Brandon Belt

Royals crush Giants in Game 6 … gulp

Wheels

In a World Series full of blowout games, this one blew the most. Bruce Bochy’s leash wasn’t quite short enough to stop Jake Peavy from giving up five runs in just an inning and a third, and the Giants were bludgeoned in Game 6 by the frightening score of 10-0.

So this World Series will go to seven games, and we’re looking at two possible story lines from a Giants perspective, depending on how tomorrow’s game goes.

If the Giants lose Game 7 …

Their lack of starting pitching depth came back to bite them in the end. Even with Madison Bumgarner starting six out of 17 games, Bochy had to tell the beatwriters to remind the fans on Twitter that Bumgarner can’t start Game 7 because, “This guy is human. Can’t push him like that.” Hahahaha, like that’s going to stop fans from questioning any decision Bochy makes that doesn’t turn out perfectly.

If the Giants win Game 7 …

They’ll have cleared the final hurdle (other than beating the Dodgers in the NLCS). They broke through in 2010 with their first title since moving to San Francisco. In 2012, they won three straight elimination games on the road against the Reds. They won three straight elimination games against the Cardinals in the very next series, with Barry William Zito as the catalyst. They won a wild card game at the beginning of the 2014 playoffs. Winning tomorrow, after so many teams in the same situation (facing Game 7 after losing Game 6 on the road) have failed, might be the ultimate triumph.

***

Game 6 was an avalanche that started with a single drop … which fell out of the sky after getting hit weakly by Alex Gordon’s bat. Peavy’s stuff was merely OK, although most of his pitches were down and that’s generally where he wants to be. But the Royals put together an amazing second inning rally full of bloops, bleeders and seeing-eye grounders. Oh, and one line drive base hit from Salvador Perez.

Then the Royals scored a few more runs while the Giants went through the motions. Jean Machi threw 51 pitches, which is pretty extraordinary since his previous major league high was 38. Hunter Strickland gave up one hit over two innings, and of course it was another home run (Strickland is to Bochy as Salmon Torres is to Dusty Baker). Ryan Vogelsong mopped up in the eighth inning, which shows that Bochy isn’t a very sentimental person when there’s a series to win. It was an odd spot for Vogelsong’s final appearance as a San Francisco Giant, if that’s how this transpires. But Bochy was probably in a bad mood by this point, as his team looked awful in every way.

It all started with Peavy, who looked shaky from the beginning. His postseason ERA is now 7.98. We’re only talking about 38.1 innings, so the sample size isn’t quite fair. But that innings total is so low because he has never gone as far as SIX INNINGS in any of his eight postseason starts.

So along with Machi, Strickland and Vogelsong … Peavy won’t be pitching tomorrow.

Extra BASGs

— A few A’s fans got upset when I complained about this on Twitter, but Fox’s continuous exploration of the parallels between the 1985 season (when the Royals beat the Cardinals in seven games after heading to Kansas City down 3-2) was a bit much. Did we really need to see circa ’85 photos of Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci, Erin Andrews and Ken Rosenthal? (98% of the United States is currently yelling, “Yes, that’s EXACTLY what we want to see!” OK, OK …)

— How exactly does Buster Posey (legally) regain his strength before Game 7? I wouldn’t rip the guy in a million years after catching every inning this postseason, especially since he’s done such a phenomenal job handling the staff. With Posey’s back problems throughout the year, I’m wondering if fatigue is even the main problem with his swing. I still feel like he’ll do something good tomorrow, though. I’m not sure what I’ve seen during these playoffs that would make me believe this, but Posey’s track record is a lot longer than October of 2014.

— Five of the six games have been decided by five runs or more. This has not been a good series so far, but that’ll be forgotten if Game 7 is awesome. If momentum exists, the Giants will lose 8-1 or something. If each game is a show unto itself, Hudson/Bumgarner/Lincecum(?)/Affeldt/Romo/Lopez/Casilla have a chance to bring home this team’s most unlikely championship yet.

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