Tonight we get treated to what some people say is the greatest spectacle in sports, Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series. There are those who disagree saying that the National Football League’s Super Bowl is the greatest.
To me, they are undoubtedly the two biggest sporting events of any year, especially if you consider just sporting events in this country. Of course, as a person who believes that it should be illegal for professional football, basketball or hockey to start their seasons until the World Series is over, the World Series is number one.
To me, the fact that baseball players play the World Series and football players play the Super Bowl, makes the World Series the bigger event. Of course, I also believe there are three major differences in the events that distinguish them other than that.
Number one, the Super Bowl takes extra time out at halftime to put on a Gangsta Rap or Hard Rock show while baseball uses the seventh inning stretch for a sing-a-long to God Bless America and Take Me Out To The Ball Game.
Number two, there are very few, if any, players on the baseball field with serious arrest records.
Number three, when they interview players on the sidelines, the baseball players are invariably articulate and almost always obviously well educated, while football players, well, I’ll leave the rest to your experience.
Anyway, tonight’s game promises to either be a great one or a not so great one. The mere fact that the two Wild Card teams have made it to the Series at all, never mind making it to Game 7, adds to the drama of the end of a season 162 games long, followed by a single elimination game, a best 3 of 5 series for the Division Championship, a best 4 of 7 series for the League Championship and now, after tonight, 7 World Series games. That doesn’t include roughly 30 spring training games. How could any sports fan ask for more?
This game will feature a rematch of the starters from Game 3, which was won by the Royals 3-2. Jeremy Guthrie who started and got the win in that game for the Royals, pitched 5 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits. He will again face Tim Hudson, who got the loss and pitched 5 2/3 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits.
Game 3 was a 1-0 game in favor of the Royals, with both Guthrie and Hudson looking good, going to the top of the sixth when, with one out, Alcides Escobar singled and scored on Alex Gordon’s double to deep right. Hudson then got Lorenzo Cain to ground to third and was replaced by Javier Lopez who gave up a single to Eric Hosmer to drive in Gordon with the third and what proved to be the winning run.
In the last of the sixth, Guthrie gave up a ground ball single to Brandon Crawford and Mike Morse, pinch hitting for Lopez, doubled to right to score Crawford. Kelvin Herrera relieved Guthrie and walked Gregor Blanco. Joe Panik then grounded out, moving the runners to second and third and Morse then scored on a ground out by Buster Posey. Herrera got Pablo Sandoval to ground out and the inning and the scoring for the game was over with the Royals ahead 3-2.
The Royal bullpen of Herrera, Brandon Finnegan, Wade Davis and Greg Holland held the Giants scoreless the rest of the way while the Giants bullpen of Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla did the same for the Royals.
The 39 year old Hudson, pitching in his first World Series, has won 214 and lost 124 in his career, the most wins of any active player, while Guthrie has won 83 and lost 100. Both bullpens have had excellent post seasons and the Giants have the added advantage of having the hottest pitcher in baseball, Madison Bumgarner, available whenever he is needed.
Anything can happen tonight but my money is on the more experienced Giant team and pitcher to win their third World Series in five years.