Tuesday, October 21, 2014

MadBum & the Royal Killers

Wow, what a mess if you are a fan of the Royals huh? Nothing like a party crasher such as sticking it to the gut of a team that hasn't seen glory in 29 years and boy was Madison Bumgarner's performance quite the party pooper.

This was Game 1 of the World Series in 2014, and it was over early. There's no need to get into details other then the fact that the Giants played their brand of baseball and they played it so well, they might as well trademark it after the first inning of this ball game.

Top of the first. A 32 pitch inning by the ace of the Royals in James Shields and a solid, grind out, 3 spot by the Giants to make it a 3-0 game before their ace, Madison Bumgarner's even touched the ball. Hunter Pence hit the decisive blow in the top of the first hitting a two run homer to make it 3-0 Giants.

Do you want me to break down the rest of this game? No I won't. MadBum: 7 innings pitched, 1 run allowed (late in the 7th on a Salvador Perez HR) and a whole bunch of K's. This game was the definition of a shell shock for a KC team riding on all momentum coming into this one and that all ended tonight as the Giants win 7-1 taking a 1-0 series lead in the World Series.

You could have turned the game off after Game 1 of the World Series when the Giants went off in the 1st inning. I do have some beef though. How come so many people picked the Royals, also, why was it so unanimous on FOX? It was just a Kansas City love fest at the beginning of the broadcast saying that the Royals would ultimately take it because of the momentum they had been riding coming in. After this game, there's no more momentum, and I'm excited to hear what the pre game crew has to say after this debacle by KC tonight, and hopefully they can show a 2 time championship ball club some freakin love. See you tomorrow night.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Every Even Year

The Giants have won the Pennant!

What another crazy, emphatic game, the Giants won the NLCS on another crazy ending to another outstanding ballgame as the NLCS comes to a close. A game where the two aces went to duel in Madison Bumgarner, the eventual NLCS MVP, and Adam Wainwright, who hasn't been himself all series.

An interesting factoid, Travis Ishikawa, actually made a miss-read on a fly ball earlier in the game that gave the Cardinals a run to make it 1-0 in the top of the 3rd. No need to Panik though, as Joe Panik hit a 2 out two run HR to make it 2-1 Giants in the next half inning. The Cardinals were fed up with this Giants magic, as they answered right back in the top of the 4th with a lead off HR by Matt Adams to tie the game back up at 2-2. Then with 2 outs in the same inning, Tony Cruz hits a solo HR to give the Cardinals the lead again at 3-2.

The game would scoot all the way to the 8th inning where the Giants only had 6 outs before making a flight back to Missouri to continue a series against the Cardinals. But Mike Morse wanted to go to a different airport instead as he hit a pinch hit solo HR to tie the game back up at 3-3 in the bottom of the 8th inning. Magic had struck again!

But the real magic came in the bottom of the 9th, when Travis Ishikawa, who nearly quit the game of baseball hit a blast into the night that sent the Giants to their 3rd World Series in 5 years (2010, 2012, & 2014). The Gaints won 6-3 and ultimately won the NLCS 4-1 over the St. Louis Cardinals.

What looked like it would be an instant classic of a series after the Game 2 miracle in what Kolten Wong did, became a series that Travis Ishikawa decided to seal the deal for the San Francisco Giants as they will start to make their trip to Missouri, but instead of playing St. Louis, it'll be the Kansas City Royals.

Game 1 of the World Series will be on Tuesday October 21st. San Francisco @ Kansas City Royals. Should be a magical outcome no matter who wins!

See you on Monday for my World Series Prediction Blog!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

ALCS Royal sweep; Giants not far behind

On the same night the Kansas City Royals won the ALCS in a non interesting fashion in a 2-1 ball game, ultimately sweeping the Baltimore Orioles 4-0 to head to the World Series where Lorenzo Cain won the ALCS MVP, the San Francisco Giants walk into Thursday with a 3-1 lead in the NLCS after an interesting Game 4 in San Francisco.

The Kansas City Royals, before I move on, have won 8 straight games in this postseason and are undefeated heading into the World Series. This is the first time in postseason history any team has ever won 8 straight games. Truly, again, proving that it is Royaltober in the land of postseason baseball.

But in San Francisco, the Cardinals got off to a quick start knocking Ryan Voglesong out of the game relatively early. The Cardinals took an early 4-1 lead heading into the bottom half of the 3rd inning. But once Voglesong left the game, the Giants awoke again. The 2 out magic struck in the bottom of the 3rd where the giants put together two more runs making it 4-3 Cardinals heading into the 4th.

