The Royals had not experienced a loss in October in 29 years going into Game 1 of the 2014 World Series. Well, they did experience a whole lot of losing in that time span, just not in the playoffs….because they never made it.
Game 1 on Tuesday, the Royals and the loyal Kansas City fans finally were hit with reality. The Giants defeated them handedly 7-1 thanks to yet another dominant postseason performance by lefty Madison Bumgarner. That essentially set up what many called a must-win Game 2 at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday. Going to San Francisco down 2-0 with three games coming on the west coast would have been too big of a whole to climb out of, especially having to face Bumgarner again.
Wednesday night, the Royals made sure to let everyone know this is going to be a thrilling series. Tied 2-2 going to the bottom of the sixth, the Royals electric crowd was ready to see an explosion. That is exactly what they received. The Royals erupted for five runs in the inning, which was capped off by a two-run homer by Omar Infante to make it 7-2. Hunter Strickland gave up the long ball and almost had a brawl ensue. He was thrown out of the game after venting his frustrations for what has been a horrid offseason for the reliever, who has given up an astounding five long balls this October. Why is he even in the game in that situation?
Once again, the Royals bullpen took care of the rest. The trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland allowed a total of one hit while striking out six in the final 3.2 innings. Once you give the Kansas City bullpen a lead, it’s a wrap. Start the car and hit the road. Their relievers have been un-hittable this entire month, and really for the whole season. This has been one of the best bullpens in MLB history, and especially in recent memory. Herrera ended up getting the win after a solid performance from Yordano Ventura in his first World Series start. Jake Peavy took the loss.
We’re headed out west as the Giants and Royals will play Game 3 Friday night at AT&T Park. Tim Hudson will take on Jeremy Guthrie. The American bandwagon is on for the ride with these Royals, but can they squeeze out at least a win in San Francisco to get it back to their building. The key will be jumping out to an early lead, because they have shown they have no issues winning tight ball games. The Giants bullpen has shown flaws, but has also been really good this October. We know one thing…this series could turn out to be thrilling.