Royals Just Need to Get Through Six Innings
By David Hill
At this point, everyone knows the Royals recipe for success. For Kansas City to be able to win in the postseason, they need to hold a lead through six innings, then turn the game over to the devastating trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland. All the Royals need is to have a lead after recording 18 outs.
Unfortunately, during the World Series, getting those 18 outs has been a problem. The Royals starters have been typically been able to get through four innings, but finding a way to navigate the fifth and sixth has been a problem for the Royals. As it is, only Jeremy Guthrie and Yordano Ventura have been able to get into the sixth inning.
With the Royals being able to hold serve and split the first four games may be a positive, they still held the lead in three of those. Last night, the Royals had a 4-2 lead heading into the fifth, but were unable to get those final six outs needed to bring the game to that trio.
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That goal of getting through six innings with the lead becomes even more important tonight. James Shields has not exactly been stellar in the playoffs, but that may have been due to a mechanical issue that he mentioned during his in-game interview last night. They really need that to be the case, as Madison Bumgarner has not exactly been an easy pitcher to face in the postseason.
Faced with a best of three series at this point, tonight is an important game. It is not going to be easy, with Bumgarner on the mound, but Shields needs to be able to step up and be what the Royals traded for.
Tonight is not likely to be a slugfest, but if the Royals are able to put together a couple of hits and scratch across a couple of runs, that may be the best they can hope for. As long as Shields holds the Giants offense in check, and the Royals have that lead after the sixth inning, that may be enough.
The Royals need to find a way to get through six innings. After those six innings, they should be in great shape.