The game scooted along, but we ask you to define the term scoot as this game took 4 hours to complete, and trust me, if you watched Game 4, there was quite a bit of action that I am leaving out, this was quite the game tonight in the world of baseball. The game scooted to the bottom of the 6th where the Giants ultimately stuck it to the Cardinals ultimately putting the must-win-card in the Cardinals heading into Thursday night!

The Giants scored 3 runs in the 6th inning in only another Giant fashion by scrapping out the runs using every out available to them and Buster Posey even put the cherry on top as he got another 2 out RBI single to ultimately make the score 6-4 and hand the Giants their 3rd win in the NLCS as they now take a commanding 3-1 lead heading into Thursday night.

I promise, more analysis tomorrow night, but lets just say it was another magical night in the world of baseball!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

NLCS Game 3 Classic & Dreaming of Sweep ALCS fashion!

Randy CHOKE!

That's how we can describe Game 3 of the NLCS from earlier today as this came down to another extra innings affair for the last 4 NL champions.

On the whole, both of these games were close, but they didn't really have that much going on in them as they may have appeared.

NLCS Game 3 came to be another classic in the form of an error. John Lackey and Tim Hudson were on the mound ready to battle and unfortunately John Lackey showed up late to the duel.

On a windy day in San Francisco, the ball was flying rather pedestrian when it got deep on the outfielders causing Grichuk to misplay a 3 run double by Travis Ishikawa for the Giants making it 4-0 giants in the first inning, right after a Hunter Pence double to open up the scoring to make it 1-0 Giants. All the runs scored in the first inning were all after the first 2 outs were made in the inning, the gritty gutty Giants found a way to stick it to the Cardinals with an early 4-0 lead and looking like they would cruise to a win in Game 3.

Well, hold on. Yes, Tim Hudson pitched great but slowly let the Cardinals chip away at the lead at they cut the deficit in half on a 2 out, 2 run triple by Kolten Wong (which was again another misplay in the outfield this time by Hunter Pence because of the hectic wind) to cut the lead to 4-2 at the beginning of the 4th inning.

A couple innings scooted by until Tim gave up another 2 out, RBI base hit as Johnny Peralta drove in a run during the 6th inning to make it a 4-3 Giants lead. Then came the 7th, where Tim Hudson was starting to show his fatigue as he gave up a hanging breaking ball to Randal Grichuk who blasted one off the foul pole to tie the ball game at 4-4 in the top of the 7th. Hudson didn't throw a pitch the rest of the night and the game then scooted along to extras where Journey played again as it should in San Francisco.

Top of the 10th inning Pablo Sandoval makes a game saving play to keep the scored tied as he kept hard hit ball from gliding down the left field line and he threw an absolute pebble to the first basemen across the diamond to send the game to the bottom of the 10th with still a 4-4 score.

Then came in reliever Randy Choate. A side winding left handed arm that could find a way to eat up some innings unfortunately couldn't quite eat enough. On a bunt by Gregor Blanco, Randy Choate fielded the ball and threw it down the 1st base line. With a man on 2nd heading to 3rd on the sacrifice bunt, the game ended itself. Giants won on this classic Game 3, 5-4 and they now have a 2-1 series lead.

In the ALCS for Game 3, a game that should have been played on Monday but was rained out. The Royals took care of business to take a 3-0 series lead by winning 2-1. The Orioles took an early 1-0 lead, but then the Royals came back by chipping away and scoring a couple non-dramatic runs to make it a 2-1 win. This was a quick 3 hour ballgame with really no major highlights outside of the huge foul ball catch by Mike Moustakas in the 8th inning. Outside of that, it was just the Royals winning their 7th postseason game and potentially could be heading to the World Series after tomorrow night!

I'll see you then!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


This game doesn't need an intro. It was just that incredible. Not the greatest baseball game ever played, but it could be up there with one of the more memorable ones in the history of the game.

Game 2 of the National League Championship Series in 2014 will be remembered for it's ups and downs, it's defiance to end the way we thought it would and how a team in St. Louis who barely hit over 100 homeruns this season hit 4 in one game. We won't remember anything else except for the fact that one man by the name of Kolton Wong, who already had a heroic moment in the NLDS did it again on this Sunday night in October.

On a day filled with promising NFL games and an October sky ready for another baseball blossom, the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants faced off in what could be determined as a must win for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants were up 1-0 heading into this game and if the Cardinals gave in to another defeat, then the Giants would head back home with a 2-0 series lead, something few teams have ever come back from.

It looked good as Lance Lynn did his job through the first 5 innings and was handed a lead heading into the second half of the ballgame. In the 3rd inning, Matt Carpenter hit a solo shot to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead and something to build off of as the night progressed. They did so by taking on a bases loaded single by Grichuk to then give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead heading into the 5th.

