about Lois Lane -- so I didn't see much of this game after all.  As it turned out, this was yet another low-scoring struggle similar to many, many other games in this post-season.  But while the Giants thrived in these games against Washington and St. Louis, they could not get it done last night.  Kansas City jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 victory.  So despite winning Game One on the road, the Giants now trail two games to one -- and with only two more games left in San Francisco, the Giants face what is probably a must-win game tonight.

One reason that the Giants did so well against the Nats and Cards is that those teams lacked dependable  bullpens.  Time and time again we saw the Giants stage late rallies to win playoff games.  But the Royals' bullpen has been extraordinary in the playoffs.  The Royals enter every game with a simple plan:  take a lead -- any lead -- into the seventh inning -- and then turn that lead over to their three top relievers.  Kelvin Herrera (4-3, 1.41 ERA in 70 innings) usually pitches the seventh.  In the post-season so far, Herrera has given up 1 run in 11 1/3 innings for an ERA of 0.79.  Next up the Royals use Wade Davis (9-2, 1.00 ERA in 72 innings).  He has also allowed 1 run in 11 1/3 innings in the post-season.  And finally, the Royals give the ball to Greg Holland (1-3, 1.44 ERA in 62.1 innings).  Holland has given up 1 run in 10 innings so far in this post-season, for an ERA of 0.90.

So think about it like this:  the Royals have played 107 innings of post-season baseball so far this year.  Herrera, Davis, and Holland have accounted for 32 2/3 of those innings, and in those innings they have allowed a total of three runs.  That is the main reason that Kansas City has gone 10-1 since the regular season ended.

Last night, Kansas City switched things up a little bit, bringing in Herrera in the 6th to quell San Francisco's only rally of the game, and using rookie Brandon Finnegan to pick up two outs in the 7th.  But once the Royals made it to the 8th inning with the lead, that game was over.  The same Giants who tormented relief pitchers from Washington and St. Louis could do nothing against Davis and Holland.  If the Giants want to win this series, they need to start scoring sooner.

Kansas City leads  San Francisco 2-1

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