5:07pm Arizona time, Fox: series tied 3-3
|Gregor Blanco - CF||Alcides Escobar - SS|
|Joe Panik - 2B||Norichika Aoki - RF|
|Buster Posey - C||Lorenzo Cain - CF|
|Pablo Sandoval - 3B||Eric Hosmer - 1B|
|Hunter Pence - RF||Billy Butler - DH|
|Brandon Belt - 1B||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Michael Morse - DH||Salvador Perez - C|
|Brandon Crawford - SS||Mike Moustakas - 3B|
|Juan Perez - LF||Omar Infante - 2B|
After 162 regular season games, plus 16 in the playoffs for the Royals and 18 for the Giants, it all comes down to one contest. Winner takes all, in only second World Series Game 7 since 2002. History strongly favors Kansas City in this aspect. As mentioned in an earlier preview, home teams have won the last nine World Series Game 7's, and you have to go back to 1979 to find a road winner, when the Pirates beat the Orioles in Baltimore. Indeed, of the last 15 times a home team has forced a game 7 in the World or Championship series, they've gone on to win it on all but one occasion (the 2006 Mets). Oh, and the Giants are 0-4 in World Series Game 7, most recently in 2002.
But history won't decide what happens tonight. It'll be decided by what happens between the lines, and expect both teams to throw everyone and anyone into the fray. There is no tomorrow left, so at the first sign of a starting pitcher struggling, expect a hook. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Giants use Madison Bumgarner on two days' rest - that sound you hear is Randy Johnson snorting derisively - though given Bumgarner threw a complete game on Sunday, a couple of innings would seem about it. One mistake, bad bounce or umpiring mistake (particularly on a play not subject to review), and it could be decided. Let's hope it's a great performance that defines this game instead.
I will not get to see how it finishes, however. It's the SnakePitette's birthday, and by her request, we're going to the movies to see Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller. So that will likely be my defining memory of whatever happens tonight!