Sep 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) reacts after hitting a walk-off single against the Oakland Athletics during the twelfth inning of the 2014 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 9-8. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
1. THE ROYALS HAVE PULLED OUT TOO MANY IMPROBABLE COMEBACKS TO DISMISS THEM AS LUCK
On Sept. 30, 2014, no team in baseball history had rallied from a four-run deficit to win an elimination game. The KC Royals have now repeated that feat in consecutive post-seasons. First they victimized the Oakland A’s 9-8 in what became an instant playoff classic to survive the wild card game in 2014. Next they downed the Houston Astros 9-6 to stave off elimination in Game 4 of the 2015 ALDS.
In the 2015 playoffs, the Kansas City Royals have overcome two, two-run deficits, one three-run deficit, and one four-run lead to earn wins. And, coming from behind to win isn’t something that is odd for the KC Royals. Kansas City tied the Astros for most comeback wins in the American League with 41, which ranked third in major-league baseball behind the Cardinals (44) and Pirates (43).
Yet, in the post-season, the KC Royals take it to another level. Against top relievers in do-or-die games, the Kansas City Royals have shown remarkable resilience to overcome usually large leads.
And, watching them on Saturday night, you can see it’s no accident.
In particular, you see KC Royals cleanup hitter Eric Hosmer cutting down his swing to put the ball in play with two men on, rather than to continue trying to drive the ball after Price had frustrated the KC Royals over the previous six innings. It’s difficult to take such a restrained approach when your every instinct screams at you to attack in a high pressure situation.
Now, the KC Royals seventh inning comeback in Game 2 came when the meat of the Kansas City order were facing Price for the third time. They’d had time to figure him out. But the consistency of Kansas City Royals hitters to pull these late comebacks suggests an impressive amount of baseball craft.
It’s not just luck. The KC Royals have an unusual ability to adjust when playoff pressure has to be yammering within their skull. Resisting the urge to do too much also shows supreme confidence in the players that come behind you in the order. And the entire team has this faith.
Next: Coaching Has To Play A Big Role In KC's Rally Tendencies