On Friday, Aug. 8, two teams that seemed destined to meet in the World Series began a regular season interleague series.
Yes, the Baltimore Orioles faced the St. Louis Cardinals. The Orioles, up five games in the American League East and the Cardinals, a game out in the National League Central.
Incidentally, two other teams faced each other in another interleague series beginning that night. But these were two ragtag teams struggling to hold on to their Wild Card spots, both in second place in their division. Few people were likely touting this as a possible World Series preview, few even could find intrigue in matching up two teams from different leagues with no trace of geographical or historical rivalry of any kind.
But it was on the schedule, so the San Francisco Giants traveled to Kansas City to face the Royals in a three-game series. A little more than two months later, these two unlikely teams have made their way to the World Series to face each other again.
The Royals swept the three-game series in August. Here is a series recap with Box-Toppers Players of the Game for each game:
Friday, Aug. 8: Royals 4, Giants 2
Player of the Game: Billy Butler of the Royals hit a home run and went 2-for-3, driving in three runs. Butler earned 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being Player of the Game and finished the season with 2.5 Box-Toppers points.
Madison Bumgarner was starting pitcher for the Giants and picked up the loss. He pitched a complete game (eight innings) and allowed seven hits and four runs, striking out five. Bumgarner finished the season with 22.6 Box-Toppers points, ranked third among all players, second among NL pitchers.
Saturday, Aug. 9: Royals 5, Giants 0
Player of the Game: Royals pitcher James Shields pitched a complete game shutout, allowing four hits and striking out five. Shields earned 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being Player of the Game and finished the season with 13.7 Box-Toppers points.
Giants pitcher Tim Hudson (6IP 6H 3R K) picked up the loss.
Sunday, Aug. 10: Royals 7, Giants 4
Player of the Game: Norichika Aoki of the Royals went 2-for-2, scoring twice and driving in a run. Aoki earned 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being Player of the Game and finished the season with 2.0 Box-Toppers points. Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (3.1IP 7H 6R 2K) picked up the loss.
That same weekend, as mentioned previously, the Orioles and the Cardinals met—two teams that seemed more likely to go to the World Series, but two teams that would both go on to lose their league championship series. For what it’s worth, the Orioles took two out of three in that series.
Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.
Top player from each game
Here are the Players of the Game from each of the three games played between the Giants and Royals in August. The Royals swept the series, 3-0.
|Date||Score||Team||Player of the Game||AB||R||H||BI||BB||K||IP||H||R||ER||BB||K|
|8/8||3.0||Royals||Billy Butler 1B||3||1||2||3||0||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|8/9||9.0||Royals||James Shields (W, 11-6)||-||-||-||-||-||-||9.0||4||0||0||1||5|
|8/10||3.0||Royals||Norichika Aoki RF||2||2||2||1||2||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Previously: Box-Toppers World Series preview: Giants have clear Box-Toppers advantage over Royals in World Series, but since 2014 is underdog year, watch out for David slaying 'Giant'