For the 11th time in franchise history, the Giants’ starting pitcher in a World Series game could get no more than eight outs as Ryan Vogelsong was knocked out of Game 4 against the Royals in the third inning Saturday night.
For the first time in more than 90 years, the Giants won under those circumstances.
Vogelsong departed Saturday with two outs in the third, trailing 4-1, but the Giants mounted a furious comeback to win 11-4. The Giants lost their previous six World Series games in which their starter exited that early.
The last such win was in Game 1 of the 1923 World Series when the New York Giants beat the New York Yankees 5-4, despite starter “Mule” Watson lasting just two innings.
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Vogelsong’s outing was the shortest by a Giants starter in the World Series since Livan Hernandez pitched two innings in Game 7 in 2002 against the Angels. It was the shortest postseason start of Vogelsong’s career.
The right-hander became the first pitcher in major-league history to allow no more than one run while pitching at least five innings in each of his first five postseason starts. But in two starts since, Vogelsong has lasted 52/3 innings and given up eight runs.
Are Royals’ runners all wet?
After Kansas City won Game 3, several Royals players were quoted saying they thought the AT&T Park grounds crew had watered down the infield, possibly in an attempt to slow down the Royals’ running game.
And Royals manager Ned Yost said during his pregame news conference Saturday he also thought the infield dirt appeared particularly well-soaked in Game 3.
“In some places,” Yost said. “I thought it was a little extra wet around first. When (third baseman Mike Moustakas) or somebody got on – it might have been ‘Moose’ – and he dove back into first base and he came up extremely muddy, I though that it was a little damper than normal, yeah.”
The Royals led the majors in stolen bases during the regular season and had 13 steals in the postseason entering the World Series. But in the first three games against the Giants, they did not have a stolen base and were unsuccessful on their lone attempt, by Alcides Escobar in Game 2 in Kansas City.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy also was asked about the infield dirt Saturday and said he hadn’t noticed anything unusual in Game 3.
“Somebody did mention that to me,” Bochy said. “I think somebody else when we played Washington mentioned that, too. But I didn’t notice.”
Bochy shuffles lineup
Bochy made his first starting lineup change of the series for Game 4, putting Juan Perez in left field for Travis Ishikawa. Along with Michael Morse getting little playing time in the field since his oblique injury, Bochy said he used Perez because of how comfortable Perez has looked in his sporadic postseason appearances.
Bochy also confirmed the Giants’ starting pitching will remain on rotation for the duration of the series, meaning Jake Peavy would start Game 6 and Tim Hudson would pitch Game 7 in Kansas City if necessary.
Another Aaron-Selig connection
Major League Baseball held its presentation of the Hank Aaron Award, which recognizes the top offensive player from each league, before Game 4. This year’s recipients were Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins.
Aaron also presented outgoing Commissioner Bud Selig with an honorary award. The two have been friends since Aaron played for the Milwaukee Braves in the mid-1950s, and Aaron revealed another connection Saturday: Selig sold Aaron his first car.
“To this day, I think Bud still owes me five dollars and some cents change,” Aaron joked.
The National Baseball Hall of Famer said the car was a Ford convertible, and he told a story of the first time he drove it back to his hometown of Mobile, Ala.
“The street that I was staying on was not paved,” Aaron said. “And when it rained, I put (the car) in the garage, and I would walk, because I really loved that automobile. I really did.”