- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew54 mins ago
The Kansas City Royals 7-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants in World Series Game 2 didn't necessarily set up perfectly, but it did allow manager Ned Yost to unleash his trio of dominant late-inning relievers with the game hanging in the balance.
The main thing that didn't fit Yost's preferred script was having to call on his usual seventh-inning reliever, Kelvin Herrera, to record an additional two outs in the sixth inning. Herrera has done this before during the postseason, recording five outs in the AL wild-game card and six outs in their ALCS Game 1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. It's something he's proven he can handle, and with a full week off in between outings, he was obviously well rested.
Make that extremely well rested. Herrera came right out of the bullpen firing nothing but heat. Eight 100-mph plus fastballs later, the Giants threat was over and many were left in amazement at Herrera's overpowering stuff.
That includes ESPN's Jayson Stark, who was moved to tweet the following.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Just as World Series Game 2 got interesting on Wednesday night, Comcast customers who double as baseball fans in and around Washington D.C. were left in the dark about what was going on at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Royals had already struck for three run in what would prove to be the difference-making sixth inning in their 7-2 win over the San Francisco Giants, but the biggest blow and first real incidence of drama was yet to come.
All those fans knew was that Omar Infante was about to step in against Giants rookie reliever Hunter Strickland, and the Royals were on the brink of breaking the game wide open with one swing.
Then this happened.
The most dramatic point this far in the World Series and DC cable goes to an emergency alert test pattern. pic.twitter.com/Jw2T472Fn0
This is only a test of the emergency broadcast alert system. It's just a really poorly timed one.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Kansas City Royals were dealt their first postseason setback in Game 1 of the World Series, falling 7-1 to the Madison Bumgarner- and Hunter Pence-led San Francisco Giants at a boisterous Kauffman Stadium.
The lopsided result wasn't what they had in mind, obviously, and it was a bit surprising given the unstoppable roll it appeared they were on coming in. The Royals, who are looking for their first world championship since 1985, set an MLB record by winning their first eight postseason games, including the AL wild-card game. Given the franchise's championship drought and the relative ease with which they were able to dispatch the Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles, they were obviously the story coming into Game 1 and in many circles were considered the favorites until proven otherwise.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz has been a postseason hero several times over during his potentially Hall of Fame worthy career. This year, though, with his Boston Red Sox long eliminated from the October scene, he's changing his role up in order to help the Red Sox and Major League Baseball honor real life heroes in the military.
During a recent gathering at Fenway Park, Ortiz surprised a group of three veteran and current military members by playing tour guide for their visit. That was a big hit with the stunned group, but as CBS Boston notes, that was only the appetizer to the biggest news of the day. Before the experience was over, Ortiz also surprised each of them and their families with tickets to Game 1 of the World Series.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 days ago
There are a lot of different angles that can be analyzed heading into this sure-to-be fascinating World Series matchup between the Kansas City Royals, who have not appeared in a Fall Classic since 1985, and the San Francisco Giants, who have won two of the last four.
Is it David vs. Goliath? Dynasty vs. Drought? Or maybe you prefer the quick, aggressive and fearless newcomers vs. the composed, resilient and opportunistic former champions. They all aptly describe this series on multiple levels, but when looking at where these two teams have come from in 2014 and where they hope to go, the stories are essentially the same.
They both controlled their respective divisions for a time, only to fall behind the preseason favorites down the stretch. They both advanced in the do-or-die wild card round. They both were perceived as underdogs, yet dominated in the LDS and LCS rounds without home field advantage. And they enter the World Series with impressive postseason streaks intact.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 days ago
As we noted on Friday, the umpiring crew for the 2014 World Series has been selected and announced. The expanded crew of seven, which now includes one umpire who will be assigned to oversee replay challenges in New York, will include four veterans who are set to make their World Series debuts.
Among the first-timers is 16-year veteran Eric Cooper. He received the good news in a phone call from MLB's Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre, and at the time of the call was driving home with wife Tara after they took in an afternoon movie.
Understandably, Cooper was taken aback by the call. After all, he's been in the business a long time now, and that late October call had never come before. There probably wasn't much indication that his outlook would change much this season, but it has, and it appears he at least partially had expanded replay to thank for that.
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After San Francisco Giants left fielder Travis Ishikawa connected for a historic three-run walk-off home run in the ninth inning of NLCS Game 5, not everybody at AT&T Park knew where the ball ended up. They just knew St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Oscar Taveras didn't catch it, and that meant the Giants were headed back to the World Series for the third time since 2010.
Even Giants pitcher Jake Peavy was unaware as he ran on to the field. As Ishikawa neared third base, Peavy nearly terminated his home run trot with a bear hug because he'd thought the ball ricocheted off the wall for a double.
One person who did know though was long-time Giants fan Frank Burke. That's because he was the lucky fan who caught the ball as it skimmed over the top of the high brick wall in right field, making Ishikawa only the fourth player in MLB history to hit a postseason pennant-clinching home run.
The World Series is pretty serious business, in case you haven't heard. With the 2014 version now a little more than 72 hours away, it's time for fans of the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants to eliminate any possible distractions and zone in on what lies ahead.
Among many other odd things we're sure, that process apparently includes asking local radio stations to ban any song that even remotely references the other team from airing. Or at least that's the approach fans in San Francisco are taking, and both KFOG and 96.5 KOIT are going to help them out. The radio stations announced this week that they are removing Lorde's hit "Royals" from the playlist until the World Series ends.
No offense, Lorde, but for the duration of the World Series, KFOG Radio will be a "Royals"-free zone. We're sure... http://t.co/7uvseCjb03
A good deed by a friendly neighbor has developed into a heart-warming story wrapped in kindness and generosity.
Ryan Zimmerman, a freelance writer from Olathe, Kansas, launched an online campaign on Thursday to raise money to send his neighbor, six-year-old Noah Wilson, to the World Series. Zimmerman thought it would be nice to send Noah, who is battling Ewing sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that grows in bones and soft tissue around bones, and his family to a game so they could take in the experience and cheer on his favorite team from the stands.
By Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Zimmerman's campaign launched online, they had already raised $10,000, which doubled Zimmerman's original request and is more than enough money to achieve their goal. However, it turns out that money can actually go to better use now, because the ticket service StubHub and Major League Baseball both heard Wilson's story and immediately offered to help.
There are two types of die-hard baseball fans. There are those who will do just about anything within their power to get their hands on World Series tickets. And there are those who will take that extra step to get their hands on World Series tickets.
Among the latter group is Jeremy Scheuch, a Chicago-area Kansas City Royals fan who desperately wants to experience the madness at Kauffman Stadium when their 29-year World Series drought ends on Tuesday. According to Red Eye Chicago, Scheuch has a unique deal he's willing to make, and he's already offered it to several Royals players in hopes of scoring World Series tickets.
His deal? Offer to get the likeness of a Royals player tattooed on his posterior, in unicorn form no less, in exchange for a pair of tickets.
And why this particular deal?
"I just like unicorns and baseball," the 35-year-old shrugged. "If my getting a tattoo of Billy Butler on my a** will get us World Series tickets, then that's what I'll do."