He has struggled in this series, but let me remind you.
Kenley Jansen is a force.
As many baseball pundits spent yesterday's pre-game discussing how Dave Roberts should limit Jansen to no more than four outs, Jansen was preparing to maul opposing batters. Against the advice of guys like Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez, Roberts went with Jansen in the 8th and he absolutely mowed down the Astros, retiring all six batters he faced, striking out three of them.
He threw just 19 pitches, 18 of which were strikes, and he let out a James Shields-esqe bellow coming off the mound. It goes without saying that he will be available for tonight's game, alongside Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel and every other able-bodied human being in either dugout.
This is March, you guys. Game seven. One game for the rest of our lives.
The Astros will send the 24-year old Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound. Royals fans remember the curveball connoisseur fondly from his pre-mature throat slash in 2015 but his opponents don't see him as favorable this postseason, with McCullers entering tonight with a 2.95 ERA in 18.1 postseason innings. For his career, McCullers has posted a sub-1.00 WHIP in postseason play.
He will be opposed by Yu Darvish, coming off arguably the worst start of his career in game three. In that game at Minute Maid Park, a stadium that Darvish had previously dominated in, he failed to get out of the second inning in the shortest outing of his career. He also failed to strike out a batter in a start for the first time in his career and induced just one swing-and-miss over 49 pitches. These are jarring facts for a guy who will likely become baseball's all-time leader in strikeouts per nine innings sometime next season if he maintains his 11 K/9 mark through his next 168 regular season innings. He wasn't fooling anybody last Friday night.
However, he will have his chance to make everything right again, just as Johnny Cueto righted his rough 2015 second half by throwing a complete game two-hitter in game two of the World Series. For Darvish, a bounce-back could mean a World Series championship for the Dodgers.
Here are your lineups. And from all of us at Royals Review, thank you for being a part of another amazing Major League Baseball season.
For all the marbles.— Houston Astros (@astros) November 1, 2017
@SportsTalk790 & ESPN Deportes#EarnHistory pic.twitter.com/XyP9q0QXrM
#ThisTeam // #WorldSeries Game 7:— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 1, 2017
Darvish P pic.twitter.com/XYQ2ZbCz62