The Royals grabbed a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning as Alex Gordon broke out of a mini slump with a run scoring double and then he scored when Eric Hosmer got his first hit of the World Series in a dramatic 11-pitch at-bat.
The Giants came rallying back against winner Jeremy Guthrie and Royals manager Ned Yost went too early to Kelvin Herrera. Or at least I thought he did. However his rookie lefty, Brandon Finnegan bailed him out in the seventh and Wade Davis and Greg Holland finished off the final six outs for a 3-2 win and 2-1 lead in the World Series.
In late September, with an eye on the postseason,Yost stretched out Herrera in back to back games against Detroit to see how he could handle working more than just one inning.
For the fifth time in nine postseason appearances, Herrera was asked to pitch in more than one inning. After Michael Morse doubled home Brandon Crawford, Yost lifted Guthrie and brought in Herrera over rookie Brandon Finnegan with two lefties due up.
Herrera walked Gregor Blanco, but got three straight ground outs, allowing Morse to score to make it a one-run ball game.
With the pitcher’s spot up due fourth in the seventh, I would have been inclined to use the lefty Finnegan in the sixth. Then save Herrera for the seventh and pinch hit for him in the eighth if the Royals went down in order.
As it turned out, Jarrod Dyson singled with two outs in the seventh, forcing Yost to let Herrera hit. He struck out and Herrera had to come out and start the seventh inning.
Hunter Pence led off with a walk and Herrera got a key strikeout of Brandon Belt. Yost then called on Finnegan to come in the seventh inning of a one run game and the rookie delivered getting a fly out and strikeout to leave Pence at first. I thought it was a risky move, but Yost as it turned out made the right move. That’ s what prompted my tweet.
The reason I believe that Yost went with Herrera first in the sixth inning was had he gone to Finnegan, and the rookie would have had trouble, he would have then needed to bring in Herrera to finish the inning anyway to squash the Giants rally. Let’s say the Giants had tied the game and Herrera’s turn to bat would have come up in the seventh, (like it did) Yost would have been forced to pinch hit for Herrera, meaning he would have been without Finnegan and Herrera in the seventh and would have had to either trust the seventh in Jason Frasor or called on Davis for two innings.
The downside is that Herrera threw 27 pitches. Yost will be forced to deal with that on Saturday in Game 3. Herrera has only thrown back to back days after 20 or more pitches on the first day just once this season. That was back on May 2nd and 3rd, when he threw 21 pitches, then came back the next day to throw 11. He also did it in Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS against Baltimore.
To show proof regarding my tweet above…I really do have a hole in my shirt.