The Giants threw out their elder ace in Jake Peavy, a guy who was known for his fiery passion out on the mound and he was then handed a couple runs after the Cardinals tacked a couple on him. Pinch Hitter Arias hit into a ground out bringing in a run in the top of the 5th to cut to score to 2-1 Cardinals, then in the 6th Hunter Pence hit one of the more clutch base hits I've seen in a long time. A 2 strike, 2 out single with a man on third to tie the ballgame up at 2-2 heading into the bottom half of the inning.

This is where it got tough for the Cardinals, as Yadier Molina, their captain and anchor of the defense pulled an oblique muscle after hitting into a double play where he couldn't even run out of the box had to be assisted off the field and could not return for the rest of the game. Remember, this was a must win for the Cardinals, and their MVP & Leader was gone for the rest of it with a 2-2 tie heading into the 7th inning.

In the top of the 7th, the Giants then took the lead on a Gregor Blanco RBI single to give the Giants a 3-2 lead without Yadier Molina, seeming to be a devastating blow to the Cardinals as the crowd drew quiet once again.

But that's when the magic came back for the Red Birds and Oscar Taveras hit a solo blast to tie the game back up in the bottom of the 7th making it a 3-3 game heading into the 8th inning. The Cardinals bullpen held it together as Neshek put together a 1-2-3 inning, and Matt Adams came up and cranked a high fastball into the right field seats making it 4-3 Cardinals heading into the 9th inning where it seemed like a 1-1 series tie going back to San Francisco was only 3 outs away.

That's where the Giants did what the Giants usually do, they got gritty, and grinded away at the inning. Two back to back singles to lead off the 9th for the Giants and Matt Duffy came on to pinch run on second base after the second hit in the inning. The next thing you know, there's a wild ball four in the dirt and you see Matt Duffy flying around third base and he scores on an incredible base running read as he went from second to home on a Wild Pitch by Rosenthal tying the game at 4-4. The Giants...Just...Won't...Go...Away. They get the bases loaded with two outs in the inning and they somehow manage to come away empty handed at taking the lead, but they still tied it giving themselves a chance to push the game to another extra innings marathon.

2 pitches into the bottom of the 9th. Kolton Wong sent the NLCS to San Francisco with a 1-1 series tie hitting the Cardinals 4th homerun of the night into the right field seats winning the game for the Cardinals 5-4.

An instant classic. A game where if you watched it and you weren't a fan of either team (Like myself) you truly were on the edge of your seat. The drama, the intensity, the passion, and the significance of the win for a team that desperately needed it; they got it done. Wow, what a ball game. Seriously, if you can, go watch the highlights, it was a spectacular ballgame!

I'll see you tomorrow for Game 3 of the ALCS!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Double Dip Saturday League Championship Edition

Well outside of a bunch of college football going the way towards the state of Mississippi, we had quite a night on the diamond. We had one really long drawn out ballgame, to a quick slick game with another gem by MadBum.

Let me start off by saying this Royals ball club has some serious spark to them and they haven't lost a game all of October heading into Game 2 of the ALCS. Well, they kept that trend going after tonight.

This was a long, and I mean really long, 4 1/2 ballgame that felt like an 8 hour ballgame. This game felt longer than the 18 inning game from last Saturday and this went only 9 innings. Just don't tell that to Bud Norris and Yordano Ventura who pitched good enough on a night where both offenses came to mash. Yes, if you consider mashing scoring 4+ runs, that's what the MLB has turned into this decade where we are truly now in a new dead ball era.

Royals started off the ball game with a bloop 2 RBI double by Eric Hosmer to give the young 23 Ventura a 2-0 nothing lead early in Camden Yards. He would need it considering the Orioles responded in the 2nd inning with a bases loaded sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 Royals and fortunately no more than that heading into the 3rd inning. The Royals responded scratching across another run with a 2 out RBI double by Billy Butler to hand back a 2 run lead for Ventura at 3-1 Kansas City heading into the bottom of the 3rd. Well, the Orioles decided to make it a brand new ballgame with literally a bloop by De Aza and a blast by Adam Jones making it 3-3 at the end of 3.

Royals again respond in the top of the 4th inning getting another 2 out run in Mike Moustakas hitting a solo homerun with 2 strikes making it 4-3 Royals. Baltimore again responded as the game trudged to the 5th inning and the Orioles tied it back up at 4-4 with a Nelson Cruz RBI Fielders Choice.

This is where Lorenzo Cain stole the show. He made one of the most spectacular grabs with his outstanding strides heading towards a ball in the gap that saved an extra base hit for the Orioles. There was no major significance towards the play other then that it was that incredible. The sad part was when in the same inning, Yordano Ventura was pulled shortly after because of tightness in his right arm. That's never a good sign as a pitcher. Hopefully he'll be ok and won't have to miss much time.

