DR. GROSSINGER’S PRE-GAME
Has the concluding destination at the end of this long, long pennant road really arrived? It’s a stunning October day in western Pennsylvania, a region I know rather well, and I feel more than confident that Mr. Candy Man Candelaria will stifle the Royal bats. Mr. Leonard will start for the visitors, a wonderful pitcher in his own right, but I know he is hittable; after all, the Rangers just did…
Whitey Herzog took a chance by putting Hal McRae out in left with his scary 4e17 rating, but against Pirate lefties it was a darn good risk.
And Hal rewards Whitey right out of the gate. After a leadoff Otis walk he smashes one over Oliver’s head in left center and off the wall for a triple, scoring Amos with the first run of the Series. But that’s nothing. After Otis strokes a two-out, two-run single off Candy Man in the 2nd, McRae bombs one over the boards in the 3rd and it’s 4-0 K.C.!
The crowd might as well be at a wake in a library. The 23-8 Candelaria is getting racked. A Porter solo shot in the 6th ups the score to 5-zip. Meanwhile Leonard is solid smoke, throwing a 2-hit gem through seven innings. Fregosi crushes a pinch-hit homer to get the Bucs on the board in the 8th, but Mingori and Littell squirm us out of a bases loaded jam after the Fregosi shot, and with two on and two out in the 9th and a run in, thanks to a Patek boot, Littell gets the lethal Oliver on a fly to Zdeb to end the last threat and the game.
So Game One is a one-sided affair, but the late Pirate uprisings have me worried, and the very smashable Splittorff is on tap for Game Two.
ROYALS 121 001 001 – 6 9 1
PIRATES 000 000 011 – 2 5 0
W-Leonard L-Candelaria HRS: McRae, Porter, Cowens, Fregosi GWRBI-McRae
Live Tweetcasts of each game will be on Twitter nightly at 10:30 p.m. eastern, 7:30 pacific for the remainder of the Series, with wrap-ups appearing here on the blog the next morning.