A strikeout of Eric Hosmer. A foul out by Billy Butler. Then Alex Gordon reached third on a single that Brandon Crawford misplayed and allowed to roll to the wall. But then Bumgarner bore down got Sal Perez to foul out to Pablo Sandoval. So . . .
THE GIANTS ARE THE 2014 WORLD CHAMPIONS
Keep it locked on HBT, as we’ll be recapping Game 7 and the end of the 2014 baseball season as the night and early morning wears on.
11:09 PM: Greg Holland pitches the ninth. He retired Brandon Belt, Michael Morse and Brandon Crawford in order.
And now we go to the bottom of the ninth. And out comes Madison Bumgarner for three more outs. A legend is about to be unequivocally born.
11:01 PM: Another 1-2-3 inning for Bumgarner. Another inning in which Ned Yost let a lefty bat against him. I don’t think that’s the difference between trailing and a lead here — Bumgarner is straight dealing — but it is curious. The Giants are three Royals outs away from their third World Series win in five season.
10:51 PM: Wade Davis gets through the eighth after working around a Pablo Sandoval double. And now Greg Holland is warming, likely to take over in the ninth. Tip your hat to Ned. If he’s goin’ down tonight, he’s goin’ down with his best guys on the hill. He didn’t always have his best guys in the batter’s box — why he hasn’t pinch hit for his lefties against Madison Bumgarner I have no idea — but the big guns are pitching tonight.
10:43 PM: Madison Bumgarner on for his third inning of work. He threw 27 pitches through his first two. Before the game Bruce Bochy said he could go 50 or 60. You feel like, once this ball got rolling, though, that Bumgarner would pitch until he just couldn’t anymore.
He opened the seventh by getting Sal Perez to fly out to right. Then Mike Moustakas grounded to third. Then Omar Infante struck out. He needed only nine pitches. He may close this damn thing out at this point.
10:33 PM: Wade Davis came on in the seventh to relieve Herrera. You have to figure it’s him and Greg Holland the rest of the way. Davis struck out Brandon Crawford and Juan Perez and then got Gregor Blanco to ground out to short. Good things happen when you use your best pitchers. It’s something a lot of managers who are home watching this game on TV might’ve done well to remember this postseason.
10:26 PM: All Madison Bumgarner does is pitch like a man possessed in the World Series. Coming in to tonight, he had a career line of 4-0, a shutout, 27 strikeouts and a batting average against of .120. He just finished his second inning tonight — the sixth — and is cruising again. He got Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon all to fly or pop out. When Butler did he offered up a quite audible “God dammit!” The entire city of Kansas City is learning to do the same when Bumgarner is on the mound. The Giants lead 3-2 after six.
10:17 PM: Kelvin Herrera just pitched in his third inning — two and two-thirds, actually — and escaped trouble. He allowed a leadoff single to Pablo Sandoval but then induced Hunter Pence to hit into a double play. Brandon Belt singled but then Herrera reached back and struck out Michael Morse.
It was scarcely a month ago that Ned Yost outraged everyone by insisting that the seventh inning and the seventh inning only belonged to Kelvin Herrera. Tonight he brought him in in the fourth and let him finish out the sixth. Say whatever the hell you want about the managers here, but they are managing, appropriately enough, as if there is no tomorrow. Good for them. Good for us. And a great effort by Herrera after settling down.
10:06PM: Bringing in Bumgarner was not a matter of it, it was a matter of when. And when was the fifth inning. The first batter he faced, Omar Infante, reached on a single. Then Ned Yost — despite only having 15 outs to play with for the rest of the whole damn year, gave one up by having Alcides Escobar bunt Infante to second. The second out came on a Nori Aoki fly out to left. Then Bumgarner struck out Lorenzo Cain. So far, so good for the man who stands to be the World Series MVP if the Giants hold on.
Oh, and then there’s this:
9:54 PM: Herrera deals in the fifth. He got Gregor Blanco to line out on his second pitch and then struck out both Joe Panik and Buster Posey.
And now Madison Bumgarner is coming in to pitch the fifth inning. He was met with a chorus of boos by the Royals fans when he made his appearance. This should be fun.
9:48 PM: Jeremy Affeldt hit leadoff batter Alex Gordon with a breaking ball that didn’t break, but Sal Perez followed that up by hitting into a double play, the second one turned by San Francisco tonight. Mike Moustakas grounded out third to make it three up, three down. We head into the fifth with the Giants up 3-2.
9:38 PM: Maybe it was too late. Michael Morse came up and laced a single to right, scoring Sandoval. Herrera then struck out Brandon Crawford and got Juan Perez to ground out to short. Giants lead 3-2 in the fourth.
9:29 PM: Brandon Belt flew out to deep left, allowing Sandoval to tag and make it to third. A pretty ballsy send by the third base coach, really, but it worked. With that runners are on the corners, one out and Jeremy Guthrie is officially out of the game. Kelvin Herrera is in. Royals fans had best hope this isn’t too late.
9:26 PM: The fourth inning for the Giants started with Pablo Sandoval reaching first when Alcides Escobar slipped trying to field his grounder to short. That was followed by a single by Hunter Pence. Two on, no one out. Ned Yost just got Kelvin Herrera up and warming. He probably should’ve had him warm to start the inning.
9:17 PM: Our first replay challenge of the night comes in the bottom of the third. With a runner on, Eric Hosmer grounded to second. Joe Panik made a slick-as-hell play to rob Hosmer of a hit that would’ve caused this crowd to explode and shoveled the ball to Brandon Crawford who relayed it to first. Hosmer slid head first into first base and was called safe. Bruce Bochy came out to challenge it, however, and the call was overturned after a 2:57 review.
Don’t slide head first into first base unless you’re avoiding a tag, kids. Just don’t ever do it. That may have been the difference between an out and a man safe on first.
We’re through three here in Kansas City and it remains tied at 2.
9:04 PM: Jeremy Guthrie settled down in the third. It was what some of the TBS broadcasters liked to call a “shutdown inning” way back in early October. It’s a b.s. stat, but an OK concept, as Guthrie setting the Giants down in order — a comebacker and two straight strikeouts — electrified the crowd and allowed the Royals to catch their breath.
8:53 PM: And now it’s tied. Gordon tagged from second on a Mike Moustakas fly ball to left and then came home on an Omar Infante sac fly. 2-2 in the second. We’re probably gonna get that bullpen game after all. Tim Hudson is out, Jeremy Affeldt is coming on for the Giants. Whoa, nelly.
8:48 PM: The Royals have struck back quickly. Billy Butler led off Kansas City’s half of the second with a single and Alex Gordon followed it with a double to the deepest part of the park, scoring Butler all the way from first. Oh my God, did Butler run. I’ve never seen Country Breakfast book it so fast.]
That run scored on three total pitches. On the fourth pitch of the inning Tim Hudson hit Sal Perez, and Perez went down hard. It took several minutes for him to make it to first base, checked out by trainers for a long, long time. He’s staying in the game for now, but he may not last long. The Royals continue to bat in the second.
8:44 PM: The first runs of Game 7 was scored by the Giants here in the second inning. Jeremy Guthrie loaded the bases with no one out via a pitch that grazed Pablo Sandoval, a Hunter Pence single and a Brandon Belt single. Two sacrifice flies later — one by Michael Morse, one by Brandon Crawford — and the score was 2-0 Giants. Guthrie avoided further damage by striking out Juan Perez, but a 2-0 hole already feels deep.
Only after the runs scored did Ned Yost get anyone warming in the Royals pen, with Brandon Finnegan getting loose. One wonders, however, if that was already too late.