Salvador Perez’s 2014 Donruss baseball card
The Kansas City Royals look a lot better when they’re hitting against Jake Peavy than they do against Madison Bumgarner. (Then again, I bet you could say that about most teams.)
When Gregor Blanco led off Wednesday night’s game with a home run off of Royals rookie phenom Yordano Ventura, I started to have visions of the Giants sweeping the series. Blanco just isn’t supposed to hit home runs, especially off a guy who’s been clocked at 100 mph.
Unlike Tuesday night, Kansas City didn’t wait until the seventh inning to put some runs on the board. They answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first and took their first lead of the series in the second inning. But give Peavy credit – he limited the damage in those two innings and retired 10 consecutive Giants heading into the sixth inning.
That’s when the Royals broke the game open, forcing Bruce Bochy to tie a World Series record by using five different pitchers to record three outs. (We also learned that Hunter Strickland is a hot head and shouldn’t be used except in mop-up situations.)
The Giants had their chances, but couldn’t cash in. Ventura allowed eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, but the Giants stranded five of their baserunners and saw another erased via a bad baserunning play.
And once Ventura was out, the Giants could do nothing against Kansas City’s vaunted bullpen trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland.
I still think that forcing a split on the road gives the Giants an advantage as they head home for Game 3 on Friday, but the Royals are in a much better spot than they would have been down 0-2. I hope this weekend’s games are as exciting as Game 2.