The KC Royals won 5-4 in game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros one year ago (October 9, 2015). On October 10, the Royals enjoyed a travel day before game 3 in Houston.
I must confess, I’m suffering playoff withdrawal syndrome after watching the early post-season action in 2016. While playoff baseball is still more intense, the current post-season just doesn’t have the same impact without the Kansas City Royals involved.
Thus, I decided to take a look back at last year’s World Series run as this October progresses.
The big thing that jumps out at me from the 5-4 game 2 win is that it was a critical victory that has largely been obscured by seven more comebacks that happened later in the post-season. Make no mistake however, if the Kansas CIty Royals had lost on October 9, 2015, their playoff run would likely have ended on October 11.
KC’s Playoff Future Looked Bleak
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Kansas City prospects looked pretty bleak when the sixth inning started. Trade deadline headliner Johnny Cueto had given up one run in the first, two in the second, and one in the third to put KC behind 4-2 after three innings. Colby Rasmus was Cueto’s nemisis, racking up an RBI double in the first and a solo home run to lead off the third.
Houston rental Scott Kazmir settled down over the next two innings, allowing only a walk to Alex Gordon in the fifth while striking out three. When Ben Zobrist flied out to center to begin the sixth, Kazmir seemed poised to hand off a two-run lead to a bullpen that put up the fourth-best ERA in the AL.