After 162 games spread out over six months, 19 games in spring training, and seven and nine games in the post-season, the 2014 World Series is set as the Kansas City Royals will play host–and have home field advantage–against the San Francisco Giants. Both teams came from the wild card selections to win their respective pennants.
The Kansas City Royals have captured the imagination of sports fans as their improbable run through the post season has gone without a blemish. They took the wild card game against the Oakland A’s after coming back from a 7-3 deficit, and again overcame deficits in the 9th and 12th innings to win the game. Then came the three-game sweep against the Angels in the division playoffs–the team with baseball’s best record in the regular season, and then finally, in the American League Championship Series, the Royals once again swept, taking the first four games against the Baltimore Orioles to land their first World Series birth in 29 years.
In the National League, the San Francisco Giants are keeping true to their bizarre “every two years” title run. The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and again in 2012, and are now four games away from another championship under manager Bruce Bochy. The Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the wild card game and then beat the Washington Nationals three games to one to advance to the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 2014 fall classic is scheduled to begin Tuesday night, October 21 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City with James Shields pitching for the Royals against, most likely, Madison Bumgarner for San Francisco. The Giants have yet to announce their rotation and starters. In game two on Wednesday, October 22, also in Kansas City, the Royals have announced that Yordana Ventura will take the mound and the Giants have yet to announce their game two starter.
Game three will shift the series to San Francisco on Friday, October 24 and game four will be played on October 25, also at San Fran’s AT&T Park. Game five, if necessary, will be played on Sunday, October 26, and games six and seven would go back to Kansas City on October 28 and 29 to wrap up the 2014 Major League Baseball season. And before fans begin calling the Royals the champions before game one has even been played, CBS Boston points out that the last team to go 7-0 to start a playoff run was the 2007 Colorado Rockies, who eventually lost the World Series to the Boston Red Sox in a four game sweep.
[Image courtesy of CalvinAyre.com]