October 26th, 2014
I was concerned when I heard Ryan Vogelsong was starting Game 3 of the World Series. Frankly, I had been advocating for Yusmeiro Petit to get the ball instead. The huge righty has been pitching extremely well and I felt he matched up better against the Royals. As it turns out, he entered the game in the 4th inning and rescued his club. He pitched extremely well, holding the Royals and giving his team a chance to mount a huge comeback. Petit was a star in my book. What a relief he was for the Giants.
A major key in the game (in my estimation) came when little known Matt Duffy entered the game as a pinch hitter and singled batting for Petit in the sixth inning. Frankly, that’s when I felt the momentum totally shift from the Royals to the Giants. It was a big clutch hit and it set the table for the flood gates to open.
To find success against Royals starter Jason Vargas, hitters have to make him elevate the ball. He likes to pitch down in the zone. Once he gets that low pitch from the umpire he finds a comfort zone and keeps peppering the ball down and away until he makes mistakes. He yielded six hits and 3 earned runs in his 4 innings of work. He didn’t last long enough to get to the Tremendous Trio in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and closer Greg Holland were nullified by a barrage of hits and runs created by the Giants. Each of those three should be raring to go tomorrow.
But tomorrow brings Bumgarner. And Bumgarner means trouble. If he’s on his game, Madison Bumgarner can easily send his Giants back to Missouri with a one game lead. the “Advantage Game” tomorrow seems to me to be advantage— Giants. Big Game James Shields will have to have the biggest game of his life. He better be more on his game than his last start in Game 1.
Bruce Bochy took a calculated risk starting Juan Perez in left field instead of Mike Morse. But Perez had a fine game. He made a diving catch that was among several terrific plays by the Giants defense that helped save the bacon.
When Jerome Dyson led an inning with a single, I was shocked he didn’t try to steal. That, my friends is the Royals game. Get em on, steal second, and get em in. Somehow. It didn’t happen and I felt it was a missed opportunity.
After Bumgarner and Shields, we’ll likely see Guthrie and Peavy.
Rain was evident for about 30 minutes tonight and it forced several of us to find shelter higher up in the Auxiliary Press Box in left field. The rain stopped and it turned out to be a chilly, but fine evening. I think the game took something like 4 hours to play. I had a hoody, a light jacket and heavier rain/windbreaker type jacket, a hat, ear muffs and gloves. I’ve been down this road before. San Francisco can get cold, damp and windy. I wore all my gear and looked like a geek. I take that back, I didn’t wear the ear muffs.
But I still look like a geek wearing a hat.
I love seeing the guys dressed in Panda heads that sit down near the Giants dugout. They look great. Huge fans. On the way out of the stadium, I saw them posing for pictures with fans.
The Giants do not etch a logo, lettering, pictures, graphics or anything in their outfield grass. They prefer to leave it pristine. It’s all part of their “Old School” philosophy. They want the baseball experience as it has been for years and years. That’s also why they don’t have names on the backs of their home uniforms. And their uniforms aren’t true white/white. That’s most evident in the Arizona Fall League. Next to players with white/white uniforms, the Giants players look like their uniforms are a bit off color. Almost like the wrong color was put in the wash load with the uniforms. Sort of what I used to do in college. You know, pink underwear, etc.
Joe Panik doesn’t. He is really, really smooth. He keeps his composure and plays as if he has been in the big leagues for years. In fact, he’s a rookie.
Royals recent college pitcher Brandon Finnegan went back to school again tonight. The Giants taught him a thing or two about being a Major League reliever. He got too much of the plate and payed the price coughing up five runs on five hits and two walks in only one inning of work. The young lefty who has now worked in both a College Championship Series and a Major League Championship Series in the same season has a great future. But tonight, he got some ice water dumped on the sizzling start to his big league career.
I love to watch Hunter Pence hustle. I love to watch his awkward swing. His awkward throws and his awkward routes in right field. He looks goofy. But like I said the other night-the man can play the game. Period.
Panik, Posey, Pence and Panda tonight went 8 for 17. That’s good enough to win most games, wouldn’t you say? They drove in eight runs among them. And scored five. Tonight once again, the P’s Produced.
Jeremy Affeldt is one heckuva good left-handed reliever. i think the Royals guys get all the credit, but Affeldt, Romo and Castilla aren’t too shabby themselves.
AT&T Park is beautiful. Huge, but beautiful. The setting in China Basin is picture perfect. And watching thousands and thousands walking from wherever to and from the games is a sport in itself. Of course there is little to no parking in that prime real estate area. People take public transportation of leave their cars miles away and walk along the water. The sound is deafening. Cheering. Air horns. Whistles. Boat horns. You name it. And the place is a sea of orange and black. I don’t think I saw one person without at least one form of Giants garb. Hat, ticket holder, tee shirt, sweatshirt, game jersey, pants, etc. etc. You name it. Lines at the portable souvenir shops were enormous. It’s just an exciting vibe. And believe me, it was exciting in Kansas City as well. The World Series is very special.
Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton won the Hank Aaron Awards-as the best overall players in each league.
They had ice cream sundaes today in the real Press Box. How great is that? I just happened to find my way there when I heard the news.
I’ll be back in this space tomorrow. Hope it’s a great game.
Thanks for reading my work on MLB.com and for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff.
That’s It. I’m Done.