Game 7 of the World Series has arrived and the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals are ready to fight for the title of “World Series Champions.”
Heavy on the minds of many San Francisco Giants fans is the 10-0 routing of their team. Following the loss, Giants manager Bruce Bochy seemed cool and unstressed—as did his players.
“Really I don’t think I’m going to change because it’s Game 7,” Bochy said on Tuesday night. “We’ll throw everything at them, if necessary. There’s no tomorrow. We know that.”
One would assume that an element of this approach would be the option of sending Games 1 and 5 starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner into the game if scheduled starter Tim Hudson’s performance is less than stellar. Possibilities, such as starting Bumgarner on short rest instead of Hudson, have been thrown around, but Bochy has made his feelings clear.
“You know, this guy [Bumgarner] is human. I mean, you can’t push him that much,” Bochy said. “He’ll be available if we need him, but to start him, I think that’s asking a lot. I have a good pitcher going tomorrow, who has done a great job for us.”
Hudson, in his 16th season, is 1-4 with a 3.53 ERA this postseason. In his Game 3 start against the Royals, the Giants lost 3-2 as Hudson went 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits. In his regular season start against Kansas City, the Giants lost 5-0 as Hudson pitched six innings in which he gave up three runs on six hits. Today’s Game 7 start makes Hudson the oldest pitcher to pitch a “winner-take-all” World Series game.
To counter the Giants, Jeremy Guthrie gets the start for the Royals. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his two postseason starts this season. In Game 3 of this series, he pitched five innings in which he allowed the Giants to score two runs on four hits.
A notable lineup change for the Giants is the replacement of left fielder Travis Ishikawa with Juan Perez. Bochy pointed at Ishikawa’s record against Guthrie (0-for-5), as well as Perez’ performance both in left field and at the plate of late.
“We’re going to put our best defense out there,” Bochy said earlier today. “He [Perez] can do some things with the bat, whether a base hit, get a bunt down for you, gives you speed. I’ve got Ishi on the bench, so that’s why I made the change because not only his defense, but he has been swinging the bat better.”
With hours left before the final game of the 2014 season, the Giants are reported to be loose in the clubhouse. Leaders and hot bats Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval have been observed dancing and yelling amongst the team. The gravity of today’s game is not lost upon them, but the team refuses to allow the anticipation of the moment take over. According to players and their manager, the Giants are ready and excited to take the field for Game 7.
“You talk about it as a kid playing in Game 7 or doing something big,” Bochy said. “You think about the hard work that you start in Spring Training. If you had told these guys, hey, we’re going to be in Game 7 of the World Series, you’d have a lot of happy guys out there. It’s a lot better than being somewhere else, obviously. So it’s an exciting time. You know, it’s do or die.”
This is Game 7.
Tabula rasa with history soon to be written.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:07 p.m.
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San Francisco Giants
Starting Pitcher: Tim Hudson
Kansas City Royals
Starting Pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie