Through three innings of World Series Game 3, Royals lead Giants 1-0

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Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar led off Game 3 of the World Series with a double to left field off of Giants starter Tim Hudson, and the Royals quickly capitalized. After moving Escobar to third base on an Alex Gordon ground out, Lorenzo Cain brought him home with a ground out of his own to shortstop Brandon Crawford.

The Royals kept threatening in the second inning, putting on the first two batters of the frame against a shaky Hudson. But Salvador Perez was robbed of a hit on a line drive by a sprawling Travis Ishikawa in left field, and then Hudson induced a 4-6-3 double play out of Jarrod Dyson to keep the Giants’ deficit at one run. Hudson was able to cut through the Royals with very little issue in the third.

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie yielded a pair of second-inning singles, one of which was erased when Hunter Pence was caught attempting to steal second base. Other than that, the Giants haven’t been able to mount an attack against the right-hander.

Dodgers look to join the Red Sox in the World Series

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One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.

NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
Breakdown:

The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.

For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.

As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.