Four key players for Game 7 of the World Series
The Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants will play tonight in Game 7 of the World Series, capping off the MLB season with one final showing of drama. Any role player can be a hero, any star can emerge as a goat. Here are four key players capable of shaping who takes home the hardware.
Perez’s ability to handle pitchers will play a major role tonight. With Jeremy Guthrie on the mound, a non-strikeout and somewhat unpredictable starting pitcher, the type of game that Perez calls is critical. He needs to make clear targets and help Guthrie keep the Giants uncomfortable. After Guthrie could come Brandon Finnegan or Kelvin Herrera, two young hurlers who will also need the leadership guidance of Perez. He needs to be a calming figure tonight.
Naturally, the road team’s starting pitcher should be a significant decider in this game. The downside to Hudson is that’s he’s a similar breed of Jake Peavy, who had haunting struggles in Game 6. The primary difference between them is likely Hudson’s ability to control his pitches. He’s only walked one batter in the playoffs. He’ll need that pinpoint control tonight because if he pitches up or in the middle of the zone, he’ll have a similar fate of Peavy.
Davis could receive a bigger workload tonight than usual. While he’s a former starting pitcher who now prefers to toss one inning at a time, he’s had two full days of rest heading into tonight. If things get crazy for Guthrie, we could see Herrera in the fifth or sixth inning, meaning that even Davis could potentially enter during the sixth or more reasonably the seventh. Kansas City might not be able to afford saving Davis for his usual eighth inning role.
Bumgarner is the beast lurking in the shadows. He’s had two full days of rest and seems capable of performing under any circumstance. The curious points for tonight are when he pitches, how he pitches and what role he pitches in. The likely scenario is for Bumgarner to relieve a struggling Hudson. It’s also possible that Hudson pitches well for five or six frames, making Bumgarner a lengthy setup man trying to hold a lead. He’s a fascinating subplot.
-Tyler Birss (@tybirss)