World Series: K.C. manager Yost remains confident
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals are in a win-or-go-home situation for the first time since rallying to beat the Oakland Athletics on Sept. 30 in the American League wild-card game.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Royals are in a win-or-go-home situation for the first time since rallying to beat the Oakland Athletics on Sept. 30 in the American League wild-card game.
The San Francisco Giants hold a 3-2 World Series edge over the Royals and need just one more victory to clinch their third championship in five years.
“This feels different,” Royals manager Ned Yost said, comparing his team’s current plight to the wild-card game. “At that time, I felt like if we didn’t win that game, just getting to the wild-card game and us going home, we wouldn’t accomplish anything. ... But this is a different feeling. Even though our backs are against the wall, what is so weird about it is it doesn’t feel like our backs are against the wall, so that’s a pretty good feeling.
“I think we’re going to win (Tuesday). That’s the way I feel. I’ve got that much confidence in our team and in (Yordano) Ventura, (Kansas City’s Game 6 starter). I just think we’re going to go to Game 7.”
Game 6 on Tuesday, and Game 7 on Wednesday, if necessary, will be played at Kauffman Stadium.
“I would much rather be here than there with our fans,” Yost said. “I think home-field advantage is huge. It’s going to be a lot funner going into Game 6 here than it would be in San Francisco, that’s for sure.”
With the series back Kansas City, Royals designated hitter Billy Butler is back in the lineup. Also, Yost said Nori Aoki, who did not start any of the three games in San Francisco, will return to right field and bat second. Yost said he might make a batting-order change to move up third baseman Mike Moustakas, who has hit ninth in the postseason.
“We’re still kind of mulling it, if we move Moose up a little bit,” Yost said. “It’s a big boost getting Nori’s offense back in there. Obviously, it’s a big boost getting Billy back in there. He’s a pretty key component to our offensive lineup.”
n Giants outfielder Hunter Pence leads World Series hitters with a .474 average, a .737 slugging percentage and five RBIs.
“He is funky with his swing,” Yost said. “He has just a very unique swing, but his hand-eye coordination is phenomenal. His ability to hit pitches that aren’t strikes is way above average, and he puts the bat head on the ball. He’s tremendously strong and has got really good hands. You sure wouldn’t teach anybody his swing.
“Every time he walks up, I’m just hoping we can get him out and he can go sit down for another eight guys. He’s a threat.”
n Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in the series, having allowed one run on seven hits and 16 innings. He walked one and struck out 13.
In the other three games, San Francisco right-handed starters Jake Peavy, Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong are a combined 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA. They have allowed 11 earned runs on 17 hits and four walks over 12 2/3 innings.
n Peavy, who brought two sons to the media room podium Monday, will be the starter Tuesday with a chance to cinch the World Series.
“I can’t imagine anything being any sweeter than that,” Peavy said. “It is hard to get away from that fact. It’s a special opportunity, I understand that. I promise I’m going to exhaust every opportunity (to win this game).
“This is an opportunity anybody in baseball would want. It’s hard to look at it as any other start. It is all about me throwing the ball to (catcher) Buster (Posey’s) glove. I’ve got to go out and find that rhythm early.”
n Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon is hitting .100 in the World Series and only .170 in 13 postseason games, with 15 strikeouts in 47 at-bats. Catcher Salvador Perez batted .067 in the AL Championship Series, but he is hitting a team-leading .353 through the first five World Series games.
Butler was relegated to pinch-hitting duty in the three games at San Francisco, and he struck out in his only at-bat. Butler had the same number of at-bats as reliever Kelvin Herrera at AT&T Park and one fewer than utility player Jayson Nix, who is hitless in a Royals uniform, 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts counting the regular season and postseason.
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain, the ALCS Most Valuable Player after posting a .533 batting average, is hitting a pedestrian .263 in the World Series. Aoki is 0-for-8 in the World Series, grounding into two double plays.
The Royals are hitting .221 with a .253 on-base percentage in the first five games, while the Giants are hitting .299 with a .363 OBP. Kansas City hitters have six walks, while San Francisco’s hitters have 18.
--The Giants’ flight was delayed to Kansas City on Monday. The team was bussed immediately to Kauffman Stadium, and its workout began about an hour later than originally scheduled.
--The victorious teams in Game 5 in a tied World Series went on to win it all in 28 of 43 of such series (65.1 percent).
However, seven of the past 11 times the series began 2-2, the team that dropped Game 5 rallied to win the final two games. The 1983 and 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, the 1986 New York Mets, the 1987 and 1991 Minnesota Twins, the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks and the 2002 Anaheim Angels all bounced back to win the title.