Oct 29, 2014 9:45 PM
Giants, Royals tied thru 3 in World Series Game 7
The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) San Francisco starter Tim Hudson got pulled right away as manager Bruce Bochy took no chances in Game 7 of the World Series, and the Giants and Kansas City Royals were tied 2-2 after three innings Wednesday night.
After a Series full of lopsided results, this shaped as something much more tight and tense. Looming from the start, too: The possibility the Giants would turn to ace Madison Bumgarner in relief.
Bochy spent a lot of time on the field. Along with pulling Hudson in the second, Bochy became the first manager to win a video review challenge under Major League Baseball's expanded replay format.
Eric Hosmer was initially ruled safe by first base umpire Eric Cooper while making a headfirst dive to beat out a double-play relay in the third. But after a review that took 2 minutes, 57 seconds, Hosmer was called out, completing a slick play started by rookie second baseman Joe Panik's dive and glove flip to shortstop Brandon Crawford.
The crowd noise at Kauffman Stadium was constant and loud. The fans cheered when Billy Butler singled and hustled home on a double by Alex Gordon, then booed when Salvador Perez was hit in the leg and knocked to the dirt that all happened in a span of three pitches.
Small ball was the story early, with three sacrifice flies in the second inning alone. Michael Morse drove in Pablo Sandoval with the bases loaded and no outs off Jeremy Guthrie, and Crawford drove in Hunter Pence with another fly to make it 2-0.
The Royals rallied back fast. After Omar Infante's sacrifice fly tied it at 2, Alcides Escobar singled with two outs and that was all for Hudson.
At 39, Hudson was the oldest pitcher to start Game 7 in the Series. He had signed with the Giants in the offseason as a free agent, hoping to reach the World Series for the first time, and maybe win a championship. This was his chance and instead, he had the shortest start in Game 7 of a Series since Bob Turley of the Yankees lasted only one inning against Pittsburgh in 1960.
Home teams had won the last nine Game 7s to clinch the championship, and neither manager wanted to wait too long before things slipped away.
Bochy had Tim Lincecum warming up when he brought in Jeremy Affeldt to relieve Hudson. Royals manager Ned Yost had Kevin Herrera heating up early.
Before the game, something happened that caught the attention of both teams.
As the Royals were taking batting practice and the Giants were stretching beyond their dugout, 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 the winner. Players on both sides watched the procession and some pointed, but no one dared jinx themselves by touching 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 gave one of the greatest pitching performances of all-time, throwing a 10-hit shutout in 1991 to lead Minnesota over Atlanta 1-0 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.
Bret Saberhagen, who pitched a Game 7 shutout in 1985 to give Kansas City its only crown, threw out the first ball. Soon after, the game began after another stumble with the national anthem.
Opera star and longtime Royals fan Joyce DiDonato did fine singing "The Star-Spangled Banner," but tripped and fell in the batter's box while walking off the field.
Before Game 5 in San Francisco, county singer Aaron Lewis messed up the lyrics to the anthem and later apologized for the mistake.