October 29, 2014 [LINK / comment]

Royals rally to force Game 7

For only the second time in the past dozen years (the other being 2011; see the Postseason scores and Annual chronology pages), we're going to have a World Series Game 7. This wonderful state of affairs is happening because the Kansas City Royals staged a huge seven-run rally in the second inning of Game 6 last night. Giants pitcher Jake Peavy only lasted an inning and a third, bearing out the FOX-TV announcers repeated warnings that he was on a "short leash."

It all started with a leadoff single by Alex Gordon, followed by a single by Salvador Perez, followed by a double by Mike Moustakas. Omar Infante struck out, and the Giants were close to getting out of the inning with minimal damage, but then Nori Aoki hit an RBI single, forcing Peavy out of the game. But Yusmeiro Petit couldn't do any better, as Lorenzo Cain singled, and then Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler both doubled. That made the score 7-0 with only one out, but the next two batters were out to end the inning. The Royals added more runs in the third, fifth, and seventh inning, the final one coming off a home run by Mike Moustakas.

Meanwhile, the Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura kept getting in and out of jams, somehow going seven full innings without giving up a run. Jason Frasor and Tim Collins finished the combined shutout as relief pitchers, as the Royals won in triumphant fashion, 10-0. It was the first time since 1958 (Braves vs. Yankees) that there were two consecutive shutout World Series games without opposing teams winning.

Thanks to Mike Moustakas, Giants' pitcher Hunter Strickland became the first MLB reliever in history to give up six home runs in a single postseason.

Since 1982, eight of the ten teams returning to their home field being down 3-2 in the World Series won went on to win the whole shebang. Advantage Kansas City!

On the other hand, the Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012 immediately after the release of new albums by Taylor Swift, who just happened to release a new album called "1989," so there's that...

How 'bout them Royals?!

When I saw the Royals play in Kansas City on July 25, I could see that they were good, but I had no idea just how good they were. I thought it would be appropriate to share some of the photos of their star players, whose names are fast becoming familiar to millions of baseball fans. Near the top of that list: Yordano Ventura, who pitched seven shutout innings in last night's game. When I saw him pitching on July 25, I didn't even know who he was! Here are some of the many photos I took that day. (I took several photos of Giants players in August 2013; I may post some of those later on...)

Mike Moustakas, Yordano Ventura

Yordano Ventura pitches in the first inning, with Mike Moustakas at third base.

Salvador Perez home run

Salvador Perez hits a lead-off home run in the second inning, as Indians manager Terry Francona looks on. The very next batter, Mike Moustakas, did likewise.

Omar Infante

Omar Infante, just before he lined out to center field in the fifth inning.

Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas, who had homered in the second inning, is about to strike out in the sixth inning.

Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain

Center fielder Jarrod Dyson and [right] fielder Lorenzo Cain, who had just caught a game-tying sac fly hit by Jason Kipnis in the seventh inning.

Billy Butler

Pinch-hitter Billy Butler in the eighth inning, just before he hit a two-run home run that gave the Royals the lead, and ultimately the win.

CORRECTION: In my July 31 blog post I wrote that Billy Butler's home run landed in the bullpen beyond left field, which would have been about 390 feet. In fact, it nearly reached the front of the Royals Hall of Fame, and traveled an estimated 422 feet. See the video for yourself at MLB.com.