KANSAS CITY – The San Francisco Giants made a key change to their lineup for Game Seven of the World Series, putting Juan Perez in left field in place of Travis Ishikawa.
Perez entered Game Seven 3 for 9 in the series and is a superior defensive outfielder to Ishikawa, who is a converted first baseman.
Perez also had a clinching two-run double in Game Four and had a single in his lone at-bat in Game Six.
“I just thought about it and said, you know what? We’re going to put our best defense out there,” manager Bruce Bochy said before the game. “Perez can do some things with the bat, whether a base hit, get a bunt down for you, gives you speed. I’ve got ‘Ishi’ on the bench, so that’s why I made the change. Not only his defense, but Perez has been swinging the bat better.”
Ishikawa, whose walk-off homer eliminated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Five of the National League Championship Series is 3 for 13 in the World Series with no extra-base hits.
The 1∏ innings thrown by Giants starter Tim Hudson represented the fewest by a Game Seven starter since Bob Turley lasted just one inning for the Yankees in their 10-9 loss to Pittsburgh in 1960.
Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie seemed to be in trouble in the second inning as well, as rookie Brandon Finnegan was up in the bullpen. But Guthrie escaped allowing only two runs and was able to stay in the game.
The Giants got a double play on a replay review in the third after a spectacular stab by second baseman Joe Panik behind the bag on Eric Hosmer’s hot grounder. He flipped the ball with this glove to second for a force on Lorenzo Cain and Brandon Crawford’s relay just beat Hosmer, who slid into first head-first. The review took 2 minutes, 57 seconds. It was the first non-home run replay reversal in World Series history.
Royals manager Ned Yost, not normally the purveyor of press room humor, has loosened up considerably this month during his twice-daily briefings with the national media.
Yost had reporters in stitches Wednesday when relating a story about having a farm in Georgia about a half-mile away from one owned by Oakland pitcher Jon Lester, whom the Royals beat in the American League wild-card game.
Apparently, Yost and Lester were both using the same service contractor named “Larry” for work on their farms. Yost’s wife, Debra, was concerned that she was told work on the Lester farm was being done first. Yost told her not to worry.
“Right before the wild-card game, I called Larry and said, ‘Look, Larry. You can take your time on mine, but you better hurry up on Jon’s,’ ” Yost said as laughter filled the interview room. “That was wishful thinking, and luckily it worked out.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy dismissed rumors that catcher Buster Posey has been battling a thumb problem in this series. The numbers seem to show something might be up. Posey entered the game just 4 for 22 in the World Series and had no extra-base hits in the entire postseason.
When Mike Moustakas homered in the seventh inning of Game Six off embattled Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, it snapped the teams’ home run drought that had stretched to Game Two.
It was Moustakas’ fifth home run in the postseason, breaking a tie with Willie Aikens (1980) for the most by a Kansas City player in an October.
You think the end of the World Series means its time for some relaxation? Nope. Free agency in baseball starts today – yes, today. Teams have five days to interview players before they can sign deals and the big ones to watch will be the Toronto Blue Jays’ pursuit to keep outfielder Melky Cabrera and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ attempt to keep catcher Russell Martin.
Cabrera is likely looking at a five-year deal at around $15 per season. The Blue Jays would like to get him for three or four years. Martin could land four years at $12 million a year, and it’s uncertain if that’s outside the Pirates’ range.
With the Series over, the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays can proceed with their announcements for managers; Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Torey Lovullo, currently Boston’s bench coach, is vying with Hall of Famer Paul Molitor for the Minnesota job. And Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez becomes eligible for the 2015 season after sitting out all of 2014 with his PED suspension.
The Royals had been 7-0 in the postseason when scoring first but could not get the first runs Wednesday as the Giants scored twice in the second. Still, Kansas City bounced right back to tie the game with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. ... Kansas City’s 10-0 win in Game Six was the biggest shutout margin in Series play since the Royals’ 11-0 win over St. Louis in Game Seven here in 1985. It was tied for the fourth-largest shutout margin. ... The Royals pulled out all the stops prior to the game, using 1985 Game Seven winner Bret Sabrehagen to throw the ceremonial first pitch.