KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The odds say the Giants' dynasty bid is over. The statistics say it effectively ended Tuesday night, at 11:29 p.m. EDT, when Tim Collins whiffed Gregor Blanco and all of Kauffman Stadium celebrated the Royals' 10-0 rout in Game 6.
History suggests that Game 7 is a done deal. That Kansas City will be home to the 2014 World Series champions.
The Giants, as you might expect, politely disagree.
"You can't predict the unpredictable," Hunter Pence said. "Any time you step on the field, there are infinite possibilities. Every day is a new day. You're not the same creature you were five minutes ago."
If anyone is capable of disrupting patterns, it's a team that employs the chaotic Pence. The Giants are going to need him in their all-hands-on-deck effort to buck an almost ironclad World Series trend.
Pence sees Game 7 as just another opportunity. But the evidence frames Wednesday night as the Royals' coronation. The numbers are overwhelmingly in Kansas City's favor. Once they booted Jake Peavy and smothered Yusmeiro Petit with an eight-hit, seven-run second, the landslide reaffirmed what we already knew coming in.
Teams like the Giants don't fare very well when they lose Game 6 on enemy turf. Before Tuesday, when the home club won Game 6 it has rallied to win the Series nine straight times dating to 1982. A few of the more notable: the 2001 Diamondbacks and the 1986 Mets.
So for all the talk about how awesome a Game 7 is for baseball, the fans and, well, we might as well throw the TV networks in there, forgive the Giants if they weren't as jazzed up for the do-or-die showdown after blowing the chance to go back to the West Coast a day early with the trophy.
"I don't know about cool," Jeremy Affeldt said. "But I think by the end of that game, whoever the winner is, they're going to say it was a hard-fought battle."
Great for the TV audience, which will get some drama in a World Series that has been filled with noncompetitive games. But the Giants aren't going to feel so hot about coming up short, especially when they had arguably the most dominant pitcher in World Series history.
While we're on the subject of Madison Bumgarner, the hysteria over his potential usage out of the bullpen reached new levels after Game 6, when Bruce Bochy was asked to explain why he couldn't just start Bumgarner in Game 7. Apparently, the reporter's Twitter followers were bugging him all night about it, tweeting how he should get the nod over Tim Hudson.
We have to give credit to Bochy for showing the patience of Gandhi on this one. Coming off a blowout loss, Bochy had every right to snap at the ridiculous question. Instead, he smiled. "This guy is human," Bochy said. "You can't push him that much. He'll be available if we need him. But to start him, I think that's asking a lot. So when they tweet you, just tell them that."
If you're looking for reasons to believe the Giants can thwart the evidence against them, put Bochy near the top of that list. The guy projects calm. He's like a 6-3 Yoda. Even though the Giants unraveled in Game 6, we don't expect a repeat in Game 7.
Bochy made sure to pull Yusmeiro Petit after 17 pitches to keep him available for Wednesday night's finale. Otherwise, he has a fully gassed-up bullpen, with Bumgarner ready for multiple innings, if necessary.
Don't discount the value of an ace in a manager's back pocket. In 2001, the Diamondbacks took the ball from starter Randy Johnson during the 15-2 rout in Game 6, then gave it back to him to close out the Yankees in Game 7. Just knowing Bumgarner is at the ready will feel like a security blanket. Not that the Giants sounded all that rattled after Game 6.
"Tonight was just their night," Pence said. "And a Game 7 in the World Series is special. It's a gift for everyone."
He's right. We'll enjoy it regardless. But one team is going home empty-handed.