In Game Two, the Royals were once again Royal, as in royal pains in the butt on the base paths, as their speed heavily influenced the initiation of the sixth inning rally that eventually lead to an easy Game Two equalizing win. Yes, Perez and Infante crushed a double and homer respectively, but it was until after Lorenzo Cain’s blazing base running set the tone for a bullpen-depleting all-hands-on-deck inning.
The game will probably be most remembered for the benches briefly coming out onto the field after Giants’ reliever Strickland was jawing with Perez as he crossed the plate after Infante’s homerun. I haven’t heard any sportstalk coverage today, so perhaps this story IS all over the place, but I found it interesting that no one on the booth found it derogatory that Strickland clearly referred to Perez as “boy”, which in my neck of the woods is not a socially acceptable way to address a grown man. Let’s put it this way – you sure as hell couldn’t say that in corporate America without fear of losing your job or legal action…
Back to the point. The series is even. The tensions are high. We are in for an awesome weekend of baseball in one of the most gorgeous stadiums in the world. What more do you need than that?
Oh, a five-game ATS winning streak and an 11-2 ATS mark in the last 13 playoff games? Yup. Got that too. Let’s keep it rolling today.
Today’s Free Pick:
World Series Game Three – AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Kansas City Royals +110 at San Francisco Giants -121 (Total: 7)
Jeremy Guthrie vs. Tim Hudson
The Tim Hudson story is a nice one. MLB’s active wins leader gets the ball in the World Series for the very first time in his highly successful 16-year career. It is easy to root for the likeable veteran tonight. But will his team be able to back him up? Maybe more importantly, will Hudson, who is not known for his effectiveness in controlling the run game, be able to keep enough Royals off base for it not to matter?
Opposing Huddy is Jeremy Guthrie. He isn’t a well-known mainstream pitcher, but he has been excellent in the postseason, allowing just two runs in two postseason appearances. But he is in a tough spot tonight. The Giants don’t lose in the postseason at home. They’ve won 9 of 10 in the wacky confines of AT&T Park where the dimensions are funky and the winds are unpredictable. That’s a big advantage for the Giants’ defensive outfield, which is generally not as strong as the Royals.
The Giants also have the sneaky benefit of not having the DH. It’s isn’t like Hudson is winning a batting title anytime soon, but he will be more competent at the plate than Guthrie who will be a free out in the ninth hole instead of the potentially deadly Moustakas.
I think the Royals will get this series back to KC, but not tonight. I’ll take Hudson coming up big and controlling the tempo of the game and the Giants middle of the order hitting a few balls into gaps or over walls.
Free Pick: San Francisco Giants to WIN -121