Just in..Final Score Giants 5, Royals 0.
Brandon Crawford (Richmond, ’10) and Juan Perez (Richmond, ’11 &’12) combined to drive in all 5.
San Francisco is one win from the title.
After a lengthy season and postseason, the 2014 World Series is set.
Representing the American League will be the Kansas City Royals, streaking through their first postseason in 29 years. They earned their way here by beating Oakland in the Wild Card Game, then sweeping Anaheim and Baltimore.
Representing the National League will be the San Francisco Giants, who are no strangers to recent postseason action, as they have won 2 World Series titles this decade-2010 and 2012. They got here by pounding Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Game, then besting Washington and St. Louis.
When the two teams take the field Tuesday in Game 1, the Giants will do so with a strong Virginia connection.
Baseball fans in coastal Virginia will watch with pride, as former Norfolk Tides player Travis Ishikawa will go for his second ring. In fact, it was Ishikawa who got the Giants to this point; on October 16, Ishikawa hit a 3-run walk-off homer to win the game and the series for the Giants and send them roaring into the Fall Classic. Ishikawa played in 49 games with the 2013 Norfolk Tides.
Just up I-64 in central Virginia, baseball fans in Virginia’s Capital City will also be watching with pride. Since 2010, when pro baseball returned to Richmond in the form of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, not only has Richmond gone to 2 EL finals, but a slew of players who played here have gone on to the Bay Area and are on the postseason roster for the Giants. When San Francisco takes the field, 8 former Squirrels will be among them: starting 1B Brandon Belt, starting second baseman Joe Panik, starting shortstop Brandon Crawford, infielder Matt Duffy, outfielders Juan Perez and Gary Brown, catcher Andrew Susac and reliever Hunter Strickland.
When we head up I-95 to the Potomac Capital region, fans here, who are probably still smarting over the Nationals losing to the Giants in the NLDS, might still have an interest in watching two of their own try to win the World Series. Veteran LH reliever Javier Lopez grew up in Fairfax County, went to Robinson Secondary school, and went on to play at UVA. The 37-yr old Lopez won World Series rings previously with Boston in 2007 and San Francisco in 2010 and 2012. Also of interest to Northern Virginians is manager Bruce Bochy, who spent his teen years in Falls Church and still has a loyal following here.
Giants. Royals. Game 1 Tuesday.
The National League Championship Series kicks off tonight, pitting the St. Louis Cardinals against the San Francisco Giants to decide who will get to play in the World Series.
The Giants have won 2 World Series titles this decade (2010, 2012) and seem poised to make a serious bid to return to the Fall Classic, and baseball fans in the San Francisco Bay Area can direct their gratitude 3000 miles away to Virginia’s capital city for their chance this year. Richmond is the home of the Flying Squirrels, the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, and some faces familiar to baseball fans in Richmond will be among those sprinting to their positions when the Giants take the field this evening for Game 1.
3/4 of the starting infield got seasoning in Richmond on their way to San Francisco-1B Brandon Belt and SS Brandon Crawford played for the Flying Squirrels in 2010, and 2B Joe Panik played here in 2013. Off the bench, Andrew Susac batted .256 in 84 games for the 2013 Richmond squad; he will be Buster Posey’s backup. INF Matt Duffy played just this year in Richmond, batting .332 with 62 RBIs in 97 games, and will be a valuable player off the bench. OF Juan Perez drove in 93 runs over two years (2011-2012) with Richmond. Fellow OFer Gary Brown played in 134 games for the 2012 Richmond squad.
On the mound, reliever Hunter Strickland notched 11 saves for the Squirrels in 2014 before bypassing AAA and going right to the Giants.
The National League Championship Series starts tonight, guess who baseball fans in Richmond will be rooting for?