LCS Review

Posted: 10/17/2014 by levcohen in Baseball

I didn’t think I’d be writing my LCS review this soon, just a week after I previewed the penultimate round of the baseball playoffs. But, like what happened in the LDS, neither series went to a decisive seventh or even a sixth game. Whereas both the ALCS and the NLCS went six games last year, they went just four and five respectively this season as the Royals swept the Orioles (!) and the Giants finished off the Cardinals in five games. Let’s review the ALCS and the NLCS.

Kansas City Royals over Baltimore Orioles in four: Just like that, the Royals have come from being everyone’s favorite underdog to a juggernaut. They’ve won each of their eight games since entering the wild card game against the Athletics as underdogs, and their wins have come against arguably three of the best offenses in baseball. This series was probably decided in game one, when Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis threw four combined perfect innings with six strikeouts and just 38 pitches. Despite hammering James Shields, the Orioles were given a taste of their own medicine in the 10th when Alex Gordon homered to put the Royals ahead and Mike Moustakas hit a two run shot to widen the lead. Game two was more of the same, with the Herrera-Davis-Greg Holland trio winning the Royals a game that was tied from the sixth through eighth innings. This was in a way a winning formula we haven’t seen from the 2014 Royals- they hit four homers in the season and stole just one base. In the end, though, it was the same Royals team we’ve seen all year, one that relies on the Herrera-Davis-Holland combo and the defense. The defense was pretty good (with some great plays by Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain, among others), but the three relievers were even better: each of them played in all four games of the series, which explains why the Royals swept even though none of their starters finished the sixth inning. They also had a .61 ERA, seven hits allowed, three walks, and 15 strikeouts in 14-and-two-thirds innings.  That’s pretty impressive, and it’s why the Royals are heading to the World Series without a loss since September 27th.

San Francisco Giants over St. Louis Cardinals in five: There’s really just not much to say about this Giants team. They just find a way to win, just like the same core of players did in 2012 and 2010. For the second straight series they were out-homered (8-3 this time and 4-1 in the NLDS) while still winning the series pretty comfortably. They came up with big hit after big hit after big hit, pounded the Cardinals’ bullpen (4.96 ERA and three losses), and worked the count (10% walk rate) en route to a pretty easy series win. The way it ended- with a game-tying homer in the eighth by Michael Morse and a three run shot to end it by Travis Ishikawa- was just so Giants. Giants players just step up in big moments in the playoffs, whether they are Pablo Sandoval (8 of 20 in the series) or a role player like Morse or Ishikawa. They’ll now face a team that has its own playoff magic, but the Giants should feel pretty good about their chances at taking home their third World Series championship in five years. When they have an ace like Madison Bumgarner (five runs allowed in four playoff starts) and an offense that is quiet until it needs to get a big hit, why shouldn’t they feel confident?

  1. quadrangular says:


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