MLB has two Game Threes today: in Kansas City and San Francisco

Listen to this article

Photo above: Kolten Wong’s walk off home run that won Game Two for the Cardinals.

Today both league championship series play Game Three, due to the postponement in Kansas City for the rain delay. The Royals won two in Baltimore and now the Orioles are behind in the series, 0-2. I know Baltimore is a great team, but I can’t forget the energy I felt at Angels Stadium when I walked in the Kansas City Clubhouse. I was impressed by them. They were extremely confident, expecting to win. It reminded me of a team about to play the first game of the season.

Alcides Escobar’s game winning double in Game Two of the ALCS. (YouTube)
Alcides Escobar’s game winning double in Game Two of the ALCS.

Since the start of the post season the Kansas City Royals have won five in a row — they remain unbeaten since … September 27 when they lost to the Chicago White Sox in Chi-Town. They won that series though, 3-1. They won their last game of the regular season (6-4) so their win streak is actually six.

Back in April the Royals won two of a three-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore, and then in May the O’s and Royals split a four-game series in Kansas City. We can expect the O’s will once again get a win in KC, but now they only have two games to do it. If the O’s don’t win today their chances of winning the ALCS are pretty low. It’s extremely rare for a team in any sport to come back from an 0-3 start to win a seven-game series.

Cal Ripken, Sr.  (Wikipedia)
Cal Ripken, Sr.

Of course if you’re a hockey fan you’ll remember the L.A. Kings did it this past April when they beat the San Jose Sharks in four straight games after losing the first three games in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

After sweeping the Detroit Tigers it’s hard to believe the Orioles are down in the series, especially considering both losses were in Camden yards.

Interesting fact: neither team has won the World Series for over two decades. The Orioles won it all in 1983 and O’s fans will remember Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer and Cal Ripken, Jr. whose dad, Cal Sr., was the third base coach at the time. The Royals won it in 1985 — beating the St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three.

Today I’m in San Francisco’s AT&T Park for Game Three of the NLCS between the visiting Cardinals and the Giants.

Game one went to the Giants behind the pitching of Madison Bumgarner. The Cardinals won game two with a dramatic walk off homerun by Kolten Wong. If Giants fans thought their team would bring a 2-0 lead in the series back to San Francisco, game two showed why the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most successful post season teams in baseball. Game Two had several ties and the lead changed twice before the Giants tied it up on a wild pitch by Trevor Rosenthal in the top of the 9th. Then Kolten Wong delivered his solo homerun in the bottom of the 9th to end the game.

AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA (Claudia Gestro)
AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
(Claudia Gestro)

Game three begins with both teams trying to assert supremacy in this series. Neither team believes they are going to have a cakewalk and it would appear winning got even more difficult for the St. Louis Cardinals when their All Star catcher, Yadier Molina, left the game, and possibly the rest of the series, with a strained oblique muscle in his left side. The Cardinals are keeping him active, but he won’t start today and probably won’t play at all. But the Cardinals won Sunday without Molina in the lineup, so will his absence make a big difference for the Birds? We will see today as the Cards and the Giants line up for game three. The Giants did lose one at home in the NLDS against the Washington Nationals, so it’s not a given they are unbeatable at home.

John Lackey gets the start for St. Louis and Tim Hudson will start for San Francisco.

The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012; and the Cardinals won it all in 2011. So both teams have recent World Series success. That’s one more reason to watch this series.

•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••

Claudia Gestro reporting for PasTV Deportes and the Los Angeles Post-Examiner. (Claudia Gestro)
Claudia Gestro reporting for PasTV Deportes and the Los Angeles Post-Examiner.
(Claudia Gestro)

The big news in L.A. the past week has been the trade rumors. Will the Dodgers trade Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig? One rumor had shortstop Hanley Ramirez on the trading block and there could be some truth to it; Ramirez has tweeted his preference to stay in L.A.

Puig is in trouble — again. The rumor is his teammates accused Puig of not hustling in Game Three of the NLDS with St. Louis. Puig was having a terrible time at the plate in the post season so Manager Don Mattingly benched the slugger for Game Four . But it’s all rumors; no one wants to say anything officially. The baseball press corps isn’t even talking about it.

The real story in baseball though is happening today in Kansas Coty, Missouri and San Francisco, California. It will be an early game for the Cardinals and Giants—1:07p.m. Pacific Time. The Orioles and Royals begin Game Three at 7:07p.m. Central Time.