Something must be said for coming back to win a World Series after you lose a heartbreaker the year before. It shows amazing perseverance, great leadership and good fortune, when you battle back through another long grueling season to capture the prize. It just appeared that the Royals were not going to be denied no matter how many young fire ballers with long hair the Mets threw at them.
The Mets came into this series the favorite based on the pitching staff they possessed and sporting the hottest player on the planet, Daniel Murphy who was crushing everything thrown his way. I compare the Royals like their opponent the year before, the Giants, who seemed to have a certain resiliency to grind out games. They Royals would bend but never break by holding on long enough to pull together that one rally that would put them in the lead. The bullpen would follow up by shutting the opponent down.
The Royals made six come from behind victories in these playoffs. A team that is able to pull off that kind of feat should have been the betting favorite in the playoffs. They have that extra gear and mojo, whatever you want to call it. Players like Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakis, Kendrys Morales and Alcides Escobar are not household names but collectively they are solid players who are still young and will be back next year. The Royals also had their role players stepping up in key situations which are the little surprise that the Mets couldn’t stop. The starting pitching staff of Edison Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Yordano Ventura were good enough to hold down the other teams long enough for their great bullpen to put the hammer down. The bullpen of Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madson and Franklin Morales were strong throughout the playoff run. Every year, the teams that grind, play small ball and have shutdown pens are more and more the key to playoff baseball.
I am happy for the Royal fan base that waited thirty years to celebrate another championship. Their parade is on Tuesday, November 3rd and I hear that most of the schools are closed. That speaks volumes for the town and the level of excitement that this two year ride has brought to Missouri. The Royal fan base also extends into Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma who love their baseball like their other baseball city in Missouri. Salute to the Kansas City Royals, World Champs!
Picture – ABCnews.go.com