Bring on Game 7: Royals blast and blank the Giants to even Series
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Manager Ned Yost said a few days ago he secretly hoped for a seven-game World Series.
The Royals forced a Game 7 by pounding the Giants in Game 6, 10-0, thanks to a seven-run second inning, and seven innings of shutout ball from rookie Yordano Ventura.
An electric crowd of 40,372 cheered the Royals on as they ambushed the Giants almost from the start.
Nursing a huge lead, Ventura breezed through the Giants’ order — albeit he did walk three hitters in the third inning — before turning the game over to Jason Frasor in the eighth and Tim Collins in the ninth.
The big early lead allowed Yost to cruise with Ventura and saved his vaunted back end of the bullpen — Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland. All three will be fully rested and capable of going two innings each in Game 7.
That means starter Jeremy Guthrie likely will have a short hook, as Yost also will have a rested Brandon Finnegan (and possibly Danny Duffy) to work any bridge to the Three-Headed Monster.
Ventura gave the Royals exactly what they wanted. He started fast by retiring six of the first seven hitters he faced and thus kept the crowd energized. He went seven innings in all, allowing just three hits while striking out four.
— LoCain being LoCain. Lorenzo Cain is inching closer to the World Series’ MVP if the Royals win Game 7. Cain had another terrific night, starting off by chasing down a liner into the gap from Joe Panik in the first inning. Cain then drew a two-out walk to break the ice in the bottom of the first. Cain blooped a two-run single in the big seven-run second. Oh, and he also doubled in a run with a blast that took one hop and bounced over the center-field wall. Just another great job by Cain.
— Hoz’s hustle. First baseman Eric Hosmer didn’t exactly scorch the ball, but he got a single in the first and a big hit in the second. With two runners in scoring position in the second and the infield in, Hosmer hit a high chopper over shortstop Brandon Crawford’s head to plate two runs and make it 6-0. Hosmer then alertly kept running and hustled into second base for a double. He then scored on Billy Butler’s shot into the right-center-field gap to make it 7-0.
— Moose crossing. Mike Moustakas continued his sensational postseason, pulling an RBI double down the line to start the scoring in the second. Then in the bottom of the seventh, Moustakas launched a towering home run to right field to make the score 10-0. And that also was Moose’s fifth postseason home run, setting a new Royals record. The old record of four was held by Willie Aikens in the 1980 postseason. Remember when Royals fans wanted to dump Moustakas?
— Jirsch’s night. Actually, this could easily go under a "3 Up" category because it turned out more comical than detrimental, but third-base coach Mike Jirschele had a heckuva time getting the attention of his baserunners. In the first inning, Cain raced for third on Hosmer’s blooper to left, where Travis Ishikawa slipped and fumbled the ball. Cain was on his way to third and Jirschele waved him home as Ishikawa conceded the run and threw back into second base. But Cain instead stopped at third and the Royals didn’t score. Then in the fifth, after Omar Infante singled, Alcides Escobar laced a double to left. This time Jirschele put up the stop sign but Infante ran through it, then had to elude Jirschele outside the third-base box just to score.
— Ace’s walks. With a seven-run lead, pitchers are instructed to pump the zone with strikes, but Ventura had a difficult time doing that in the third inning. Perhaps the long layoff from the big Royals second inning affected Ventura as he walked the bases loaded with one out. That, of course, got the crowd very nervous. But disaster was averted when Buster Posey inexplicably hacked at the first pitch he saw and rolled into a 6-4-3 double play. Thank you, Buster.
— Not a chance. Nothing else comes to mind on what was a glorious night for Royals fans on a beautiful 58-degree fall evening at The K. Bring on Game 7.