The Kansas City Royals answered back, beating the San Francisco Giants 7-2 at Kaufmann Stadium to tie the series 1-1. If the Royals are going to win this thing, they’ll need to play like they did last night consistently.
The Giants struck first with Blanco hitting a solo homerun in the top of the 1st, but unlike Game 1 the Royals responded by scoring in the same inning. Neither starter dominated the game, giving up 14 hits between the two.
When it comes to offense, the Giants were expected to have the edge in this series. However, the Royals bats challenged this notion with a big 6th inning after chasing Giants starter Jake Peavy off the mound. They scored five runs in the inning and frustrated the Giants bullpen, particularly rookie reliever Hunter Strickland.
After that, the Royals turned the autopilot on and let their bullpen take care of business. Quality pitching from Herrera, Davis and Holland shut down the Giants offense who were only able to get a single off Holland.
Last night’s game showed the Royals aren’t going to be discouraged and when it comes down to the bullpens, the Royals have the better relievers.
If the Royals were going to get upset from the thrashing they took in Game 1, they wouldn’t be in the World Series in the first place so the Giants can’t expect their opponents to simply fold. Everyone on the Giants roster will need to step it up if they want to win this series.
Going into this series, I believed the Giants had a bullpen that could match the Royals and that seemed to be the case in Game 1. However, the Giants benefited from an excellent pitching performance from Bumgarner and didn’t need to use relievers until the 8th inning. When they needed the bullpen bail them out, the relievers couldn’t keep the Royals bats in check. This is concerning considering the Royals don’t seem to have this problem. The Herrera, Davis, Holland combo the Royals possess is about as good a trio of relievers as any in baseball right now and certainly better than the likes of Lopez, Strickland, and Machi. It seems the Giants were hoping Tim Lincecum could be their wild card, but with Lincecum leaving due to back pain that might not be the case anymore.
Overall, Game 2 answered some questions I had about each team’s bullpen, but the bullpen is only one aspect of this game. More questions will be answered and raised as the series heads to San Francisco. Both teams are determined to win, which makes for exciting baseball (Game 7 please?) and the uncertainly of postseason baseball to go along with this determination will make this a series to remember.