The San Francisco Giants have taken the momentum back from the Kansas City Royals in game four of the 2014 World Series. In what was an exciting game from beginning to end, the Giants showed their fans that they are not done for. The World Series now is locked at two games each. The series is staying in San Francisco, and right now there is something about these Giants that seems to give power to San Francisco, and that “thing” is momentum.
The series was two to one in favor of the Royals coming into last night’s game. Giants’ fans were beginning to hold their heads down, especially if the San Francisco team were to lose at home in game four. Losing at home is one of the most dangerous things to do in a series, especially the World Series. The lowest point of the entire series was in the top of the third inning, when the Giants found themselves down four to one and ones of their aces benched already. At this moment is when the heads were down, but when the fifth, sixth and seventh innings happened, it immediately brought back to life what one of the best fan-bases baseball has to offer.
The Giants taking momentum back has more to do with just a comeback win: it has to do with the people at the stadium and the vibe that surrounded the stadium and the fans watching at home. Momentum is very important in a two team final series. Momentum challenges the confidence of each and every person on the field and off the field. When momentum is low, pitches are thrown wildly, batter’s swings have no power, and less effort is generated. When momentum is high, it feels as though anything is possible, belief and hope escalates, it seems as though everything will go right. With baseball, momentum is confidence and confidence is the key to staying focused on the diamond.
The best way to gain momentum is to have a sudden, unexpected play that seems to slam the brakes on what is expected to happen. Down two games to one and down four runs to one in game four, the Giants did exactly that as they went on to score ten unanswered runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. The Giants had superb play from Hunter Pence, Joe Panik and Pablo Sandoval as they completely turned the tables on the Royal’s pitching game. It was a complete surprise with the San Francisco game four starter in Ryan Vogelsong being sat down early, giving the fans little hope, but great play from reliever Yusmerio Petit helped keep the Giants believing.
The Giants can take all of the momentum of the series back in game five. Each team will fight for the magical third win, which is the most important win in any seven game series. The Giants will start their top ace Madison Bumgarner against the Royal’s top pitcher James Shields. Game five will be the last one in San Francisco, as game six returns to Kansas City. If needed, the final game seven will also be held in Kansas City. Momentum can change at the drop of a dime, or the drop of a baseball. Each inning and each batter will bring a new shift in the momentum of the entire World Series.
Commentary By Evan Linneman
Photo By Dave R – Flickr License