October 21, 2014
In game one of the World Series the Giants did what no team could do in postseason play – they clobbered Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium, thus putting a halt to the Royals’ historical streak.
Tonight, there would be no come from behind heroics, as their ace put them in the hole, giving up three runs in the top of the first. A six-day layoff did not pay off for Shields, who for four innings, struggled to find the strike zone. It was almost as if he needed a GPS to find the plate, while Bumgarner required no directions, putting on a masterful pitching performance, silencing Kansas City’s bats for seven innings, even flashing some glorious glove work along the way.
The Royals had one idle threat in the bottom of the third, loading the bases with no outs, but San Francisco’s menace on the mound got two quick 0-2 counts which led to strike outs, and the cooled off, hot hitting Hosmer’s weak inning ending infield grounder failed to bring anyone home.
In the top of the fourth, Pence doubled, Morse singled, and a series of wild pitches and walks added to the Royals’ woes, as the Giants’ tacked on two more runs to take a commanding 5-0 lead.
The Royals did more unraveling in the 7th with another dose of walks and pitches in the dirt. Tim Collins, who replaced Shields midway through the 4th, could not shut down the Giants’ offensive machine, giving up two more runs via a triple to Panik and a single to Sandoval, making a Royal comeback further beyond reach. In the bottom of the inning, Salvador Perez allowed Kansas City to escape with some dignity, homering to left, saving his teammates from a demoralizing shut out.
This is not how I pictured the outcome of these two teams. But, like Truman defeating Dewey, who ever thought Kansas City down 7-3 in the winner take all wild card game, would claw their way back to a 9-8 victory over the Oakland A’s?
As a baseball fan, I wish the Royals would have continued their Cinderella story with a four game sweep. But the mighty Giants also have a story, and their glass slipper is now only three games away.