These are the free agents:
- Pablo Sandoval
- Jake Peavy
- Michael Morse
- Sergio Romo
- Ryan Vogelsong
What I've hoped and dreamed for my whole career is finally here. There's not going to be anybody on field more ready than I am."Also, had to share this great picture of Buster, beautiful:
Game 3 is also a bit of a toss-up, based on DOM, but I give the edge to the Giants. Both pitchers have similar DOM% for the season, but while Hudson has two DOM starts so far in the post-season, Guthrie has none, not even getting a start in the ALDS, and throwing a 2 PQS in the ALCS, where he only had 2 K's in 5 IP but 2 BB's.
But it is the World Series, the first for Hudson. Of course, he beat the pressure in the NLCS and had a 4 PQS start there, winning his start. And he was masterful, with 5 K's and 0 walks in 6.1 IP. Again, could be a turning point for the Giants here, again, as Bochy understands must wins.I still think we have the edge on paper, but as the saying goes, that's why we play these games. Another positives are these (tweets from Baggarly):
Tim Hudson said he's physically and mentally ready to pitch the biggest game of his life.
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) October 24, 2014
Hudson wouldn't go into specifics on all that went into his hip rehab, but clearly there was a lot. "Medicine's a beautiful thing," he said.Basically, Hudson was on a downward trend with his PQS after he skipped a start earlier this season, finally getting worse and worse until his last start of the season. By that point, it was reported that he had been battling some sort of hip issue. Without a skipped start, but with the medicine, he has had three straight DOM starts. And with 10 days of rest, he should be well rested again.
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) October 24, 2014
''You're always learning from your past experiences, whether it's during the season or postseason. The one thing I think I've learned is it's different, the postseason. It's not the regular season,'' Bochy said. ''You don't have that margin of error to make up for these games. You lose a game in May, and you still have 100-plus games to make that up.''In other words, as I've been trying to illustrate this off-season, almost every game of the playoffs is a must win game, but obviously, someone has to lose. Bochy has just done a better job of not being the one to lose, he has understood that each game is an entity to itself and thus you throw out all the stops to win that game, then worry about the next game tomorrow.
By the pitch type values, at least, it looks like the Giants’ hitters are equipped to handle the fastballs of the Royals’ staff. And the Royals’ hitters may have trouble with the Giants’ breaking balls. These are general statements, hopefully made more believable by focusing on a larger sample.Thus, I think the series will hinge on how well each starter does for their team. According to this MLB.com article, their starting pitchers have struggled so far in the playoffs:
Solid starting pitching has been a strength for the Royals this season, but staff ace James Shields (5.63 ERA) has struggled in the postseason, No. 2 manYordano Ventura showed diminished velocity and left his ALCS start with shoulder tightness, and the Royals have had to be careful enough with Danny Duffy's innings that he has been kept out of the rotation altogether this October.Thus they are relying a lot on Vargas and Guthrie to come through. Vargas has done well in these playoffs with two DOM starts, but Guthrie only got the one start and only a 2 PQS, because he didn't strike out too many batters (just 2).
Bochy is intellectually flexible enough to recognize important moments as they come and adjust his moves accordingly. In the playoffs especially, that’s a really big deal.Bochy and the Vets
And the bottom line is that it all comes about because San Francisco is playing winning baseball.
They are able to take advantage of another team's mistakes because they are in position for that mistake to make a difference.
"We're down three, four runs, none of this matters," said Bochy. "When you are in a game like this, the idea is to put pressure on as much as you can. Force that other team to have to execute. The game is different this time of year. Everything is magnified."
Even the pressure.
There's so little margin for error in October. This is no longer that 162-game marathon. There's no second chance by grabbing a Wild Card spot to force your way into the postseason. The Giants have done that, but now the margin for error has been narrowed.And:
"This time of year, there's not much room for error," said Bochy.
And San Francisco isn't a team that is going to blast away, at least not so far this October. The Giants have hit only two home runs in this year's eight postseason games.
"Believe me," said Bochy, "I love home runs. But it is all about execution. If you don't hit home runs, you better do the little things, which we do. You've got to keep the pressure on those other guys."
Most of all, though, Bochy loves winning.
The Giants keep finding a way to claim wins this postseason.
It's not always pretty.
"But," said Bochy, "there aren't any ugly wins."And not just this postseason, but in 2010 and 2012 too. The Giants keep the game close most of the time, with great pitching from their starters and, lately, in particular their relievers, plus stellar defense (or even so), keeping the other side from getting that extra run that they need to win, while holding the fort so that our offense can finally scratch out that extra run that we need.