Reliever Wade Davis held the lead for the Royals, shutting down the Giants in the eighth inning and earned Box-Toppers Player of the Day honors for Friday in Game 3 of the World Series.
Davis pitched a scoreless inning and struck out two, as the Royals beat the Giants 3-2 to take a 2-1 game lead in the best-of-seven series.
Davis had a Box-Toppers game score of +3, the highest of any Royals player in Friday’s game. It is the second time this postseason he has earned Player of the Game honors. Previously, he was top player in the American League Championship Series Game 1 win over the Orioles. In the Royals’ 10 postseason wins this year, Davis is the first player from the team to earn Player of the Game honors more than once.
Davis did not earn a win or a save in the game and earned Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors in a roundabout, but not uncommon fashion. Davis earned the honor because:
• He had a higher Box-Toppers game score than the winning or saving pitcher who otherwise would have been Player of the Game.
• He had the same or more innings pitched as that player.
In Game 3, Royals closer Greg Holland—who earned the save—would have been Player of the Day, pitching a scoreless ninth inning and striking out one. He had a Box-Toppers game score of +1. However, two other Royals pitchers (see the chart below) had a higher Box-Toppers game score than Holland:
• Brandon Finnegan (0.2IP 0R K, Box-Toppers game score +1.2). However, Finnegan would not qualify for Player of the Game because though his game score was higher than Holland’s, he had fewer innings pitched.
• Davis, who beat Holland for the honor because he had the same number of innings pitched (one) and had a higher Box-Toppers game score (+3.0 vs. +1.0).
During the regular season, Davis had 7.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 117th among all players, 42nd among AL pitchers and first among AL middle relievers.
In close, low-scoring games, such as Game 3, Player of the Game honors often goes to relief pitchers who can hold the lead. In fact, only one Royals batter had a Box-Toppers game score of 0 or better—Alcides Escobar (2B 2-4 2R) had a game score of 0. Only five Royals (including four relief pitchers) had game scores of 0 or better.
Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who earned the win, had a Box-Toppers game score of -3 (5IP 4H 2R 0K). Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson, who earned the loss, had a Box-Toppers game score of -3.8 (5.2IP 4H 3R BB 2K).
World Series Game 4: Royals lead Giants, 2-1
The pitching matchup Saturday:
Royals: Jason Vargas, 7.0 Box-Toppers points, ranked 107th among all players, 38th among AL pitchers.
Giants: Ryan Vogelsong, 8.7 Box-Toppers points, ranked 74th among all players, 36th among NL pitchers.
Vargas has started twice this postseason (ALDS Game 1 and ALCS Game 4) and Vogelsong has started twice (NLDS Game 4 and NLCS Game 4). Both have earned Player of the Game honors once:
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.
Box-Toppers 2014 World Series previews:
Top 5 players in World Series Game 3
Here are the top five Royals players in Friday's World Series Game 3, ranked from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score (how game score is calculated). Wade Davis, who had a Box-Toppers game score of +3.0, is Player of the Game (POG). Only five Royals players had game scores of 0 or better. Alcides Escobar was the Royals' highest-scoring batter, with a game score of 0.
|POG||3.0||Royals||Wade Davis (H, 1)||-||-||-||-||-||-||1.0||0||0||0||0||2|
|1.2||Royals||Brandon Finnegan (H, 1)||-||-||-||-||-||-||0.2||0||0||0||0||1|
|1.0||Royals||Greg Holland (S, 1)||-||-||-||-||-||-||1.0||0||0||0||0||0|
|0.1||Royals||Kelvin Herrera (H, 1)||-||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||0||0||0||2||1|
|0.0||Royals||Alcides Escobar SS||4||2||2||0||0||1||-||-||-||-||-||-|