Oct 26

World Series Day Five, 2014

Royals at Giants, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

MadBum goes for the Giants and Big Game James goes for the Royals. It’s a rematch of Game One’s starters, one the Royals hope will turn out better than the original did. Bumgarner held the Royals to a run on three hits and a walk over seven innings in that game, while Shields gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk and was gone after three innings.

Oct 25

World Series Day Four, 2014

Royals at Giants, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

The Giants ask veteran Ryan Vogelsong to put a stop to the Royals’ advance, while the Royals send Jason Vargas out to give them enough innings to get to their so-far lights-out bullpen. Vogelsong had a poor outing against the Cardinals in Game Four of the NLCS, lasting only three innings while giving up four runs on seven hits in a game the Giants eventually won. But he’s been a postseason horse for them in the past, making five postseason starts in which he compiled a 3-0 record, a 1.19 ERA and a .168 batting average against. The lefty Vargas has pitched 11 1/3 innings of nearly flawless baseball in the postseason, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks against the Angels and Orioles while holding them to a .135 batting average.

A bit of history: “Holland has now recorded seven saves this postseason, tying the record for a single postseason. He joins five others — John Wetteland (1996 Yankees), Robb Nen (2002 Giants), Troy Percival (’02 Angels), Brad Lidge (’08 Phillies) and Koji Uehara (’13 Red Sox).” Some pretty good names there.

Oct 24

World Series Day Three, 2014

Royals at Giants, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

You’d think MLB would put its weekend World Series games on during the day rather than at night, but I suppose it doesn’t want to compete with college football and the NFL.

It’s a battle of veterans as the Royals pitch Jeremy Guthrie while the Giants send out Tim Hudson. Guthrie was drafted and signed by the Indians in 2002. He was waived and came up for good with the Orioles in 2007. He spent a year in the National League with the Rockies and then was traded to the Royals for Jonathan Sanchez. He’s got an 83-100 lifetime record with a 4.23 ERA and a WHIP of 1.319. His start in the ALCS was his first postseason appearance.

Hudson has been around since 1999 when he came up with the As. He spent six years in Oakland and then nine in Atlanta. This is his first season with the Giants. He’s got a lifetime record of 214-124, an ERA of 3.45 and a WHIP of 1.233 over that stretch of 16 years. He’s been in 8 playoffs series but never on a winning team until this season.

The Royals won’t have a DH in the three games in San Francisco, so Billy Butler will be a pinch-hitter. Pablo Sandoval has now hit in 25 straight postseason games.

Oct 22

World Series Day Two, 2014

Giants at Royals, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

Kansas City’s rookie Yordano Ventura starts for the home team, while 13-year veteran Jake Peavy is on the hill for the visiting San Franciscans.

Insert paragraphs about “the team which goes up 2 games to none in a seven-game series wins umpty-ump percentage of the time” and blah blah blah. The Giants know that. The Royals know that. Neither team cares about it. It’s this Series they’re playing, not all those ones in the past.

That said, the Royals really would like to win at home tonight, to get the split and to get their fans excited.

Oct 21

World Series Day One, 2014

Giants at Royals, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: Fox

The Giants ask Madison Bumgarner to start the Series and do what he did in the Wild Card game and in Game One of the NLCS: give them a strong and long performance and get them off on the right foot in the Series. The Royals send James Shields to the mound. He also started the Wild Card game, although he didn’t do well in it (5 innings, 5 hits, 4 earned runs, ERA of 7.20). He then started Game Three of the ALDS and won it to send the Royals to the ALCS, where he pitched Game One against the Orioles. He didn’t do well in that game either, (5 innings, 10 hits, 4 earned runs, ERA of 7.20 again).

Have the two teams faced each other recently? Yes. In August the Giants went to Kauffman Stadium, where they were swept by the Royals, who were in the midst of a stretch where they won 14 of 16 games. San Francisco was outscored, 16-6, with Bumgarner taking one of those losses in a complete-game effort.

Fun fact: in all the postseason games so far, 14 have been decided by one run.

Not so fun fact: once again we get Joe Buck doing play-by-play. This time his partners are Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, with Ken Rosenthal near the Royals’ dugout and Erin Andrews outside the Giants’.

If you’re in your car, ESPN Radio will have the games, with play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman and analyst Aaron Boone. The pregame and postgame show consists of host Jon Sciambi, analyst Chris Singleton, ESPN MLB Insider Peter Pascarelli and in-studio host Marc Kestecher.

Oct 17

Words from the new boss

From today’s press conference featuring new President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman:

“It’s going to be a good life lesson for me, because I’m not patient.”

That was in response to a rather insular question about his introduction to LA traffic, but it could be (the fans hope) a philosophy he’ll take toward addressing the team’s needs in getting them back to the World Series sooner rather than later.

Jon covered the show, and if you click the link above you’ll find more nuggets of wisdom from the new man.

I’ll leave this post at the top for a while, at least until the Series starts on Tuesday.

Oct 15

ALCS & NLCS Day Four, 2014

Orioles at Royals, 10:00AM HST/1:00PM PT, TV: TBS

Startlingly, the Royals are up three games to none in the ALCS. Today they send out lefty Jason Vargas to try to win the series. He last pitched in Game One of the ALDS against the Angels, giving up two home runs over six innings. He’s 2-3 with a 1.94 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Orioles. Vargas will face a very well-rested Miguel Gonzalez, who hasn’t pitched since September 28.

Cardinals at Giants, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: FS1

The Giants took a 2-1 lead in the series on a Randy Choate throwing error in the 10th inning of Tuesday’s game. They’ll put Ryan Vogelsong on the hill Wednesday night against Shelby Miller of the Cards. Vogelsong went 5 2/3 innings against the Nationals in his NLDS appearance October 7, giving up two hits and one run. Miller gave up five hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings the same day in his NLDS outing against the Dodgers.

Oct 14

Dodgers name Friedman President, Colletti kicked upstairs

Today the Dodgers named Andrew Friedman, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, as President of Baseball Operations. Ned Colletti will remain with the team as senior advisor to Stan Kasten. This probably means that Friedman will name a new GM of his own choosing.

Under Friedman, the Rays posted the franchise’s first winning season and won the American League pennant in 2008, when he was named Sporting News’ Executive of the Year. After finishing below .500 in each of its first 10 years of existence, the Rays finished above the .500 mark in six consecutive seasons under Friedman from 2008-13.

Not bad for a guy in his thirties. He’s only 37 now.

Oct 14

NLCS & ALCS Day Three, 2014

Cardinals at Giants, 10:00AM HST/1:00PM PT, TV: FS1

Lackey for the Cards, Hudson for the Giants. The biggest lineup change is A.J. Pierzynski catching for the Redbirds in place of Yadier Molina, out with an oblique strain. It’s hard to believe, but this is Tim Hudson’s first start in an LCS game. His previous postseason appearances were in Division Series contests, and he has always been on the LDS-losing team until this year. Lackey has a well-deserved reputation for pitching well in big games.

Orioles at Royals, 2:00PM HST/5:00PM PT, TV: TBS

The managers stayed with the announced Game Three starters, Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, no matter the rainout yesterday.