Royals win ALCS and Giants are one game away
Now we know the Kansas City Royals are the American League Champions and will be in the World Series for the first time since 1985. That’s been 29 years of wishing and wanting for the Royals and their fans. They made it with great pitching and timely hitting, sweeping the favored Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS. As a wild card team, the Royals were always the underdog in the post season, even when they went to extra innings to beat the Oakland A’s in the wild card game.
What’s most amazing about the Royals and their run to the World Series is that they have now won eight straight games in the post season, sweeping the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Baltimore Orioles along the way. And in the Wild Card Game the Royals went into the 12th inning to take the game from the Oakland A’s. That has been their toughest match up so far in the post season.
Now they can carry that enthusiasm and determination into the World Series when it starts next Tuesday.
Here in San Francisco the other wild card team in the playoffs is leading the NLCS three games to one. The Giants have given a clinic on how to win post-season games with small ball — they have not had a homerun in this series and many of their runs scored have been without hits. They’ve gotten runners on base with singles, doubles and walks and then advanced the runners with steals, sacrifice bunts and hits, and more importantly, they’ve scored on the errors by the Cardinals.
If there is one statistic that will stand out from this NLCS it will be the number of times the Giants have advanced and scored runners due to the Cardinals’ errors. It has made the difference in the last two games.
In most other respects the Cardinals have played well enough that they could have at least split the four games so far. They have hit several homeruns in this series and scored runs with clutch hitting, but the errors have kept the Cards from keeping pace with the Giants.
In last night’s game, the Cards got out to an early lead 4-1 lead, but the Giants started chipping away at it, producing a big inning in the bottom of the 6th when they scored three runs to take the lead, 6-4. They never let it go. They did it with s fielder’s choice by Gregor Blanco that scored Juan Perez. The Cardinals were unable to get an out on the play so that left two runners on base. Then Joe Panik hit a sacrifice grounder that scored Brandon Crawford. One out later Buster Posey hit a single that brought Blanco across the plate.
The Cards came close to scoring in the later innings, but the Giants bullpen shut them down. San Francisco’s pitching, especially the bullpen, deserves a lot of credit for the 3-1 lead in the series.
In today’s game we will see a rematch of the starting pitchers from Game One: Adam Wainwright takes the mound for the Cardinals and Madison Bumgarner for the Giants. When they met in Game One Wainwright was hit early, giving up two runs in the second inning and another in the third. Bumgarner though was able to shut down the Cardinal bats for eight and two-thirds innings for a Giants victory, 3-0.
Can Wainwright and the Cardinals stop the Giants in Game Five? The Cardinals have proven they can score a lot of runs, but right now the momentum is with the Giants.
It should be a great game.
Claudia is of Peruvian and Italian descent, having been born in a small town, in the North of Peru, South America. She was raised by her grandmother from an early age, living in poverty until Claudia’s mother brought her to America. She landed in Miami, FL and started her new life, playing high school basketball and eventually becoming a United States citizen. Claudia completed her education at Florida International University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and became a model to supplement her income. Since graduating from FIU Claudia has worked with many of the Spanish Language broadcasting companies, including Telemundo, Univision and most recently Spanish Language channels on SiriusXM satellite radio and PasTV Deportes in Venezuela.She encourages you to follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Her content appears here under a shared content agreement with her Spanish television clients.