The World Series shifts to San Francisco tonight with the Giants and Kansas City Royals tied at one game each. Although starting pitchers, with the exception of Madison Bumgarner, have not been key to either the playoffs or the series to date, the starters in this game could be.
Jeremy Guthrie, who had a 13-11 won loss record and a 4.13 ERA in the regular season and who has pitched just once since September 26, four weeks ago tonight, will get the start for Kansas City. That one start was in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Baltimore Orioles when he went five innings, giving up just one run on three hits in a game that Kansas City eventually won 2-1.
Starting for the Giants will be 39 year old right hander, Tim Hudson, who had a 9-13 record during the season with a decent 3.57 ERA and has made two starts in the playoffs. He lasted 7 1/3 innings against Washington in the Game 2 of the NLDS, giving up just one run on seven hits in the 18 inning game that the Giants eventually won 2-1 and giving up four runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings in Game 3 of the NLCS which the Giants won 5-4 in 10 innings on Randy Choate’s error.
Both pitchers made their last start on October 14, ten days ago, and for Guthrie that was his only real competition in a month. Hudson has the advantage, if it is an advantage, of having pitched twice in that same time frame while Guthrie had the longer layoff. Guthrie has never pitched in a post season game before this year while Hudson had started nine time in ten appearances, all in the Playoffs, none in the World Series.
At the end of the regular season, Hudson lost his last four starts, giving up 16 runs in 16 2/3 innings. In his last three regular season starts, Guthrie won all three, including the Playoff Clincher against the White Sox, giving up just one run in 20 1/3 innings.
As much as I would like to see the aging veteran, Tim Hudson, get a win in his first start in the World Series, I have to give the edge to Guthrie in this one. He is capable of keeping his team close until the sixth or seventh inning and the playoffs have demonstrated that the Royals big three of relievers Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland can take it from there.
In the postseason, this trio has pitched 29 1/3 innings, struck out 36 batters while giving up just three runs, winning three games and losing none and Holland has six saves in six attempts. The Royals could win this one and guarantee themselves a trip back to Kansas City to finish the series at home.