As players exchanged hugs throughout the Royals clubhouse, a freshly shaven Greg Holland made a beeline to his locker.
The scraggly beard that Holland had during the postseason was gone. Stubble remained as Holland buried his head in his hands and contemplated how close the Royals had come to winning the World Series.
Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera made up perhaps the greatest trio of relievers baseball has ever seen.
They showcased that talent Wednesday in game seven of the World Series, as the trio combined for 52/3 scoreless innings of relief in the Royals’ 3-2 loss to the Giants at Kauffman Stadium.
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“They gave us everything you could possibly ask for,” pitching coach Dave Eiland said. “They did their thing. So what can you say?”
Herrera struck out four in 22/3 innings. Of his 33 pitches, 28 were strikes. He also allowed three hits, and the first one hurt the most.
Replacing starter Jeremy Guthrie in the fourth inning, Herrera entered with one out and runners on the corners. Designated hitter Michael Morse fell behind 0-2 but then lined a single that bought home Pablo Sandoval and gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. That run proved to be the difference.
“(The pitch) was outside, but a little in the middle,” Herrera said. “It was a broken bat base hit, opposite field.”
Davis pitched two innings, allowing just a double to Sandoval with a pair of outs in the eighth inning. A threat? Not really. Davis got Hunter Pence to ground to second to end the inning.
“We went out there and gave it everything we’ve got and kept it as close as we could,” Davis said.
Although the ninth inning wasn’t a save situation, Holland replaced Davis. In a perfect frame, he struck out two. Holland, like the rest of the bullpen, kept the Giants at bay.
“We take it for granted how well they’ve thrown and they did it again tonight,” Guthrie said. “They put up zeros and gave us a chance to win.”
Unfortunately for the Royals, the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner was just as good as the HDH connection.
That helped the Giants squeak out the victory
“Somebody had to lose,” Herrera said. “You know what I mean?”
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The remarkable Wade Davis
Wade Davis threw two more scoreless innings in game seven of the World Series.