Kansas City Royals Big Inning Beginnings

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Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

What followed was a long, cold, lonely winter of faint discontent; a discontent which never quite thawed for the players, even as they trekked from the desert of Spring Training to Opening Day. The team racked up seven straight wins to begin the 2015 season, and didn’t lose more than two consecutive games until the end of May.

They won 80 games before September and, although the Twins and the Tigers flirted with being on top in the AL Central, the Royals had a 13 game lead over the former by the end of August, as the latter faded out of the picture entirely.

This, despite the fact that virtually no paid prognosticator picked KC to vie for winning the AL Central – to say nothing about their chances of returning to the postseason. The only real threat was the old season attendance record, which the Royals shattered on Wednesday, September 9th. (It was just seven years ago that the team had the worst attendance in the league.)

As September waned and autumn loomed, the Royals looked as though they might lose home field advantage in the playoffs to the Jays, but they held on by two games. We’ll never know if that made a difference in a parallel universe or not, but it sure felt like a difference-maker. Those big Canuck bats at the smaller dome up north seemed like they could be lethal canons against our starting pitchers.

Next: Making the improbable a given