A lot of Giants fans were preparing to pop champagne corks last night. I was prepared for some manner of craziness, like a Jarrod Dyson fountain shot to tie the game in the late innings, or Mike Morse legging out an inside-the-park home run. As I wrote yesterday, Game Six of the World Series tends to lend itself to the absurd.
What I wasn’t expecting was one of the most epic beatdowns in World Series history. Being on the receiving end of it is a sobering experience, even for someone who was pounding beer after beer to act as a numbing agent for the effects the carnage on the TV. The game was over by the end of the second inning. Giants fans wanted glory; they got, as Mike Krukow likes to put it, what the bird left on the rock. On the bright side, better to get blasted out of the game early than lose in heartbreaking fashion a la The World Series That Shall Not Be Named.
Throw pre-game analysis out the window for Game Seven. This is all-hands-on-deck, everything-but-the-kitchen sink baseball. If the Giants can find a legal way to chopper in Robb Nen and have him throw a slider to Salvador Perez, you’d damn well believe they’re going to do it. Hell, trot Mo’ne Davis out there. I doubt she could do any worse than Jake Peavy last night.
One thing I will say: I’d rather have Tim Hudson going in a Game Seven than Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie shut down a flat Giants offense in Game Three, but he wasn’t particularly impressive doing it. He didn’t strike anybody out and he gave up a lot of line drives that found gloves. The three-headed Herrera/Davis/Holland monster will be on red alert the second the Giants string a couple of hits together off of Guthrie and the Royals should really only realistically be expecting four good innings out of him.
Likewise, Hudson will be on a short leash tonight. Hudson has a more impressive resume than Guthrie but he hasn’t been very good since the middle of August and the Royals looked like they were seeing his pitches well in Game Three. His pitch-to-contact approach makes me nervous, to say the least, but Guthrie’s general career-long mediocrity would make me nervous if I were a Royals fan, too.
Of course, the X-factor could be Madison Bumgarner, who, unless Twitter is lying to me, is invading the nightmares of every Kansas City Royals hitter on the roster. It’s unclear exactly how long or in exactly what context Bumgarner can go tonight, but if you believe the swarms of froth-mouthed voices on the Internet, he’s guaranteed to enter the game at some point if it’s close. Whether it’s a good idea or not is up in the air. Bumgarner threw 117 pitches just three days ago, so fatigue could be a factor, and there’s always the ever-present injury risk if he’s being stretched too far. I guess flags fly forever in the end, and Bochy would be hard-pressed to give a good explanation for why he didn’t use his best pitcher if the Giants lose the game.
It’s the last game of the season, and the last Giants game of the season. That’ll be good for my nerves, at least. This 2014 Giants team has caused me maybe more dry heaves than any team in recent memory. At least in 2013, they sucked, but they were stress-free. If I’m at work tomorrow online shopping for a new TV with a cast over my hand, you’ll know how Game Seven went.