How The Royals Win Part 2 Of The World Series


"Oct 10, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) hits a solo home run in the 10th inning against the Baltimore Orioles in game one of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports“The Royals and Giants will play two very close games with at least one going extra innings to open the Fall Classic.  They will resume this series Friday night knotted up 1-1.”Guess I am batting .500 so far.The Royals and their bats came back alive in Game 2, setting the stage for a thrilling World Series.  “Part 2” of the series takes them to San Francisco, where a new park, new rules, and new pitching match ups wait for them.Jeremy Guthrie will take on Tim Hudson in Game 3.  Jason Vargas will duel Ryan Vogelsong in Game 4.  James Shields will hopefully show up against Madison Bumgarner in Game 5.Vegas likes J-Guts on Friday, and so should you.  Guthrie is pitching very well and Tim Hudson just isn’t who he used to be.  I also love Vargas against Vogelsong.  Vogelsong wouldn’t make the Royals World Series roster.  If the Royals display even just a smudge of patience at the plate against Vogelsong, this is the biggest starting pitching miss-match the series will see.  AT&T Park is a great park for Guthrie and Vargas.  The cooler bay weather and deep power alleys will make it hard for the Giants to go deep.  If the forecast is correct, flat out cold and ugly, there won’t be many big flies in San Francisco this weekend.The Royals breath taking bullpen only asks these starters to keep the game close through 5 1/3 rd innings.  I like Guthrie and Vargars even more when they only have to go through a lineup two times.  These games will be much more scratch and claw than the lopsided contests we saw at the K.  I think the Royals will take games 3 and 4, leaving them only 1 win away from a World Series Championship.  That’s a good thing, because Game 5 does not favor the Royals.By Game 5, the Royals may not be able to assign HGH to any extended duty.  Shields, hardly able to make it through a lineup twice this post season, may be needed of that and more.  I was thinking Shields was due for a bounce back start in Game 1, but he looked awful.  His body language was off.  James just looks out of gas.  Let’s hope the series is at least tied up by Game 5.Outside of the pitching match-ups, I see 3 other potential keys to Part 2 of this World Series.Right FieldEven before Nori Aoki‘s poor performance last night, I was worried about his potential adventures in AT&T Park’s, quirky as hell, right field.  Nori has taken unusual routes to balls all year. This won’t serve him well with a right field that features not only the most challenging angles in baseball, but also offers three different surfaces. Right fielders, while dealing with swirling bay winds, have to contend with brick, caged fences and billboards.  Nori’s whole game is slumping, and I am worried about his potential negative impact in San Francisco.  I don’t see Ned Yost starting Jarrod Dyson over Nori, but it deserves some thought.  Cain, who has looked just as good in right as he has in center, would be the best equipped to deal with that challenging wall.  Dyson can also hit righties, and the Royals will see plenty of right handed pitching in Games 1 and 2.  That brings me to the next key.Alex GordonThe right handed bats carried the day in Game 2. Lefties Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer have looked pretty good at the plate, but have cooled considerably. Gordon hasn’t cooled, he has frozen.  Alex is a streaky hitter, and very capable of breaking out of this mini slump anytime.  Now would be a great time.  Gordon is the best player on this team, and the Royals will need him to hit like it if they are to enjoy a successful trip to San Francisco.  Alex will see two right handed starters, and almost certainly see at bats against Yusmeiro Petit.  The right handed Petit is one of the best weapons the Giants have, most certainly their strongest long man from the pen. It’s hard to imagine Hudson and Vogelsong going more than 5 or 6 innings, and Petit will be the guy replacing them.  These match ups are good for Moose and Hoz, but look for Alex to provide some game winning dramatics.NL Rules and Ned YostNed wised up and became more flexible with HDH.  That’s a good thing, but it doesn’t mean we should be psyched to watch him adjust to new nuances.  Yost deserves credit for learning from his mistake in the Wild Card game, bringing in Ventura instead of Hererra.  He touched the stove, it burned his hand, and he didn’t do it again.  The Royals can’t afford to be burned by a move like that this time.  Yost said he’s been able to “stop thinking” once the 6th inning has rolled around.  This will not be the case in the Nation League park.  Ned is sometimes still Ned.  In Game 2, Butler, and his hot bat, got lifted for T-Gore.  Hosmer was on second base, making a stolen base moot, and they only had a 1 run lead.  That felt pretty unnecessary, but in Yost’s defense, that was far from the game’s worst managerial decision.  Bruce Bochy’s decision to put Hunter Strickland into the game was amazingly bad.  If Yost had done that, we would be killing him.  Let’s just hope the starters give him 6 strong, and keep the decision making to a minimum.This glorious ride roars into San Francisco Friday night, and will truck back into KC with the Royals leading 3 games to 2."