World Series Storylines to Watch For in San Francisco


Oct 21, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning during game one of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Square/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

As the World Series shifts to San Francisco, there are some key storylines to look out for. Of course, this is a National League park, so seeing how an American League pitcher fares at the plate is always an adventure, but there is more to this weekend than just losing the DH.

First off, will we see Hunter Strickland the rest of the series? My guess is no, with his mouth writing checks that his postseason numbers suggest he can’t cash. In 5 1/3 innings, Strickland has allowed six earned runs and five home runs. The only chance he has to see the mound again this season is if the Royals are up by WAY too many, and the Giants need to conserve their bullpen.

More from San Francisco Giants

I said there was more to this weekend than just losing the DH, but since that is still happening, let’s forecast which team that will hurt more. Mike Morse is 2-for-8 with an rbi and three strikeouts. Billy Butler has been hot, going 3-for-6 with two rbi.

Obviously the AL team will be hampered without their DH. The only position Butler can play is first, and that is manned by Eric Hosmer, another hot hitter (.371 this postseason), and much better defender.

Where KC may get a boost in having Butler on the bench is if they are threatening early in the game. We’ve all heard about the Royals’ bullpen by now. They have their big three, but there is also typical starter, Danny Duffy, who can eat up a couple of innings to bridge the gap to those three. Don’t be surprised if the Royals have a scoring situation in the fourth or fifth and the pitcher due up, for manager Ned Yost to go to his bench, i.e. Butler.

The last storyline to keep an eye on is which game Madison Bumgarner starts. If the Giants win game three, I think the series could be over. Yet, if they lose, having Bumgarner on the mound in game four gives them a much better shot at claiming the World Series. How? He’d also be able to start a potential game seven, which presently would go to Tim Hudson. No offense to Huddy, but Mad Bum has clearly been the Giants best starter this postseason, and giving him the ball, even on short rest, is the best course of action.

However, if the Giants win game three, they can go ahead and stick with their plan of Vogey in game four and Mad Bum in game five. If Ryan Vogelsong loses game four, the series is tied at 2-2, with Bumgarner starting game five. There is a good chance the Giants go up in the series 3-2 at that point, and would need one last win.

Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, there will be a chess match being played between these two managers this weekend, and it will be fun to watch.