After an 8-0 run to start the 2014 playoffs – a record – the Kansas City Royals finally lost last night, in the first game of the World Series.
- The San Francisco Giants take the early lead in the series after the 7-1 win in Kansas City last night. Madison Bumgarner was his typical dominant postseason self, throwing seven innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits and one walk. He struck out five. Although he was staked a huge early lead, he still was allowed to throw 106 pitches for some reason. That was probably a little silly, but it’s the end of the year, after all, and that’s not an unconscionable total.
- The big early lead came courtesy of hit after hit after hit off of Royals starter James Shields. The Royals’ ace made it through just three innings, being charged with five earned runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out only one. Basically, the Giants were jumping on Shields early, and, when they weren’t, he was missing his spots just enough to push it into a hitter’s count. He probably wasn’t as horrible as the line looks, but he wasn’t sharp either.
- I did some aggressive joking on Twitter about Shields’ performance and his impending free agency – given the small sample of the playoffs, and the disproportionate effect they seem to have on some folks’ evaluation of players, I don’t hate that he’s had a bad postseason. To the extent it has a small downward impact on his next contract, and to the extent the Cubs aren’t swayed by the playoff performance (they shouldn’t be), then maybe they could stand to benefit slightly. Again, that’s mostly me just joking around. But, hey, if there’s any improvement at all in the Cubs’ ability to have a quality free agent option behind Jon Lester (or do the unthinkable, and pursue both guys), then I’m for it.
- The Royals had a big scoring chance early and before the game was out of hand, with men on second and third with no outs and the top of the order up. But Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki got super aggressive trying to get the runs home, and each struck out swinging.
- Game 2 is tonight at 7pm CT in Kansas City, with Jake Peavy facing Yordano Ventura.