So far, it’s what we hoped for: two teams (great or not) playing well and relatively evenly, producing a great World Series. The Giants now ride a two-game winning streak as the Series heads back to Kansas City. A few thoughts from the weekend’s action…
For the Royals, Game 3 went according to the script. Get a lead, hold it into the 6th inning, bring in the best relief trio in the game. When it works this way, the Royals are unbeatable. If you’ve ever watched a baseball game, though, you know things don’t always go according to the script. What do you do when the script flips? You adjust. The Royals’ leadership doesn’t do this well. Learn from that. The script you’ve written for your life won’t always be your reality. Ask God for wisdom, then make adjustment.
This might be the game that costs the Royals a championship. After leading 4-2, Kansas City gave up nine unanswered runs en route to a crushing 11-4 defeat. That happens occasionally, but it’s difficult to believe Royals’ manager Ned Yost let it happen while leaving his three best relievers in the bull pen. tradition, playing it by “the book,” and faulty thinking led to Yost leaving lesser relievers in the game while the lead dissipated and the deficit grew. In fairness, there’s no guarantee that Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, or Greg Holland would have shut down the Giants at the point of highest leverage (in this game, the top of the 6th inning), but I would have loved to have seen them try. Bottom line: sometimes the way we’ve always done it isn’t the wisest play.
Madison Bumgarner is good. Really good. His secret? He’s good. And, according to him, he simply tries to make pitches on both sides of the plate. Novel idea. Really, though, Bumgarner has great stuff but still pitches. He hits spots, he changes speeds, he pitches to the game plan. And, did I mention he’s really good at it?
And, again, what’s not to love about Hunter Pence? He’s playing great baseball in his own quirky way, but perhaps it’s his mindset that is most admirable. His postgame comments on MLB Network included this: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to play Major League Baseball…I feel like I owe them everything I can…” It’s a privilege, a gift, something to be appreciated. Thanks, Hunter. I think I actually believe you.
Finally, the tragic death of St. Louis Cardinals’ rookie Oscar Taveras cast a shadow on Game 5. Folks, if you needed a reminder, you just got it. Baseball is not life. Life is life. Death does not care how young or old you are, how talented you are, how much money you make. Death is coming for all of us. You can be scared or you can be prepared. The resurrection of Jesus shows what will happen to those whose lives are surrendered to him. Death has no power over those who have already died to themselves.