One game from disappointment. Two games from glory.
For the thousandth time, if had told you back in March that the Royals would be at this point, you would have taken it in a heartbeat, right? Well, here we are.
The Royals’ hopes are pinned to a 23 year old rookie tonight: probably the exact guy almost all of us want on the mound in a situation like this. Kansas City has won 16 of the last 19 games started by Yordano Ventura. He is better at home (2.97 K/BB) than on the road (1.83 K/BB). He is better at night than during the day. He has been better in the second half of the season than in the first half of the year. Let’s face it, Yordano Ventura (next year’s opening day starter) is better than anyone else the Royals could send out to start tonight and I think, he is better than Jake Peavy.
After being bedeviled by double bullpen meltdowns in Games Four and Five, not to mention the nuances of the National League game, Royals’ manager Ned Yost finds himself back in his comfort zone. You know what the lineup will be and, if all goes well, that we will see Jarrod Dyson come in for Nori Aoki in the sixth or seventh inning. If all goes well, we will see Kelvin Herrera in inning number seven, Wade Davis for inning number eight and Greg Holland will hopefully get to participate as well. We know/hope/pray that we won’t see Jayson Nix and, if we do, that we won’t see him hit. If all goes well….
While it hardly mattered with Madison Bumgarner doing whatever it is he does (I hesitate to call it pitching because that makes it seem human), but Wade Davis was tagged with a run in Game Five. It was technically unearned, but possibly the best reliever in baseball gave up a shot off the centerfield wall to most likely the worst hitter on the Giants team, so let’s call it what it was: a freaking disaster.
Anyway, what is Davis’ track record after an outing in which he gives up a run? Well, now that you asked:
- Davis gave up a run on March 31st, followed that up with a perfect inning with a strikeout.
- Two runs on April 5th, followed by a no-hit inning with one walk and three strikeouts.
- Another run on April 23rd, followed by a perfect inning with two strikeouts.
- One run on June 25th, followed by a perfect inning with two strikeouts.
- All the way to September 16th before another run was assessed to Davis and he had the audacity to surrender a run the very next day. That outing, however, was followed by a four appearances in which he allowed no hits, one walk and struck out seven.
- Davis then was tagged for a run on September 26th, his final regular season appearance, but then pitched a scoreless inning in the Wild Card game.
- A run was allowed in Game Three against the Angels, followed by two perfect innings (four strikeouts) in Game One with Baltimore.
Basically, I like the odds of Wade Davis being unblemished tonight in Kansas City. Oh and Kelvin Herrera? After being tagged for runs in back to back outings on April 9th and 11th, Herrera has not allowed a run in back to back outings since. I like those odds as well.
You want one final bit of ‘feel good’? It is virtually guaranteed that Billy Butler will get more at-bats than Jayson Nix tonight. You couldn’t say that when the Series was in San Francisco.