WS set: KC/SF

So the 2014 WS is set: KC vs. SF. The Royals vs. the Giants. The AL (Royals) have the home-field advantage.

On Wednesday, the amazing Royals completed a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles to win the ALCS. They have won all eight postseason games they have played this year. They hadn’t been in a postseason since 1985, when they came back from a 3 games to 1 deficit to win the 1985 WS (with help from a blown call by umpire Don Denkinger). So that is 11 postseason wins in a row, granted over a span of 29 years.

Travis Ishikawa’s 3-run walk off HR gave the Giants the NL pennant last night. The Giants won the NLCS 4 games to 1. The St. Louis Cardinals had a 3-2 lead in the eighth, but Michael Morse’s PH HR tied it up. The Cards threatened and did not score in the top of the 9th, then Ishikawa’s blast in the bottom of the 9th sent the Giants into the WS.

It’ll be the third WS appearance for the Giants in the past 5 years (2010, 2012 and now 2014). The Giants won it all in 2010 and 2012. If they win this year, are they already the team of the decade? They aren’t a “powerhouse” in the traditional sense of the word, like when you think of the old Murderers Row Yankees, but three WS titles in 5 years is saying something in this day and age.

Another thing of note: both pennant winners are wild cards.

KC 1 win away, SF up 2-1

The surprising KC Royals are one win away from their first WS appearance since 1985 after a 2-1 win in Game 3 of the ALCS. They lead the Baltimore Orioles 3 games to nothing.

In the NLCS, the San Francisco Giants are up 2 games to 1 over the St. Louis Cardinals after a 5-4 win in 10 innings in Game 3. The winning run scored when pitcher Randy Choate threw the ball away fielding a sacrifice bunt attempt.

Both series resume today, the ALCS at 4 and the NLCS at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

ALCS Game 3. Rained out, rescheduled.

ALCS Game 3 was rained out last night. It’s rescheduled for tonight. The NLCS will resume today with Game 3 this afternoon.

NLCS Game 2: Cards win game but may lose Molina.

The St. Louis Cardinals evened up the NLCS at a game apiece last night, winning 5-4 on a walk off HR by Kolten Wong, but may have lost something bigger.

All-Star catcher Yadier Molina left the game with a left oblique strain and may be done for the year.

The Cardinals got HRs from PH Oscar Taveras in the 7th, 1B Mike Adams in the 8th and 2B Wong in the 9th to win the back-and-forth affair with the Giants 5-4. But you wonder how much the loss of Molina hurts them going forward. The teams are off today.

The ALCS resumes tonight in KC with the Royals up 2 games to none on the Baltimore Orioles.

Team of Destiny? KC up 2-0; SF goes up 1-0.

I’m starting to wonder if KC is a team of destiny for this postseason. They won their sixth straight postseason game, doing it late like usual, albeit in regulation, not in extras this time. (Four of their six postseason wins have come in extra innings). They scored two in the top of the ninth to break a 4-4 tie and win 6-4 on Saturday. They go home up 2 games to none in the ALCS, winning both games in Baltimore.

Meanwhile the NLCS, the visiting San Francisco Giants shut out the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 in Game 1 last night.

Good move in Cashman telling A-Rod to prepare for reps at 1B in spring training. I’m not a fan at all of A-Rod’s return, but since he’ll be 40 next July, missed all of 2014 and all but 44 games in 2013, also is coming off two hip surgeries, you wonder about EVERYTHING with him. Offense, defense, baserunning. There is no guarantee he can hit, handle 3B, etc. But the Yanks didn’t have a legit 1B backup for the fragile Teixeira last year. Kelly Johnson, moving a C to 1B (McCann/Cervelli), even sometimes putting Brendan Ryan there… not answers. At least with A-Rod you would have an experienced infielder… and hopefully power-hitting 1B, playing 1B when Teix can’t.  It beats what was attempted last year, when there was no legitimate backup to 1B.

Turning to college football, this PSU grad has to say that so far he isn’t too impressed with the new coaching staff at his alma mater. I’m not thrilled with some of the play calling this season, there isn’t a running game, for some reason big bull Zach Zwinak appears to be underutilized (the big boy may not be quick or gain too much yards/carry, but he may be able to wear down the opposition in the 4th quarter if used more often earlier in the game) and the O-line has serious issues.

ALCS Game 1: Extra inning wonders again. KC takes Game 1.

Why not stick to the formula? KC won the wild-card game in extra innings, as well as Games 1 and 2 of their Division series against the Angels before beating the Angels in the more conventional style in Game 3.

KC became the first team ever to win three consecutive extra-inning games.

So in Game 1 of the ALCS last night, they went “formulaic” and beat the Orioles 8-6 in 10 innings. Alex Gordon homered leading off the 10th and Mike Moustakas hit a 2-run HR (which would be decisive when Baltimore scored a run in the bottom of the 10th) later. Game 2 will be today.

Gordon had three hits and 4 RBI last night.

The NLCS between San Francisco and St. Louis starts tonight.

Cashman returns, but not Long or Kelleher

The Yanks signed GM Brian Cashman to a new 3-yr. deal today, but let go of hitting coach Kevin Long and 1B/Infield coach Mick Kelleher.