Prior to the seventh inning, Brandon Crawford had gone 0-for-3 at the plate. He was, to that point, the only Giant in the lineup who had not gotten a hit. Leading off the bottom of the seventh against Brandon Finnegan, Crawford hit a ball that bounced high off of the plate, landing to the right and past the pitcher's mound for an infield single.
That moment encapsulated tonight's game for both teams. Following a walk, Crawford would come around to score on a sacrifice bunt-throwing error (officially ruled a hit, apparently) combination to make the game 8-4, sealing the victory for San Francisco. Panik followed with a double to score two more runs, but the game was lost long before then.
In the third inning, the Royals batted around, scoring four runs with only two hits leaving the infield. Their luck was no match for San Francisco's fleet of lucky charms, getting a series of singles on broken bats, flares, dinkers, doinkers, and several more that found their way just past the outstretched gloves of Royal infielders.
For his part, Jason Vargas was inefficient. Veterans Affairs inefficient. Gas station burrito inefficient. Vargas-in-September inefficient.
I'm saying he was bad.
The Royals ran Vogelsong after 2.2 innings, who gave up seven hits and a walk along with the aforementioned four runs. At the time, it may have seemed like the Royals had the upper hand, but all the while there was an undertow, dragging us in the other direction.
San Francisco tied it in the fifth, went ahead in the sixth and broke the game open in the seventh. Herrera, Davis, and Holland stayed in the bullpen as Ned Yost attempted to mix and match the also-rans to get through two innings that decided the game.
But this isn't about Ned Yost. He made the right moves. Save for letting Vargas start the fifth, which you could quibble over but would be grasping at the slickest of straws. He pulled him after one batter, went to Frasor to get two outs - he got one - and then went to Duffy to face the proper set of the order. Neither move worked, nor did any of the subsequent decisions; Finnegan was tagged for five runs while recording just three outs. At that point, with the black and orange writing painted and primed on the wall, Tim Collins was sacrificed for two innings, giving up two more runs on three hits and a walk before pitching an up-and-down eighth.
The World's Series is tied, two games apiece. The Giants have Madison Bumgarner going tomorrow, which does not bode well for the Royals' chances of getting back home with a one-game lead. Further shrinking Kansas City's hopes of victory is James Shields, whose 7.11 ERA this postseason is eclipsed only by the ennui sweeping through Westport and the River Market this evening.