World Series Game 5 – “MadBum” and Shields Face-Off Again
John BensonNo comments
Halfway through last night’s game, it appeared as though the Kansas City Royals were going to ride their bullpen to a game four victory. Instead, the hosts stormed back to win 11-4 and even the series at two games apiece.
Now, in game five, the Royals turn to James Shields. Nicknamed “Big Game James”, Shields has all but lost the right to that moniker this postseason. In four starts, he is 1-1 with a 7.11 ERA. In the series opener, he went three innings and gave up five runs and seven hits. Shields is confident he can make the necessary adjustments in tonight’s pivotal game, though.
“It’s just kind of one of those things as a baseball player you’ve got to really hone in (your emotions),” Shields said. “I’ve been on this stage before, and I know exactly what to feel like when I’m out there. I think this time around I’m not going to be as amped up and (will) just try to keep my emotions in check.”
Royals manager Ned Yost added, “I know his intensity, I know his work ethic, I know his competitiveness. I know (Sunday), when he steps on that mound, he’s going to be ready both physically and mentally to compete and give us his best effort, and that’s all I can ask.”
Opposite Shields will be the Giants’ ace, Madison Bumgarner (3-1 with a 1.40 ERA in the postseason), who has been almost unhittable in October. However, it’s the Giants offense, which finally solved the Royals’ bullpen, feeling the momentum.
“We never give up, that’s the thing,” said Pablo Sandoval, who drove in two runs last night. “We’ve been doing it all year in these situations. We know how that feels.”
The Royals know they didn’t face the best that the Royals’ pen has to offer, though. They did the bulk of their damage last night off of rookie Brandon Finnegan. After a night of rest, the tremendous trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland should be ready to takeover from Shields tonight. As both managers have said throughout the series, taking a lead into the sixth inning will be crucial.
No matter what happens tonight, the series is headed back to Kansas City for game six. For Yost, this could become a be-careful-of-what-you-wish-for scenario.
Said Yost, “Oh, man, somewhere inside of me, secretly I had hoped that it would go seven games for the excitement and the thrill of it. Sure looks that way.”
Looking at tonight’s action, the most appealing play could be the Royals money line at +140.