Sorry for the belated post.
First, let’s talk about the managing. Ned Yost made several moves we can discuss. He sent Alcides Escobar on a stolen base attempts in the bottom of the first. Escobar was thrown out and a few pitches later, Lorenzo Cain hit a double to short left-center field. Interesting call. Notice that Yost hasn’t had Nori Aoki bunt in the first inning in these playoffs. Obviously, I’m fine with that. However, I didn’t understand the stolen base attempt in the situation. Cain is swinging the hot bat – Hosmer, too – so maybe in the first you practice a little patience and see what happens. I don’t know. I do know that the Royals collected three hits in the first, along with a walk and scored one run.
Then, in the sixth, Yost lifted starter Yordano Ventura after he allowed a pair of singles sandwiched between a fly out. Enter Kelvin Herrera for the five out hold. Obviously, in that situation you’re hoping Herrera won’t throw a ton of pitches – he ended up offering 32 – but with the off day Thursday, I suppose that’s OK as well. It was clearly the right situation to bring Herrera into the game. Yes, Yost could’ve gone with Brandon Finnegan, but the comfort level is there with Herrera. So in the big game, you use him. Herrera wobbled a bit in the seventh, issuing two walks. It looked like he lost his arm slot and wasn’t comfortable on the mound. A frightening moment, made less frightening by the fact the Royals scored five a half inning prior.
The other move Yost made that I almost questioned (remember, he’s on a roll, so we’re not really allowed to question) was when he pinch ran for Billy Butler after his go-ahead single in the sixth. Why bring Terrance Gore into the game when there’s a runner (Hosmer) on base ahead of him? It just didn’t make sense to me. Also, at that point, it was a one run game. Butler’s spot in the order was going to come around again. At the time, I feared we would miss his bat. This is October and Yost is Yost. So it all worked extremely well. Gore came around to score on Sal Perez’s double and then Omar Infante clubbed a home run. Three hits. Three daggers. Ballgame.
Second, I’m tired of pitchers who aren’t very good losing their mind when their mistakes get crushed. If you don’t want to give up a double and a home run, make better pitches. And if you need to get angry at someone, look to yourself.
Third, the last six outs for the Giants: strikeout, strikeout, groundout to first, strikeout, strikeout, strikeout. Yost isn’t kidding when he says he doesn’t have to think after the sixth inning. This bullpen is so key.
Fourth, it would appear Infante is feeling OK. He’s made a couple plays on the infield at the end of the ALCS and now in the World Series that lead you to believe the shoulder is holding together. Last night, it was a nice play to grab a ball up the middle from Buster Posey with a runner on first. If that ball gets through, you have maybe first and third with Pablo Sandoval at the plate. So Infante’s snare seems important. And then the home run. He was sitting dead red, got a meatball and crushed it. Totally unexpected. Totally awesome. Dude. And we can’t forget his double in the second, either. Ripped and a one-hopper against the left field wall.
Fifth, I love me some Billy Butler. What a great moment on Wednesday, after he was lifted for Gore, the BIL-LY BUT-LER chant started and quickly spread through the stadium. He came out for a curtain call. A curtain call for an RBI single. So great. The relationship between Butler and the fans is a complicated one, which I have never understood. (Well, I have understood, but I really don’t want to.) It’s clear he cares for this franchise, his teammates and this city. It’s entirely possible Wednesday night was his final appearance in the home whites. If that was his last Royal at bat at The K, it was perfect: A line drive to left-center, pushing the Royals ahead.