Saturday, October 25, 2014

11 by 11: Giants Even the Series with Come From Behind Win

Dark clouds turned into a rainbow: Coming back from a 4-1 deficit, the SF Giants lit up their home ballpark with an 11-4 victory to even the World Series at two wins apiece.

Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle placed it in context: "This was the one, the performance for the Giants’ time capsule. If any future historian wants to know exactly why this team kept showing up in the postseason, and winning, bust out the four-hour spectacular from Saturday night. Who knows if the Giants will even win this World Series? It was only Game 4, with a trip back to Kansas City now guaranteed. But this 11-4 win over the Royals was about the restoration of faith and reputations. So much was on the line. And about 19 guys came to the rescue."

Down 4-1, the kids threw some 11s: 11 runs on hits by 11 different batters--a World Series record. Buster Posey got his 16th single of the postseason and drove in a run, tying him with Barry Bonds for the club WS RBI record.  Pablo Sandoval had key hits, including driving in the winning run, unusual only that he was hitting from his far weaker right side.  Joe Panik had two doubles, scoring and driving in two runs.  Hunter Pence had 3 hits, 3 RBIs and at least one fielding gem.

  Ryan Vogelsong started but it was Petit who was the pitching hero, shutting down the Royals and even getting a hit.  He has yet to give up a run in the postseason.

Yesterday was Royals Friday but this was Giants Saturday.  They won the key pitching battles, they got the breaks.  Their baserunning was daring again, but this time it worked.  They had a bad inning that included a mental error, but they overcame it.  Yost's moves failed, Bochy's moves succeeded.

The Giants eventually got to the Royals' starter but even more to their middle relievers.  That was absolutely the key to this game.  So the Giants learned one good lesson (the middle relievers are vulnerable) but they won't see this starter again.  It's back to the top three in both teams' rotation.  The Royal's Shields hasn't had a good outing in awhile, but Bumgarner has the most trouble this year at home.  The Giants know they need to get ahead in those first six innings.  Fifth game winners usually win the Series, but for the Giants this last game at home is almost essential.  (For what it's worth, Curt Schilling has the Giants in seven.)

It was a great game for the San Francisco fans, who rallied along with the team.

Jenkins also comments: The Giants’ organization has become known for staging the classiest pregame ceremonies in baseball, and this one stood out: Henry Aaron, the Little League champions from Chicago, 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis throwing out the first pitch (beautifully), Carlos Santana performing the national anthem, and Bryan Stow — flanked by his magnificent benefactor, Tim Flannery — shouting “Play ball!” from a wheelchair.  Stow is the Giants fan crippled by a Dodgers fan outside the stadium in LA.  Davis was the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series.

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