Royals Showing Ability to Win in Multiple Ways


Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 Kansas City Royals are going to the World Series.

Feel free to keep reading that sentence as many times as you need to in order for it to sink in. For me, that’s going to take a while.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had the opinion that the Royals could do some damage in the playoffs if they got there, but the way that they have swept through the American League is simply mind-boggling.

They were down 4 runs to the Athletics with just 6 outs to go. They won.

They were up against the Angels – the team with the best record in baseball. They won.

They were up against the Orioles – the team with the 2nd-best record in the league. They won.

They just kept winning, and they did so in ways no one really expected. Sure, they used their team speed extensively in the Wild Card game, but their wins against the Angels came thanks to a power outburst from Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Then in the first two games of the ALCS, the Royals continued to score runs in bunches, despite possessing an offense that ranked among the worst in the league during the regular season.

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It’s fitting, then, that the Royals’ final two wins of the series came in the most 2014 Royals way possible. Strong starting pitching. Flawless defense. A lockdown bullpen. And just enough offense to get by.

The wins in Game 3 and 4 more closely resembled the team we grew used to watching this season, with Alex Gordon making spectacular catch after spectacular catch, Wade Davis making hitters look foolish, and the lineup scratching runs across by putting the ball in play and running like crazy. The Royals collected 12 hits in the final 2 games, and only 1 of them went for extra bases – Billy Butler‘s 8th inning double yesterday.

Gone were the home runs. The wins remained.

In the same way they’ve done so many times this year, the Royals found a way to win. The game wasn’t the most beautiful thing to watch, but that doesn’t make the victory any less enjoyable. They don’t need to apologize for scoring their only runs of the game thanks to an error. The Royals have shown they can score runs in any situation, and yesterday was just another example of that.

They’ve won playoff games with speed. They’ve won playoff games with power. They’ve won playoff games with pitching and defense.

Regardless of which version of this team we see next week, the Royals have proven they have the ability to beat any team in multiple ways, and that makes them a very difficult matchup for the NL champion. We’ll get into a more detailed breakdown of the preview in the coming days, but for now, it’s time to enjoy the moment.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals are going to the World Series.