If anything can be said about the Royals is that they just don’t roll over and take it, and it’s really the only reason they’re playing in October. Well, I guess the same could be said for the Giants, but tonight, the honor of longest holdout is awarded to the home team. As if they were solely responding to the pounding they endured yesterday in front of their rabid fans in blue, the Royals only trailed briefly before coming back and pouncing on the Giants. For some reason, the Giants starter and bullpen just wasn’t nearly as sharp as they have been.
Okay, if I’m being honest, neither team really pitched a fantastic game tonight. Both teams were awarded with high hit counts (10 total for the Royals, 9 for the Giants), but the Royals were more efficient in how they scored their runs and thus ended up scoring the most.
The Giants struck first with a lead-off solo home run in the 1st inning, but the Royals responded in the bottom of the inning to tie up the game with an RBI single before adding to their score with an RBI double in the 2nd inning. Of course, the Giants tied the game back up in the 4th with their own RBI double. And they kind of stayed knotted there briefly. Until the Giants starter struggled in his 6th inning putting runners on base with a single and a walk before they put the ball in the hands of a reliever.
Unfortunately for the Giants, the reliever wasn’t exactly having a good night either, promptly giving up an RBI single. This began the pitching dosey-do, of sorts. The next pitcher got the first out of the inning before another pitcher was called in. He was having an off day too — a 2-RBI double and a 2-run home run to push the Royals up 7-2. Well, that was it for the Giants as they finally called in the “big guns” (also known as the guy who has one of the lowest postseason ERAs), who promptly shut down the inning in 5 pitches to get those final 2 outs of the inning.
And despite their best efforts, the Giants weren’t going to make up the difference for that terrible 6th inning. It’s been said a million times that if you don’t have pitching, you don’t have anything. And that has never been more true that in this World Series. Yesterday, that was the story for the Royals, and tonight, the tables have turned for the Giants. That’s the thing about baseball — you just never know what’s going to happen; much like life, there are very few guarantees. Winning is never a given until that final out is declared; there’s always a chance your opponent can do something better, even at the last second. “It ain’t over until it’s over”… and this Series ain’t over yet!
World Series Game 2: Royals over Giants 7-2, Series tied 1-1
And now for your new favorite postseason tradition (can I really call it a “tradition” yet?): “This Day in Yankee History” — we go back to 2001. Being delayed due to the events of 9/11, the postseason was pushed back almost a week. So the Yankees, defending their 3rd straight World Series title, faced off against the surging Mariners for the ALCS. On this date 13 years ago, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, and Tino Martinez all hit home runs in Game 5 to clinch the ALCS (and New York’s 38th AL pennant) with a score of 12-3. The Yankees would go on to face the Diamondbacks in the World Series later that week in what would be the most dynamic World Series ever played due to the traumatic events of that year and the history being made on the field (think “Mr. November”); the Diamondbacks ended up taking the Yankees in Game 7, but it still sticks out to me as one of the most important Series ever played in baseball history.
Interestingly enough, on the other side of the field on the day mentioned above was a young Japanese rookie making his dynamic mark and beginning his legendary MLB career with the Mariners; his name was Ichiro Suzuki, and he was celebrating his 28th birthday as the team he would one day play for went on to celebrate their win. Today, however, he celebrated his 41st birthday as a Yankee. A very happy birthday to one of the greats, still a favorite in his former home of Seattle and very much a favorite in his new home of New York!