It feels like yesterday, but it’s actually been two whole years since the Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series. Take a look back at the decisive win.
Since the final out of the 2014 World Series, the Kansas City Royals were on a mission. They were going to win the world championship in 2015, and nothing would stand in their way. The crowning achievement came exactly two years ago when the Royals opened November with a sensational Game 5 win over the Mets.
After the thrilling Game 1 comeback, Johnny Cueto had pitched Kansas City to a 2-0 lead. The series shifted to New York, where the Mets won Game 3. A late rally on Halloween night gave the Royals a commanding 3-1 series lead. The next night gave the Kansas City Royals a chance to capture their second World Series title, and they took it.
In a rematch of Game 1, Matt Harvey and Edinson Volquez took the mound for the Mets and Royals, respectively. The right-handers pitched effectively most of the night. Harvey pitched better, but Volquez’s performance had to be one of the grittier in World Series history. Pitching just days after his father’s funeral, Volquez bounced back from a leadoff home run by Curtis Granderson to pitch a solid game.
Granderson’s blast gave this series two leadoff homers in five games. Both came in the bottom of the first in a game started by Harvey and Volquez. It was Granderson’s third home run of the series and staked New York to an early 1-0 lead.
The score held until the sixth inning when the Mets tacked on an insurance run. A walk, single and error loaded the bases with nobody out against Volquez. After a popup, Lucas Duda drove in Granderson with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 advantage. Volquez escaped without any additional damage.
Kelvin Herrera followed by facing the minimum over the next two innings. That included striking out the side in the eighth inning. It gave the Kansas City Royals some momentum heading into the ninth against Harvey, who had thrown eight shutout innings.
Another Late Comeback
After Harvey lobbied manager Terry Collins to let him go back out for the ninth inning, the Kansas City Royals made sure he regretted it. Lorenzo Cain walked and stole second base before Eric Hosmer hit a line-drive that one-hopped off the left-field wall. His double chased Cain home and Harvey off the mound.
Jeurys Familia attempted to close out the 2-1 game. On an often overlooked play, Moustakas grounded out to the right side to allow Hosmer to move to third base. Then came the series-defining play. With the infield drawn in, Salvador Perez hit a broken-bat grounder toward shortstop. Third baseman David Wright cut in front of Wilmer Flores. He glanced at Hosmer before throwing to first base. That’s when Hosmer broke for home, forcing a throw from Duda that sailed wide and allowed him to score the tying run.
You can debate whether the decision by Hosmer was smart or stupid. But, as Joe Buck said, his base-running was “unbelievable.” The play helped send the game to extra innings, where the bullpen of the Kansas City Royals continued to shine.
Extra Inning Rally
After scoreless 10th and 11th frames, the Kansas City Royals put together one of their timely hitting attacks in the top of the 12th. Facing Addison Reed, Perez dropped a single into right field. Jarrod Dyson entered to pinch-run and stole second base. An Alex Gordon groundout sent Dyson to third with just one out. Pinch-hitter Christian Colon — in his only at-bat of the 2015 playoffs — gave the Royals a 3-2 lead with a single to left field.
That opened the floodgates. Paulo Orlando reached on an error, and Alcides Escobar doubled to drive in Colon. Reed intentionally walked Ben Zobrist to load the bases before making way for Bartolo Colon. Cain broke things open with his bases-clearing double for a healthy 7-2 lead.
Wade Davis came on to close things out and made sure there was little threat for a comeback. He struck out Duda and Travis d’Arnaud to open the inning. Michael Conforto singled and went to second on fielder’s indifference. It didn’t matter, though, as Davis struck out Flores looking to clinch the World Series.
The moment capped off an incredible two-year run for the Kansas City Royals. After an incredible 2014 push to the World Series, the 2015 run ended a 30-year title drought for the franchise. The moment allowed fans who remembered the 1985 World Series victory to relive the feeling. It also gave younger supporters a first taste of being world champions.
All fans rejoiced along with the players and coaches from afar. That is until the parade when both group came together to celebrate the historic achievement. But we can take another look at that later this week.