The Kansas City Royals can take a commanding two-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 Saturday at AT&T Park, but could stll face Madison Bumgarner three times in this World Series.
Manager Ned Yost’s will turn to lefty starter Jason Vargas to improve the Royals 2-1 series lead, while San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy intends to keep his rotation intact with righty Jason Vogelsong up next. Bochy’s choice of whether to move up his ace Bumgarner on short rest could make or break the Giants run for a third title in five years, but the manager didn’t completely rule out a trip to the mound in Game 4 for his lefty star.
“We have really ridden this guy pretty good. It doesn’t mean he can’t do it or won’t do it. It’s a little different in today’s game with the wild card. You have two teams to go through. It is something that [pitching coach] Dave Righetti and I have discussed. But right now, Vogelsong is our starter,” Bochy said according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
In two starts this postseason, Vogelsong’s surrendered five earned runs, struck out five batters and walked another four without earning a decision. San Francisco did win both games, but the 37-year-old faces a rejuvenated Royals lineup thats lit up for 10 runs the last two games.
With the Giants offense slowed in Games 2 and 3, Vargas need only get through five innings with a lead and turn it over to his bullpen. Closer Greg Holland picked up his first save of the series and starter Jeremy Guthrie his first win in these playoffs after K.C. rode another sixth inning surge from the top of its lineup for a 3-2 victory in Game 3.
Setup men Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis, along with Holland, have allowed one hit and zero runs combined in two games, striking out nine batters in the process.
Start Time: 8:07 p.m. EST
TV Channel: FOX
Live Online: A stream is on MLB.TV here
Game 4 Prediction: Kansas City 4, San Francisco 3