Oct 29, 2014 10:52 PM
Bumgarner on, Giants lead 3-2 in Game 7 of Series
The Associated Press
Madison Bumgarner is rolling along now and there doesn't appear to be much Kansas City can do about it.
The big lefty needs only nine pitches all strikes to work a perfect seventh inning.
The way it looks at this point, he might even finish this thing. Man, what an October performance.
Madison Bumgarner sets down the Royals in order in the sixth. Hardest-hit ball was a well struck drive to center by Alex Gordon.
MadBum has thrown 27 pitches through two innings and appears to have plenty in the tank.
Working on two days' rest after throwing 117 pitches in a Game 5 shutout Sunday. He's thrown 267 innings this year, including the postseason.
The left-hander has pitched 49 2-3 innings this postseason, breaking Curt Schilling's major league record.
Royals have nine outs left to work with. They gave one away on a bunt in the fifth.
Middle of the fifth, Bumgarner up in the bullpen.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said when Bumgarner gets up in the 'pen, he's coming in the game. And so it is, with San Francisco protecting a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth.
Bumgarner gives up a leadoff single to Omar Infante, who advances on a sacrifice bunt by Alcides Escobar.
Nori Aoki's slicing liner to left looks like a double off the bat, but Juan Perez has him played perfectly and runs it down for an out as Bumgarner pounds his fist into his glove.
Perez was inserted into the lineup for this game, replacing Travis Ishikawa in left field, because Bochy said he wanted his best defensive alignment out there.
Bumgarner strikes out Lorenzo Cain to end the inning.
Pablo Sandoval gets the Giants started again as they take a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning.
Kung Fu Panda reaches on an infield single when second baseman Omar Infante slips on the outfield grass after barehanding a bouncer.
Hunter Pence singles again. Red hot in this Series. And then more good baserunning on display, this time from Sandoval as he alertly advances to third on Brandon Belt's fly to deep left.
Kelvin Herrera replaces Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie and gives up a broken-bat RBI single to Michael Morse on a 99 mph fastball.
That's all the Giants get in the inning.
Wow, lotta stuff going on already in Game 7. Whew!
What a play by Giants rookie second baseman Joe Panik in the third inning. After a leadoff single by Lorenzo Cain, Panik makes a diving stop on Eric Hosmer's sharp grounder and shovels a backhand flip with his glove to shortstop Brandon Crawford at the bag.
Crawford relays to first, where Hosmer is called safe after a headfirst dive. But manager Bruce Bochy challenges the close call and it's reversed after a review that lasts 2 minutes, 57 seconds.
Crucial play, no doubt umpire Jerry Meals back in the replay room in New York wanted to make sure he got it right. Certainly appears he did.
It's the first successful challenge and replay reversal in this World Series since instant replay was expanded this season.
And instead of first and third with nobody out for Kansas City, it's a double play that wipes the bases clean.
Panik broke his belt on the play and heads toward the dugout to get a new one.
Jeremy Affeldt retires Billy Butler to end the inning.
Panik starts another double play, this one much more routine, against a gimpy Salvador Perez in the fourth. But that was a big one, too, after Alex Gordon was hit by a pitch to start the inning.
Great job by Affeldt, who gives the Giants another scoreless relief outing before handing a lead to Bumgarner. That's 22 consecutive scoreless appearances in the postseason for Affeldt, who has thrown 23 1-3 straight shutout innings in postseason play.
Affeldt could be in line for the win if San Francisco holds on.
Kansas City responds right away in the bottom of the second behind Alex Gordon, scoring twice to tie it 2-all. That immediately gets the crowd back into it, too.
Billy Butler hits a leadoff single and lumbers all the way around on Gordon's RBI double to the right-center wall. Salvador Perez gets hit by a pitch above the left knee. He's really hobbling, but stays in the game.
Perez is starting his 158th game this year including the postseason, a major league record for catchers, according to a graphic on Fox.
Gordon aggressively tags up and moves to third on Mike Moustakas' fly to fairly deep left. Great baserunning.
It pays off when Gordon scores the tying run on Omar Infante's sacrifice fly to center.
Alcides Escobar singles to left, and that's it for Tim Hudson after all of 28 pitches and 1 2-3 innings.
Shortest start in Game 7 of a World Series since Bob Turley lasted one inning for the New York Yankees against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, certainly counting on Madison Bumgarner for a stretch at some point, goes to his bullpen very early.
Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt retires Nori Aoki to end the inning with the score tied at 2.
Game 7 is just different. Can't take many chances with your starter.
Hudson is 1-4 in 14 career postseason games, 13 starts.
San Francisco takes a 2-0 lead in the second after Jeremy Guthrie gets himself in trouble with a hit batter to start the inning.
Guthrie's 0-1 pitch grazed Pablo Sandoval's elbow. Hunter Pence singles through the left side on an 0-2 changeup and Brandon Belt's single to right on 2-2 loads the bases with none out.
Guthrie getting ahead in the count, but he's not a strikeout pitcher and was unable to put hitters away.
Great execution by the Giants makes him pay sacrifice flies by Michael Morse and Brandon Crawford put San Francisco on top.
With so much talk about Bumgarner out of the bullpen in this game and how early Royals manager Ned Yost might turn to his trio of dominant relievers, the starters have almost been forgotten.
Sort of a sign of modern-day baseball, with relievers playing such a prominent role and fewer innings expected from the starters. Bullpens are such a big part of it all nowadays, as evidenced by these two teams.
It's not as if Tim Hudson and Jeremy Guthrie have no credentials although both are past their prime. The 39-year-old Hudson is the oldest pitcher to start Game 7 in a World Series, 15 days older than Roger Clemens was with the Yankees in 2001.
Guthrie works a 1-2-3 first inning for the Kansas City Royals, shattering Buster Posey's bat on a grounder for the third out.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas makes a diving stop to his left, although shortstop Alcides Escobar also was in position to field Posey's grounder.
Six of the 10 pitches Guthrie threw were changeups, including his first three.
Here we go. World Series, Game 7.
Tension, excitement, lasting memories. Nothing like one baseball game for all the marbles. Say no more.
First pitch coming up in just a few minutes.
The Kansas City Royals were taking batting practice, the San Francisco Giants were stretching beyond their dugout and then something caught the attention of both teams.
A person wearing white formal gloves, and accompanied by a security guard, carried the gleaming, gold-and-silver World Series trophy across the grass behind the cage.
The prize was probably headed to a safe spot, waiting to be presented to tonight's winner. Players on both sides watched the mini-parade and some pointed, but no one dared try to touch it.
Royals great George Brett, now a team executive, wandered over to a cluster of Giants and greeted some of them. San Francisco outfielder Hunter Pence smiled and seemed to enjoy the moment.
Among those watching from near the backstop was Jack Morris. Hard to think about a Game 7 and not remember him.
Morris delivered one of the greatest pitching performances of all-time, throwing a 10-hit shutout in 1991 to lead Minnesota over Atlanta 1-0 in 10 innings at the Metrodome.
"Game 7s don't come around very often. We're all hoping for them," said Morris, now a broadcaster.
When his time came, Morris was prepared.
"I knew what it meant, and I was ready to pitch," he said. "I wasn't nervous. I was confident."
"That's how it should be. Every fielder should want the ball. Every hitter should want to be at the plate," he said.
AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker contributed to this report.