Even the normally unflappable Yordano Ventura may feel the heat of the pressure cooker raise a notch tonight. He takes the ball in Game 2 of the World Series with his Kansas City Royals down 1-0 to the San Francisco Giants.
New Rangers manager Jeff Banister is in Surprise, Ariz., this week for organizational meetings and to continue the process of putting together his coaching staff.
When Jake Peavy takes the mound to start tonight's Game 2 of the World Series (4:30 p.m. PT airtime/5:07 p.m. PT gametime on FOX), he will be pitching on 10 days' rest, but while such a long layoff can sometimes be difficult for a pitcher, the Giants right-hander thinks it will work to his advantage.
Long before the 100-mph fastball, the dynamic 2014 season and the opportunity to start Game 2 of the World Series was a tryout in Guerra, the Dominican city that houses the Royals' academy on that baseball-rich island. It was the summer of 2008. Yordano Ventura came in slightly taller than 5-foot-10, weighing 143 pounds and throwing no harder than 88 mph, sticking out for the wrong reasons.
Yordano Ventura, the 23-year-old with the triple-digit fastball, is perfectly positioned to do what No. 1 starter James Shields could not as the Royals' rookie right-hander gets the ball for Game 2 of the World Series against the Giants tonight.
If there's a formula for beating the Royals, the Giants found it. Actually, it's the formula baseball teams have been using for more than a century. First things first. The Giants put up three runs in the first inning and cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Royals in Game 1 of the 2014 World Series on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Madison Bumgarner padded what was already an impressive World Series resume in Game 1 on Tuesday night, allowing just three hits and one run in seven innings to lead the Giants to a 7-1 win over the Royals in Kansas City.
Tuesday night's Game 1 defeat snapped the Royals' record streak of eight consecutive victories to open the 2014 postseason while simultaneously raising the stakes for Game 2 tonight.
The 1985 Royals lost Game 1 of the World Series at home. Heck, they lost Game 2, too. And we know how that one turned out. So the Royals need look no further than their own organizational history to know they can recover from the drubbing they endured at the hands of the Giants on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium. Both clubs are hoping their starter can go deep in Game 2, with Kansas City youngster Yordano Ventura opposing San Francisco elder statesman Jake Peavy.
With a 2-for-5, two-RBI performance in the Giants' 7-1 Game 1 victory over the Royals, Pablo Sandoval improved his lifetime postseason batting average to .328. That moved him above Babe Ruth and just about everyone else on baseball's all-time list. Among players with at least 125 playoff plate appearances, Sandoval now ranks ninth.
Madison Bumgarner continued to ensure his place in baseball history, while the Giants kept pursuing theirs with a 7-1 triumph over the Kansas City Royals in Tuesday night's World Series opener at Kauffman Stadium.
The Giants are 5-1 on the road this postseason. And for a club that hasn't had home-field advantage in any of the rounds, road performance is a necessity. The other half of it is this: The opposition can't have a home-field advantage when Madison Bumgarner starts on the road, in the postseason, for the Giants. He gives up runs in October at roughly the rate of one every four years.
From the importance of winning Game 1 of the World Series, to Madison Bumgarner's historic numbers, to the Giants' overall postseason success, here's a look at some of the interesting facts and figures from Tuesday night in Kansas City.
The most unsung aspect of the Giants' success is how well they play defense. Alas, when shortstop Brandon Crawford booted a grounder in the third inning of Game 1 in the World Series on Tuesday night, it was the first error by a San Francisco position player since the National League Wild Card Game on Oct. 1.
The one chance the Royals had to get to Madison Bumgarner during Game 1 on Tuesday night was in the third inning, but the club most likely to make contact could not come through when it needed to most.
After being absent from the mound for nearly the entire past three weeks, Danny Duffy tossed three-plus innings of relief for the Royals in their 7-1 loss to the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series.
A day before he was to throw the first World Series pitch in Kansas City since 1985, James Shields spoke about his propensity for amnesia. The Royals' ace will want to tap into that after a forgettable -- and relatively brief -- Game 1 start on Tuesday night.