A mini winning streak is gone after a disappointing loss for the San Francisco Giants last night. The home team could not recover after falling behind by three runs before ultimately losing game three of a tied series, 3-2. Now, in front of their home fans, the Giants face the same type of pressure Kansas City did on their home diamond in game two. In order to avoid going down 3-1 in the World Series, Ryan Vogelsong must pitch well enough to get his team a win in a tough spot against KC lefty Jason Vargas.
This is an incredibly tough spot for San Francisco. It certainly must feel that it can’t get behind because of how the Royals have continued to get a lead and then slowly strangle their opponents into submission. I’ve never seen a team successfully win so many games in a row, the exact same way. Facing the possibility of going down two games in the series, the pressure of starting fast could get to the Giants’ offense, which has gone quiet since that game one outburst. And Jason Vargas has the stuff and the type of makeup to really fluster a team pressing at the plate.
Of Mexican descent, Vargas grew up in America and went to Long Beach State to play his college ball for the Dirtbags. He’s strung together a few good years in a row now, pitching for Seattle, the Angels and Kansas City. But tonight will be Vargas’ chance to pitch in front of a national audience. Vargas brings five pitches, but generally sticks to three: the fastball, sinker and changeup. He’s that classic junkball lefty any of us faced in Little League growing up. He couldn’t break a pane of glass with his fastball (average velocity is just 88 MPH), but he locates, he mixes his pitches and he makes offenses uncomfortable. Like I said, he’s absolutely not the type of pitcher an offense wants to see in a spot like this. The pressure will be on San Fran to assert themselves, and that’s exactly what Vargas wants them to do.
My gut sort of tells me that this is the night Kansas City takes its biggest step toward being crowned champs. But you also have to wonder if Kelvin Herrera is available and what type of soul searching the Giants have done/will do. This team still has an indomitable spirit. And for that, I’m willing to give them one more chance in what I hope still ends up being a long series.
Free Pick: San Francisco (-122)
YTD: 44-28-3 +8.52