Giants rout Royals 11-4 in Game 4 to even up the World Series at 2-2

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Game 4 of the World Series was close through the first five innings, but then the Giants’ offense came alive. Or, depending on your perspective, the Royals’ bullpen imploded.

The Giants took an early lead with a first-inning run, but the Royals stampeded for four runs in the top of the third inning. That was the extent of the Royals’ offense; from that point, the Giants would go on to score 10 unanswered runs. One came in the bottom of the third, two in the bottom of the fifth, three in the sixth, and four in the seventh.

Both teams’ starters did not last very long. Ryan Vogelsong went only 2 2/3 for the Giants, surrendering four runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision. On the Royals’ side, Jason Vargas yielded three runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts in four-plus innings.

The Giants had a host of standout stars in Game 4, chief among them Yusmeiro Petit, who tossed three crucial scoreless innings of relief in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. In 12 post-season innings, the right-hander has yet to allow a run while surrendering only four hits and four walks while striking out 11.

Also deserving of praise: Hunter Pence, who went 3-for-5 with a double, three RBI, and two runs scored. Joe Panik and Pablo Sandoval each had two hits (Panik had two doubles) and two RBI. Gregor Blanco went 2-for-5 with a walk and three runs scored. Buster Posey, with an RBI single in the third inning, tied Barry Bonds for the franchise post-season RBI record with 21.

The Royals’ bullpen, which held the Giants hitless over four innings in Game 3, was taken for eight runs on 10 hits and four walks with three strikeouts in five innings in Game 4. The combination of Jason Frasor, Danny Duffy, Brandon Finnegan, and Tim Collins just couldn’t get it done. The Royals were not deep enough into the game to consider using Wade Davis or Greg Holland.

The two clubs will look to break the 2-2 tie on Sunday night in Game 5 at AT&T Park in San Francisco as James Shields of the Royals will oppose Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. They’ll have an off-day on Monday, then head back to Kansas City for Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7.

Freddie Freeman has elbow surgery

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Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.

Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.

It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.

Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.