After Madison Bumgarner lead the San Francisco Giants to a victory in game one of the World Series last night, the Kansas City Royals eyed to even the series on Wednesday night. Similar to Tuesday’s game, the Giants jumped out to a first inning lead against Royals’ starter Yordano Ventura. After seeing seven pitches, Giants’ lead-off man Gregor Blanco tattooed a 98 MPH fastball into the right field bleachers for a solo home run. However, in the home half of the first, Kansas City was quick to respond to the Giants opening score. The Royals started a two-out rally on the strength of a Lorenzo Cain double, and a four pitch walk to Eric Hosmer. With runners on first and second, first baseman Billy Butler lined a run scoring single to left which knotted the score at one. An inning later, the Royals broke the one-one tie after Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar each collected a double, and produced Kansas City’s second run of the game. Down two-to-one, the Giants quickly erased the their one run deficit, as Pablo Sandoval lead off the fourth inning with a double, and Brandon Belt drove him in two batters later. Tied at two, this see-saw affair seemed to be destine for a late innings decision, however the Royals had different plans for Game two. After Giants starter Jake Peavy put the first two runners on to lead off the bottom of the sixth, San Francisco’s bullpen imploded. Billy Butler opened an eventual five run sixth with an RBI single, a batter later catcher Salvatore Perez collected a two RBI double. Leading five-to-two, Royals second baseman Omar Infante delivered the back-breaker to the Giants, demolishing a Hunter Strickland offering over the left field wall for a two-run home run. Thanks to yet another dominate outing by the Royals bullpen, Kansas City was able to preserve a seven-to-two victory in game two, and knot the series at a game a piece. The Giants and Royals will travel to San Francisco on Thursday, and play game three of the World Series on Friday.
- After finally getting into a playoff game this postseason, former Giants ace Tim Lincecum was forced to leave the game with a lower back injury. Wednesday’s outing was the first in game action that the 30-year old had seen in twenty-three days, despite being featured on the Giants roster during all three stages of the playoffs. (Tim Lincecum leaves World Series Game 2 with lower back tightness)
- “Big Game” James Shields hasn’t exactly lived up to his moniker so far this postseason. Sporting an ERA north of 7.00 in four playoff starts this season, the Royals right-hander is regarded as the ace of the staff, but has pitched more like a four or five starter. A free agent at seasons end, some wonder if Shields’ shoddy postseason showing will result in a dip in his market. The 30-year old is viewed as a consolation prize for teams that lose out on the likes of Jon Lester and Max Scherzer. (Is ‘Big Game’ James Shields losing big dollars with lousy postseason?)
- Whether it’s this offseason or a subsequent one, Boston will need to decide who will take over when Koji Uehara is gone? History shows that the closers role isn’t necessarily a position that a team should spend a ton of money on (see: Jonathan Papelbon), given the fickleness of relievers. Therefore, the Sox should examine internal options before looking externally. (Red Sox’s Future closer: Who could fill role after Koji Uehara?)
- Electing not to extend Jon Lester, and trade him instead, seems to have cropped up more questions than it answered. Sure the Sox got power in Yoenis Cespedes (and the often forgotten competitive balance pick), but the rotation has been left in shambles, with no clear blueprints from which to rebuild from. Cole Hamels is a trade candidate that keeps drawing connections to Boston, while James Shields is said to be coveted by the team. In the end, the trade of Jon Lester could be a stroke of genius, or an epic backfire. (The Red Sox’s decision to lowball(and trade) Lester looks worse every day)
- Out of all the Red Sox’ rookies to take the hill in 2015, Rubby De La Rosa was perhaps the most encouraging of the lot. While picking the best Red Sox rookie arm for last year is more like choosing the lesser of 4-5 evils, De La Rosa offered promise with a lively fastball and a filthy change-up. But even though the two pitch mix worked more often than not last season, could the right-handers long term value come in the bullpen? (Stock watch: Rubby De La Rosa and two-pitch mix could bolster Red Sox bullpen)
- Tweet of the day: Harold Reynolds is picking up right where McCarver left off…
Harold Reynolds literally went 53 years thinking that Venezuela is an island.
— Matt Collins (@MattRyCollins) October 23, 2014