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Post-season Gameday Thread, #19: Giants Cause Sways

All square for the final game in San Francisco. Who'll head back to Kansas City with the advantage?

Rob Carr

5:07pm Arizona time, Fox: Series tied 2-2

James Shields
RHP, 1-1, 7.11
Madison Bumgarner
LHP, 3-1, 1.40
Alcides Escobar - SS Gregor Blanco - CF
Alex Gordon - LF Joe Panik - 2B
Lorenzo Cain - RF Buster Posey - C
Eric Hosmer - 1B Pablo Sandoval - 3B
Salvador Perez - C Hunter Pence - RF
Mike Moustakas - 3B Brandon Belt - 1B
Omar Infante - 2B Travis Ishikawa - LF
Jarrod Dyson - CF Brandon Crawford - SS
James Shields - RHP Madison Bumgarner - LHP

"Big Game James" takes the mound for Kansas City, and there probably hasn't been such a poorly-named pitcher in the World Series since Randy "Tiny" Johnson started for the Diamondbacks in 2001. Oh, it made some sense during his first playoff stint, with the Rays in 2008, when Shields had a 2.88 over four post-season starts that year. But since then? One win in six attempts, with 40 hits over 28.1 innings and an ERA of 8.26. Of course, this kind of thing can turn on a dime. Witness Johnson, who had a rep as a post-season choker, having gone 0-7 from his 1995 ALCS start to his loss in the the 2001 NLDS. That worked out okay. Maybe it will for Shields tonight.

It will certainly be a pivotal game. The winner will have two chances to clinch; the loser will have squandered all room for error and will need to win consecutively to prevail. With Games Six and Seven taking place in Kansas City, it's probably more vital for the Giants to take this one, as having to win twice on the road to clinch is historically very, very tough. The last team to win a Game 7 away from home were the 1979 Pirates: since then home advantage has been an impeccable 9-0, so the Giants will be hoping it doesn't go that far. Most Diamondbacks fans, would be happy with a Royals' win in six too...