Sunday, October 26, 2014

Game 4 - Momentum Swings

The Giants manufactured a run in the first when Gregor Blanco walked and later scored on a Hunter Pence forceout. Kansas City came back in the third with a vengeance.

The Royals sent ten men to the plate in the inning. Pitcher Jason Vargas made two of the Royals' outs. Eric Hosmer, Omar Infante, and Salvador Perez all had RBI knocks in the inning. Infante's hit brought in two. KC ousted the Giants' starter, Ryan Vogelsong, from the game. And yet, in retrospect, the Royals lost the game right here.

With the bases loaded, Vargas strode to the plate for the second time int he inning. He worked the count to 2-2 and took a close pitch that was called a ball. He thought it had been ball four and trotted down towards first base. He was called back and struck out on the next pitch, one that seemed out of the strike zone.

Buster Posey drove pinch-hitter Matt Duffy home int he bottom of the third. Vargas was taken out in the fifth inning Joe Panik led that inning off with a double. He scored when Hunter Pence smacked a single. Pence scored on a sac fly tying the game.

Brandon Finnegan pitched the sixth and gave up three more runs. The Giants did it with small ball, constantly moving the line.Finnegan allowed the first two Giants to reach in the seventh. Then, the bottom fell out. He was replaced by Tim Collins. Blanco bunted and Collins threw the ball away. One scored on the play. Panik doubled in two and Pence doubled in Panik. By the time the Giants' onslaught was over, the score was 11-4.

Meanwhile, Yusmeiro Petit was San Francisco's unsung hero again. He had earned wins int he Division Series and in the NLCS. Earlier in the year, Petit quietly set the MLB record for most consecutive batters retired. While that record should have brought him heaps of praise, it took an outstanding playoff performance to bring him the appropriate notoriety. As the Giants fought back to get into the game, take the lead, and ultimately run away with it, Petit threw three scoreless innings just when the Royals' attack was at its most confident.

The Giants' 11-4 victory tied the series at two games a piece.

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