In late and extra innings, the Royals win again and again

28 10 2015

The Royals’ Game One win in 14 innings, after coming from behind on Alex Gordon‘s ninth-inning homer, was special. But not really. Coming back, scoring in late innings and prevailing in extra innings are what these Kansas City Royals do in the post-season.

Starting with last Sept. 30’s wild card game, the Royals have:

  • Come from behind 7-3 after seven innings and 8-7 in the bottom of the 12th to beat the Oakland A’s.
  • Beat the Los Angeles Angels, 3-2, in 11 innings in Game One of the 2014 Division Series.
  • Beat the Angels 4-1 in 11 innings in Game Two.
  • Beat the Orioles 8-6 in 10 innings in Game One of the 2014 American League Championship Series.
  • Scored two runs in the ninth inning to beat the Orioles 6-4 in Game Two of the ALCS.
  • Trailed the Orioles 1-0, but scored in the fourth and sixth innings for a 2-1 win in Game Three of the ALCS.
  • The Royals took and kept leads in all three of their wins and didn’t play any extra innings in the 2014 World Series, which they lost to the Giants. They came tantalizingly close, though, with Gordon reaching third base with the potential tying run in Game Seven. In the context of this outstanding run, Madison Bumgarner‘s ability to shut the Royals down in the late innings truly stands out.
  • Fell behind the Houston Astros 4-2, then scored two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to win 5-4 in Game Two of the 2015 Division Series.
  • Trailed the Astros 6-2 after seven innings, then scored five runs in the eighth inning and two in the ninth to win 9-6 in Game Four.
  • Trailed the Astros 2-0 after three innings before winning 7-2 in the deciding Game Five.
  • Trailed the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 before scoring five runs in the seventh inning and one in the eighth to win 6-3 in Game Two of the 2015 ALCS.
  • Blew a 3-1 lead to enter the eighth inning tied, then scored the winning run in the eighth after a rain delay to clinch the ALCS in Game Six.
  • Tied Game One of the 2015 World Series on Gordon’s ninth-inning homer, then beat the New York Mets 5-4 in the 14th.

The Royals’ bullpen has won 13 games in this amazing run, not just because of excellent late pitching but because the offense never gives up.

If this isn’t the best stretch of comebacks and late-inning and extra-inning heroics in post-season history, I’d like to know what is.

And don’t forget: This builds on a strong, but distant, tradition of late-inning excellence from a generation ago that includes the Game Six comeback in the 1985 World Series and George Brett’s memorable 1980 homer against Goose Gossage, trailing 2-1 and giving the Royals a 4-2 win and a series sweep.

When it comes to the Royals, opponents better heed the advice of Yankee legend (and former Met manager) Yogi Berra: It ain’t over till it’s over.

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30 10 2015
Same drugs, new earworms | The Buttry Diary

[…] Thursday to post: I wrote about journalism ethics, Facebook and watchdog reporting on this blog; comebacks and Eric Hosmer on Hated Yankees and my slow harvest and the shelf life of stem cells on […]

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30 10 2015
Were the 1986 Red Sox better than the 2015 Royals? | Hated Yankees

[…] Well, it ain’t over, we agree on that. I quoted Yogi Berra, former Yankee legend and Mets manager, on that topic in a post just Wednesday. […]

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31 10 2015
You can’t win baseball arguments with friends, but still you try | Hated Yankees

[…] importance on post-season play leading up to and in the World Series. I gave Royal Alex Gordon, who tied Game One with a ninth-inning homer, the edge over Red Sox Hall of Famer Jim Rice, a cleanup hitter who didn’t drive in a single […]

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