Last Night's Game
San Francisco 11, Kansas City 4
Series tied 2-2
Of late the only way to beat the Royals was to take the lead against their starter or perhaps their middle relief. The Giants fell behind early, came back to chase KC starter Jason Vargas and tie the game in the 5th, then broke things open with 7 more runs in the 6th and 7th against Brandon Finnegan and Tim Collins. Hunter Pence was yet again in the middle of the action, going 3-for-5 and scoring two runs, though he was by no means the sole offensive force for the Giants. Three other San Francisco hitters had two hits, and every starting position player had at least one hit.
I suppose much of the analysis for the Royals' loss will concentrate on why Ned Yost didn't use one of his three key relievers in the sixth or even seventh inning, when the Royals still had a chance. The postseason is not the regular season in terms of pitching usage because of the travel days within each series. At most a reliever could be used three days in a row, so there's no reason why you can't use your best relievers in every game. Herrera was used extensively in Game 3 (1.1 innings, 27 pitches), but Wade Davis only threw 12 pitches in his inning and Holland dispatched the Giants with just 8 pitches. I suppose bringing Davis into the sixth inning would be too much of paradigm shift.
The return: Cash consideration. After the Indians picked up Mike Aviles' option, this was inevitable. With Francisco Lindor on the cusp of becoming the everyday shortstop and with Jose Ramirez and Zach Walters better options as backup infielders, the Indians didn't need another utility guy on the 40-man roster. They'll sign a couple of guys like Sellers this winter to have at Columbus, but players that won't take up a roster spot.
This part of the series looks at Game 6 of the 1997 World Series, in which Chad Ogea contributed both with his arm and with his bat. He out-dueled Kevin Brown on the mound and at the plate, going 2-for-2 against him and driving in two runs in the process.
One of the many little things that would bother me about this series many years later was Mike Hargrove using Mike Jackson for two innings in this game. Ogea walked Gary Sheffield to start the sixth, then was removed for Jackson, having thrown only 71 pitches. Mike pitched both the sixth and seventh innings, throwing 40(!) pitches in the process. He actually pitched in Game 7, but for only 2 outs. After the game we found out that he was totally gassed, and you can understand why.
One of things Pluto mentions in his notes is that the Indians were very encouraged by Zach McAllister's performance out of the bullpen. Because he's out of options, he may begin 2015 in the bullpen, and I wouldn't be too upset about that, as Carlos Carrasco moved back into the rotation when there was an opening.