Kansas City Royals Seventh Inning Comeback a Thing of Beauty


You should admire David Price. First, he does seem to be a nice guy. And no one has six innings like he did Saturday afternoon. Still the ball game continued, as six is not nine. That would prove to be the Blue Jays downfall in the Kansas City Royals comeback victory.

So, how did the first six innings go precisely? After a single to the first batter. Price did not give up a hit in the rest of the first.  Then all of the second, third, fourth, and fifth. Then he struck out the side in the sixth. That is some serious pitching, especially in the postseason.

And so, the Royals entered the bottom of the seventh down 3-0. Then the fun began. Ben Zobrist hit a dunker between Jose Bautista and Ryan Goins.  Was this a lack of communication or just dumb luck? Either way, it is Toronto non-error error. More on that later.

Lorenzo Cain then singles to right.  First and second occupied, Eric Hosmer stepped up to the plate. He singled to left center and plated Zobrist, cutting the Toronto lead to 3-1 and putting runners on the corners. On FS1, Harold Reynolds complained that Price is not using his curve ball. Reynolds asks whether Price can deal with adversity.

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Now we get to what the announcers later said was the key to the game. Kendrys Morales is known for RBIs and double plays. This time he hits a sure double play ball to short. Morales is slower than an Olympic sprinter who is 83. So it looks like the shortstop simply fields, runs to second, and makes an easy throw to first to get two.

All of that happened. But only one out resulted rather than two. What happened? Enter Ned Yost‘s right hand leg, Rusty Kuntz.

On the Morales’ ball hit to short, Kuntz put Hoz on the move during the pitch home. By the time that Tulo is getting to 2nd with the ball, Hosmer is dusting himself off safe. Tulo still easily throws out Morales. But there is  only one out, with a runner on second and another run in.

Mike Moustakas then golfed a pitch over the second baseman.  The Wizard of Hoz slid home, Bautista’s throw home is too late and not on target,  knotting the score at three. Bautista’s face shows frustration. High fives abound all around the dugout.  The Moose has singled off a change up.

Salvador Perez was up next. A touching scene ensued, as Perez rattles a foul ball off the Toronto’s catcher’s mask. Perez touched Russell Martin‘s shoulder in sympathy. Catchers and home plate umpire are in the same boat, as they take a daily beating. There is a fellowship among catchers and umpires who wear what Bob Uecker calls the “tools of ignorance.” Price looked to the sky as if there is hope there. But there is no hope there, only the high-up Royals fans. Then Perez got a back door cutter as he was rung up for the second out of the inning.

As Alex Gordon came up, it was as if Ned Yost could foresee what would happen. He got Kelvin Herrera up in the bullpen for the top of the eighth, just in case the inevitable happens.  Gordon went to a 3-2 count.  As usual, there seemed to be an endless number of foul balls, but eventually, something must give. Finally Gordon hits one to the gap, a true back breaker for the Blue Jays. Moose scores and the Kansas City Royals are magically up one.

Finally Toronto manager John Gibbons makes a trip to the neighborhood Price Chopper. Perhaps he was a little late. Price’s gem has come crashing down under a barrage of pesky hits. Aaron Sanchez to the bump as Price is steaming in the dugout.

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Now Alex Rios rises up with a single and Gordon scores.  That makes it five to three. Esky finally grounds out, ending the inning and starting Toronto’s period of grieving.  Ned has kept the train moving.

It isn’t enough to be dominant through six if you are raked in the seventh.

After the game, Bautista seemed to give a non-answer as to whether his second baseman was at fault in regard to the opening bloop hit.  Throwing his teammate under the bus opened Bautista to criticism on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

At the end of the game, the bow-tied Ken Rosenthal of Fox interviewed some of the Royals.  The main questions to Gordon and Moose seemed to revolve around how they keep coming back–last year and this year in the post-season.  They both seem to say that once you ride that horse, it becomes easier the next time around. Moose appeared to be involved in firing up the dugout.  He said, “You are never out of the game.”

Then in one interview with Hoz, Rosenthal emphasized the crucial play of that half-inning: the Royals’ sending of Hosmer from first when Morales appeared to be hitting into a DP.  Hoz arriving at the bag early gave the Royals a crucial extra out.

Four come from behind wins in the playoffs explain what the Kansas City Royals are about – never giving up.

Next: Why Miraculous Sports Comebacks Matter