DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Well, the long Major League Baseball season has come down to a single game tonight between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals. Last night in Kansas City, the Royals embarrassed the Giants 10-nothing to even the series at three games apiece. Baseball fans have said all along these evenly matched teams deserve to take this whole thing to a Game 7. History and momentum appear to now be on the Royals' side. And NPR's Tom Goldman is in Kansas City for the finale. He joins us on the line. Tom, good morning.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, David.
GREENE: Well, all that anticipation for Game 7. We'll get to that in a moment. But first what happened last night? Wow.
GOLDMAN: All the Giants could say was it was one of those games. Let's first give credit where its due. The Royals were overpowering, obviously at the plate where they smacked eight hits and scored seven runs in the second inning alone. That's obviously where the game was decided. But also 23-year-old starting pitcher Yordano Ventura was very strong for the Royals, buzzing his fastball at or just below 100 miles an hour. He pitched seven innings and gave up only three hits.
Now, from the Giants' standpoint, David, it was baffling. This is a team with so much experience - winners of the 2010 and 2012 World Series. A lot of the same guys who won those are on this team. And they know how to close out big games, but this was a complete dud and frankly kind of a buzz-kill for what has been an exciting series. Even though in five of the six games, the margin of victory has been at least five runs, there's been drama throughout, and last night, zippo.
GREENE: Yeah, which was good for people who go to bed early. I could go to bed - it was already 7-nothing - and feel like I wasn't missing anything.
GOLDMAN: Yeah, I wanted to, but I couldn't.
GREENE: You had to work. Well, how'd the Giants react after being down 7-nothing so early? That's got to sort of be deflating.
GOLDMAN: It looked to those of us watching in the stadium like they died. They insist they kept competing. I asked San Francisco all-star catcher Buster Posey about that second inning and what the player's mental state was after. Here's how we answered.
BUSTER POSEY: We knew it was going to be tough, but at the same time, you know, we were able to load the bases, you know, bases clearing double or something there you're kind of back in it. So, yeah, I mean, I think mentally at that point, we felt like we could still get back into it.
GOLDMAN: And ironically it was Posey, David, who came to bat after the Giants did load the bases in the top of the third inning. And he promptly hit a ground ball into a double play that ended the inning. That's kind of how the entire night went for the Giants.
GREENE: And of course they don't want to carry that into tonight. I mean, is it tough to get the momentum back into a Game 7?
GOLDMAN: Well, you know, this is the beauty of elite athletes - they have incredibly short memories. By the time the teeming horde of journalists got to them last night, the Giants sure sounded as if they'd already flushed this. There was a calm in the clubhouse. No discernible anger or regret, just resolve, and relief probably that they get a second chance tonight.
GREENE: OK, well ready as it sounds like the Giants are for this game tonight, I mean, history is not on their side. The last nine World Series, Game 7's won by the home team. That's an amazing statistic.
GOLDMAN: It is. And the players will tell you though that numbers like that from the past are bunk. Its for media and fans to chew on. And the Royals certainly aren't going to embrace that statistic or coast in on the wave from last night. I think it's a very slim chance Game 7 will be a clunker because we had that in Game 6. It should be a battle royale, dramatic and a long game with lots of pitching changes and baseball chess moves. David, as everyone involved in this game says, it's all hands on deck. They owe us a good game after last night. Let's hope they deliver.
GREENE: They sure do. They owe us. Well, hopefully we'll see that excitement tonight. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman in Kansas City for Game 7 of the World Series tonight. Tom, thanks.
GOLDMAN: You're welcome.
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