10/21/14 by Matthew S. Vandriak
Trailing 7 to 3 against Oakland in the bottom of the 7th inning, it looked like the season was over for Kansas City. Until the Royals battled back for a 9 to 8 win in 12 innings. And the Royals still have yet to lose in the post-season. Kansas City swept the L.A. Angels in three games in the division series and then the Baltimore Orioles in four games to win the American League Championship Series.
For San Francisco, Brandon Crawford's fourth inning grand slam turned a pitchers duel in Pittsburgh into a blowout, as the Giants won their wild card game 8 to 0. The Giants were almost as impressive as the Royals in getting to the World Series, eliminating the Washington Nationals in four games in the division series, then taking out St Louis 4 games to 1 in the NLCS.
The Giants and Royals combined 16 and 2 playoff record is the best combined record for World Series teams since the Wild Card was introduced in 1995. Kansas City finished the regular season 89 and 73, finishing a game behind Detroit in the AL Central. San Francisco finished 88 and 74, which was good for second in the NL West. Therefore, the Royals will have home field should this series go seven games.
For the Royals, this is their first post season appearance since 1985. For the Giants, this is their third World Series since 2010. Sixteen players on the Giants roster have World Series experience, and 8 of those have been a part of all three of those previous teams. Only 3 players on Kansas City's roster have played in the World Series.
Kansas City's Eric Hosmer has been on fire in the 2014 post season. Hosmer comes into the World Series, batting .448 with 2 HR's and 8 RBI's. Mike Moustakas has a post season leading 4 home runs, while Alex Gordon leads the post season with 9 RBI's. Travis Ishikawa's 7 RBI's lead the Giants, while Brandon Belt has batted in 6 runs this post-season. Pablo Sandoval leads San Francisco in post-season batting average at .326.
As for pitching, San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner is 2 and 1 in four starts with a 1.42 ERA. He has pitched at least 7 innings in each of his starts, and has 28 strikeouts in those four games. Santiago Casilla is a perfect 4 for 4 in saves and has yet to surrender an earned run in 6.2 innings pitched for the Giants. Kansas City's relief pitching has been stellar this post season, as Wade Davis and Jason Frasor each have two wins. Frasor has yet to allow a run this post season, while Davis has a 0.96 ERA. Greg Holland, who was 2nd in the American League with 46 saves during the regular season, is 6 for 6 in post season save situations.
If this series is anything like these two teams post season runs have been, the 2014 World Series will indeed be, a Fall Classic.
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