As a Giants fan who sit in front of his TV yelling all kinds of profanity as Hunter Strickland and the rest of the bullpen collapsed I can officially say that I ain’t trippin on the game two loss to the Royals. Its a bad look when the pitching staff collapses in the World Series but I wouldn’t bet on it happening again as the series continues.
Heading into game three we’ve had more than enough time to figure put who these teams are. The Royals are a team built around pitching and speed on the base paths. They are the prototypical small ball team that led the league in stolen bases during the regular season and has a bunch of flame throwers in the bullpen.
The Giants were supposed to be a small ball team on opening day then a bunch of weird shit happened. The pitching and defense model that had won this team championships in 2012 and 2010 had to be altered when Matt Cain was lost to a season ending elbow injury. Then we lost hope that Lincecum could be a viable starter. The power threats of Michael Morse and Brandon Belt spent Significant time on the DL. So at various points in the year, starters were moving in and out of the rotation, a big part of the power threat was missing and the team was schizophrenic from start to finish. Luckily it doesn’t matter how weird your season was as long as you sneak in as a wildcard team.
But, despite the weirdness of the season the formula for winning baseball is just as clear for the Giants as it is for the Royals. Both teams need to get runners on base, manufacture three or four runs a game, get six or seven good innings from the starting pitcher and shorten the game by handing it over to the bullpen.
Meaning that if this series looks like any other games either of these two teams has played this season we can safely say that games one and two of this series were weird. James Shield looked shook from the jump in game one and Hunter Strickland in game two…I don’t even know what to say about that cat. How are you gonna consistently give up home runs throwing 98 MPH fastballs down the middle of the plate and keep throwing that pitch? And then he had the nerve to stand there and cuss out Omar Infante and Salvador Perez after he got taken deep in 6th inning of game two.
What are you mad about, dawg? Because when I was throwing my remote across the room I knew exactly what had me heated. I was mad that the pitcher who everyone was anointing as the next closer was doing exactly what closer shouldn’t do; give up home runs in pressure situations. You can’t throw batting practice fastballs and get mad when a major leaguer takes you deep. Someone needs to keep him away from the coffee pot until he starts looking more like closer out there.
I’m not sure how confident I’ll be if I see him out there again but I’m not worried about the rest of this bullpen. Like I said, we know what this bullpen is made of and we know they can shorten a game real quick. And the Royals can do the same. Even with the winner of the first two games scoring seven runs I don’t expect to see a run total that high the rest of the series. The Royals are gonna need to steal bases and drive runners from scoring position. And that means low run totals. The Giants are gonna need to do the same but since they lack the speed of the Royals, the Giants are gonna need to get more power from Buster Posey and the other guys in the middle of the line up.
Massive pitching failures served as the turning points in the first two games but if these teams play like how they’ve been playing the game should come down to who’s bullpen can shut it down in the late innings. The Royals apparently have a bunch of dudes who throw 95+ MPH for fun and the Giants have faux closer who they can’t trust and a former Cy Young award winner who has messed up back and a stomach problem. But if the short revilers get the outs they’ve been getting and Linceum can have a repeat of 2012 where he was struglelicous as a starter but lights out as middle reliever then I like this teams chances.
But I don’t even feel like analyzing this any more. I’m drinking the home town Kool Aid and I got the Giants winning all of these home games, taking the series and giving me an excuse to party in the streets in a week. I had to catch the last two world series victory parades in the from of highlights on Sportscenter since I was stuck in New Orleans getting a degree in journalism or something so now’s not the time to start coming up short in the Fall Classic.
And if they fail, I’m gonna have to challenge Hunter Strickland to one of those awkward baseball fights where we stand 100 feet away from each other while the rest of dugout holds us back even though neither of us are about to throw a punch.