Royals Execute Plan to Perfection, Hold off Giants in Game 3


Oct 24, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon hits a RBI double against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning during game three of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Like the 1990 Cincinnati Reds, the 2014 Kansas City Royals have a plan for post-season success: survive half the game with their starter on the mound, and then hand the ball to their bullpen. That strategy worked to perfection on Friday night as the Royals took Game 3 of the World Series by beating the San Francisco Giants, 3-2.

In what was perhaps the weakest starting pitching matchup we’ll see in this Series, the Royals touched Tim Hudson for a first-inning run on a leadoff double by Alcides Escobar and sacrifices by Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain.

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That was all the scoring there was until the sixth until the Royals pushed another two runs across in the top of the sixth to chase Hudson and the Giants picked up two of their own on a single, a double, a walk and two groundouts.

Midway through that “onslaught” Kelvin Herrera relieved starter Jeremy Guthrie and got out of the inning with the one-run lead intact.

From that point on, it was all on the Royals’ bullpen, and they came through as usual. Herrera, Brandon Finnegan, Wade Davis and Greg Holland allowed only a walk (by Herrera) over the final three innings.

It’s a simple formula played to perfection in an era bereft of offensive powerhouses.

And, before you know it, Ned Yost’s small-ball Royals may be partying like it’s 1985.