Tonight at 8:07 Est the 110 World Series will start as the Kansas City Royals host the San Francisco Giants for game 1 of the fall classic. Two very different teams, who took very similar routes to get to where they are today.
The World Series in 2014 will be only the second time the match up has featured two wild card teams. The Royals were the number one wild card in the American League, and had to endure a one game play in with the Oakland Athletics. A game in which they were down by 4 runs in the eighth inning, and battled back to win. Then they took on the team with the best record in the AL, the Los Angeles Angels, sweeping them in just three games. Finally in order to punch their ticket to the World Series, they had to take on the winner of the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles. A best of seven series, that the Royals only needed four games to close them out.
The Royals had gone from the brink of their season ending in just one game, to winning every game to get to the World Series. They have become the first team to win eight straight post season games, and look to extend that streak to nine tonight when they face the winner of the National League, the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants may have had a slightly tougher path. They made it into the post season as the second wild card team. This meant they had to go on the road to Pittsburgh to play their one game. In that game, the Giants all-star pitcher, Madison Bumgarner made short work of the Pirates as the Giants walked away with an 8-0 victory.
The Giants then moved on to our nation’s capital to talk on the Washington Nationals who boasted the best record in the National League. The Giants only needed four games to take down the Nationals. After making short work of them, they took on the defending NL champion, St. Louis Cardinals. This time it took the Giants five games as they defeated in the Cardinals 4-1 in that series. In game five, tied at 3-3 the Giants closed the game in dramatic fashion. In the Bottom of the ninth inning, Travis Ishikawa drilled a walk off home run out to right field, sending the Giants to their third world series in just five years.
In game one of the World Series, the Giants will pit their ace, Bumgarner up against the best that the Royals have to offer; James Shields. This Series will feature one team that has won the World Series every other year since 2010, and a team that has not even made the post season since 1985.
The Royals will rely on their youth, speed, and willingness to steal bases in order to come out on top, and walk away with the commissioner’s trophy. The Giants will need to rely heavily on their pitching, ability to hit the long ball, and the fact that they are by far the more experienced team in order to win this one. The Giants are also counting on support from bay area radio stations. Stations all across the San Francisco area have agreed to not play the song ‘Royals’ by Lorde until the Series is over. In response to the black out, a station in Kansas City decided to play the song every hour on the hour.
World Series game one begins tonight in the sea of blue at Kauffman stadium, with the first two in Kansas City, before the series goes over to San Francisco for the next two to three games, depending on if game five is needed. The series moves back to Kansas City for games six and seven if needed.
Commentary by Andy Lapic
Photo by Ian Munroe –Flickr License