The host Royals have the visiting Giants right where they want them in Game 2 of the World Series.
Giants starter Jake Peavy cruised through the third, fourth, and fifth innings on just 26 total pitches, but he gave up a leadoff single to Lorenzo Cain at the top of the sixth and was lifted from the game after issuing a walk to the next batter, Eric Hosmer. Royals designated hitter Billy Butler then laced a Jean Machi fastball into left field, scoring Cain.
Giants lefty Javier Lopez came into the game and took care of Alex Gordon, but Salvador Perez pounced on the next reliever, righty Hunter Strickland, for a two-run double to the left-center field gap. Omar Infante followed with a two-run blast out to the bullpen in left and Strickland began jawing at Perez, who was waiting for Infante to cross home plate. The benches cleared, but nothing came of it and Strickland was quickly removed by Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Kansas City leads 7-2 as Game 2 moves to the seventh inning.
The Royals will be firing up dominant relievers Wade Davis and Greg Holland to close this thing out.
The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.
Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.
Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.
James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.
The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.