You're going to read and hear a lot about the Giants/Royals series from August. Did you know the Royals swept the Giants? Did you? Did you hear how the Giants went into Kansas City and came home without a win? I heard that they were crying -- literally crying -- at the airport after the series. The Giants don't match up well with the Royals, alright. They just don't.
Except let's go through those games and cherry pick reasons to ignore the results. Makes me feel better, it does. The Giants in early August were a freight train filled with mistakes and sadness. The views and opinions expressed by the Giants in early August do not necessarily reflect the views of the Giants in October.
August 8, 2014 - Royals 4, Giants 2
Madison Bumgarner threw a complete game, one of four on the year. Unfortunately, he lost two of those complete games. This was one of them. Billy Butler hit a two-run homer in the first, and while the Giants could get runners on against Jason Vargas, they couldn't get them in. The Royals bullpen completely shut the Giants down, allowing three hits over four innings, striking out six.
Why it doesn't count
I have checked, but I'm pretty sure the Royals don't even have those relievers anymore. Man, that's fortunate. More importantly, the Giants didn't have Brandon Belt. I'll be honest, I was going to make that a running gag throughout this, pretending like the difference between the August Giants and the October Giants is entirely explained by Belt. Except the Giants lost this game in part to poor defense at first from Michael Morse.
With one on and one out in the sixth, Salvador Perez chopped a ball a foot to Morse's right, which meant he had to dive for it. From his knees, Morse threw the ball wide of second base, where it was caught by Matt Duffy, who airmailed the throw back to first. Here, watch it, unedited:
The very next play was a chopper two feet to Morse's right, so forget it. The winning run scored and the Giants were doomed.
They will not have a Matt Adams-type at first. They will have Belt. All praise Brandon Belt.
August 9, 2014 - Royals 5, Giants 0
James Shields pitched a shutout, and Tim Hudson and Jeremy Affeldt combined for a seventh-inning meltdown. The Giants had four hits and one walk in the game.
Why it doesn't count
No Belt! Plus, this was when the entire team had their underwear pulled over their heads at the plate. Posey wasn't hot yet. Panik wasn't doing anything yet. Gregor Blanco was still History's Greatest Monster and the reason the Giants were never going to win the pennant. This Giants team can still get shut down by Shields, certainly, but it's a more confident bunch.
Do you ever remember what that dreadful stretch was like? Losing and errors and blown leads and more losing? I don't. Baseball's a helluva drug.
August 10, 2014 - Royals 7, Giants 4
Tim Lincecum -- wait for it -- didn't know where the ball was going, and the Royals teed off. The second inning: infield hit, walk, double, wild pitch, home run. He even walked Raul Ibanez, whose eyes are in his palms like the monster in Pan's Labyrinth, which means he can't see when he's holding a bat.
Why it doesn't count
No Belt! Also, all of the earned runs were given up by Lincecum and Juan Gutierrez, neither of whom are likely to pitch in the World Series. The same goes for the Royals and Danny Duffy, who gave up most of the runs the Giants scored in the series, but that's a minor point. Also, no Belt.
The Giants were mostly humiliated in that series, sure. And it sure seems like the Royals are a nasty matchup for the Giants, considering their one weapon: Their ability to shorten a game to five or six innings with their impenetrable bullpen, and their ability to steal bases at will. Their two weapons. Their ability to shorten a game to five or six innings with their impenetrable bullpen, their ability to steal bases at will, and excellent starting pitching. Three weapons, their three weapons. Their ability to shorten a game to five or six innings with their impenetrable bullpen, their ability to steal bases at will, excellent starting pitching, and an almost fanatical devotion to the bunt.
Fine, the Royals are good. But so are the October Giants. I don't know who those clowns were back then, so I feel pretty safe ignoring what happened in that series. This should be fun, other than all the nervous vomiting that goes along with the World Series.
Here, this will help:
Gonna embed that video in every post for the next 16 years.