It’s been a battle so far this fall, but the San Francisco Giants just keep plugging along. After entering the postseason as the National League Wild Card winners, the Giants are blew past the Washington Nationals, en route to a five game NLCS victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. Now, the Giants hold a 3-2 series lead, and are just one win away from their third World Series crown in the past four seasons. Whether it’s pitching or hitting, the Giants have found different ways to take care of business on the field. During Game 4 on Saturday, the team erupted to score eleven runs against the Royals typically stingy group of arms. Hunter Pence added to his impressive highlight reel this October, and collected 3 RBI including a run scoring double. In total, six different Giants batters tallied RBI’s during Game 4, and together they amassed eleven runs. Sunday’s game, on the other hand, followed a bit of a different path than it’s predecessor. While the Giants bats stayed hot and managed to push five runs across the plate, Madison Bumgarner’s left arm made it virtually impossible for the Giants to lose. San Francisco’s young southpaw lowered his 2014 postseason ERA below 1.00 by tossing a complete game shutout, striking out eight and not issuing any free passes. Since the American League won the All-Star game the series will now shift back to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, where the Giants will have two chances to put the finishing touches on the World Series.
- In an instant and out of the blue, the life of one of baseball most promising young players was cut down over the weekend. Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend were both killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, after the 22-year old lost control of his vehicle. Tavera’s was considered the best prospect in the Cardinal’s system, and was ranked among the best young prospects in the game. (Cardinals rookie Taveras killed in car accident)
- Thirty-three is a kind of a magic number for the Red Sox in recent seasons. No, it has nothing to do with Jason Varitek’s career with the team, instead thirty-three is more of a indicator of things to come from a player. While the likes of J.D. Drew and Manny Ramirez enjoyed successful age thirty-three seasons, Kevin Millar and Kevin Youkilis found themselves playing in another city. Now as Shane Victorino enters his age thirty-three season, history suggests that age and health questions raise concerns going forward. (Age, injury history don’t play in Shane Victorino’s favor)
- Curt Schilling never used smokeless tobacco while he was pitching. But on the four days he spent hanging out in the dugout, the right-hander would frequently be found with a lip in. After using dip over the course of his twenty season MLB career, the 47-year was forced to fight for his life after being diagnosed with oral cancer. Now deemed cancer-free, the former starter is taking responsibility for his actions and offering a warning to current smokeless tobacco users. (Curt Schilling not hiding his scars)
- A trio of Red Sox were named finalists for Gold Glove Awards at their respective positions. In the infield, Dustin Pedroia is in the hunt for the distinction at second base. In the outfield, rookie Jackie Bradley’s shoddy offensive display didn’t overshadow his glove work in center field. Flanking Bradley, Yoenis Cespedes’ rocket of an arm has him eying the first Gold Glove of his career. (Dustin Pedroia, Yoenis Cespedes, Jackie Bradley Jr. named Gold Glove finalists)
- Secondary to their needs in the rotation, the Red Sox have a big question to answer at third base this offseason. Will Middlebrooks is still young enough to make adjustments and potentially be a solid MLB bat, but right now he doesn’t seem to be the answer. In the free agent market, free-swinging, switch-hitting third baseman Pablo Sandoval will be available this winter, and could fit right into Boston’s plans. (Pablo Sandoval fits Red Sox’ needs)
- Tweet of the day: Gone too soon, RIP.