The game trudged again from the bottom of the 6th when Lorenzo Cain made that amazing catch to the top of the 9th and that's where the Royals put their foot down once again. The Royals put together a two run inning to seal the deal for the Royals grabbing a 2-0 series lead in the ALCS winning 6-4 in Baltimore. They head back to Kansas City and play Monday afternoon where they could ultimately end the series and head to the World Series!

The other game on Saturday, the one that was highly anticipated because it was on FOX with Joe Buck and the gang, became a quick game to forget as a Cardinals fan.

This was a rather pedestrian 3 1/2 hour game with very little action as Madison Bumgarner lulled me to sleep as he absolutely shut down the Cardinals. Adam Wainwright wasn't himself on this day but he also wasn't awful. MadBum was just that spectacular once again!

The Giants did what they seem to usually do in the postseason which is put together some runs, and steal a win. That's exactly how this game went.

The 2nd inning is where all the action took place as the Giants loaded the bases rather quickly and grabbed 2 runs to take a 2-0 lead heading into the 3rd inning, where they again grabbed one more run on a Brandon Belt Sacrifice Fly to knock in Buster Posey giving the Giants a 3-0 lead early. That was all they would need, because that's all Madison Bumgarner seemed to care about as he went into the 8th inning with a shutout, handed it off to the bullpen in the 9th, and walked away with another historically silly performance in the postseason. The Giants have a 1-0 series lead in the NLCS and it feels as though they robbed a bank because that's what it looked like in that game and it looked rather quick too.

The NLCS will continue tomorrow, I'll be looking forward to hopefully a more entertaining game than tonight.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Blues Raining in Baltimore; Game 1 ALCS

It wasn't just the rain that showed up late in Baltimore as the Kansas City Royals brought their drama act to town. The Royals proved why they won't be stopped and why their hot bats will not cool off anytime soon.

In Game 1 of the ALCS, James Shields and Chris Tillman were the starters and both were clearly the aces of their squads heading into this matchup. The funny thing is, somebody forgot to tell the Royals offense to play their part.

The Orioles threatened early in the ballgame. In the second inning they had the bases loaded and could not cash in. Granted, there were two outs when the Orioles finally loaded the bases, but still, it's the ALCS and runs come at a premium this time of year. The worst part, when the Orioles didn't cash in during the bottom of the 2nd, the Royals struck in the next half inning from an unlikely source. Alcides Escobar hits a solo blast in the 3rd inning to give the Royals an early 1-0 lead in Baltimore. An already glancing blow considering the previous inning, but no, the Royals weren't done. How about adding an extra 3 runs when Alex Gordan hits a bases loaded, bases clearing broken bat bloop triple down the right field line. The Royals were then up 4-0. Some serious work needed to be done to get back into this one if you were an Orioles fan.

Well they started the ground work with an Adam Jones RBI single in the next half inning to make it 4-1 Kansas City. The Royals added another run in the top of the 5th with a Billy Butler sacrifice fly to make it 5-1 Royals. But, that is when the Orioles started getting to work. Next half inning, Nelson Cruz hits an RBI double to make it 5-2 Kansas City. Then Ryan Flaherty with 2 outs, hits a 2 run RBI single to make it 5-4 Kansas City in the bottom of the 5th. Suddenly, we have ourselves a ballgame.

The next inning, the Orioles spark some magic with a De Aza soft infield popup that lands in front of Alcides Escobar (Who in fact caused there to be men on second and third with an errand throw) which allows the tying run to score making it 5-5 heading into the 7th.

Nobody scores until they get close in the top of the 9th for the Royals. Bases loaded, nobody out, looking like the Royals were going to spread the gap rather quickly with what they had. Ball hit to Pearce, throws to home, out at the plate. 1 man out. The next man up hits into a inning ending double play. Unfortunately the Orioles don't score in the 9th, so we head to the tenth where the rain starts to fall.

Alex Gordan hits a solo shot in the beginning of the 10th to make it 6-5 Royals. Then a man gets on and Mike Moustakas hit's a 2 run bomb to center field and gives the Royals the final blow they needed to win Game 1 of the ALCS. They led 8-5 heading into the bottom of the 10th, where Delmon Young had an RBI single to make it 8-6, but the Orioles couldn't do anymore as the Royals win in a 4 1/2 hour ballgame and take a 1-0 series lead in the best of 7 ALCS.

There's a double header tomorrow, I'll be watching both games as I weave through the college football schedule on a busy Saturday sports afternoon!