Not only had he stolen a base, he’d also scored from first on a triple earlier in the game.
It was just that kind of night.
Later, the brittle-but-phenomenal center-fielder made two unbelievable, pandemonium inducing catches.
The best player in baseball finally got his first postseason hit—a home run, even—but it mattered about as much as spitting into the sea.
And the best setup man in baseball—maybe even the best relief pitcher entirely—yielded a run, but it was harmless.
Someone coined the phrase “RoyalsDevilMagic” a few weeks ago on Twitter, and it feels apt. This team feels like it’s practicing some sort of voodoo, like maybe Ned Yost took a trip to Haiti in the offseason in a last ditch effort to save his job.
After the game, the celebration extended to McFadden’s in the Power and Light district where Eric Hosmer bought everyone in the bar (oh, say, 500 people or so) drinks for an hour. Eric Hosmer, who went from goat to GOAT in four postseason appearances. Eric Hosmer, who earned himself tens-of-millions of dollars for the past week’s work.
Jerrod Dyson probably did a backflip or three.
Anyone who told you that they saw this coming is a liar at best, or at the very least, a psychotic person.
I thought their biggest test would be the Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics; in fact, I wasn’t so sure they’d win it. Once the Jon Lester dragon had been slayed, however, I figured almost anything was possible.
But while I thought the ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels, Anaheim (who sported the best record in baseball) was a winnable series, a sweep seemed outlandish. I said in my preview piece last week that, in order to win, Kansas City needed to “play their game” and “keep Albert Pujols and Mike Trout from beating them.”
It was generic analysis, the kind of wisdom that solicits warranted refrains of, “Well no shit,” but the Royals did those things, and, well, here we are.
The Royals won a postseason series in their first return to October baseball since 1985, and they made it look relatively easy. They did it by playing their bizarre, antiquated version of small-ball, by doing all of the little things right. The ageless adage about pitching and defense has never been truer. The fact that they’ve sprinkled in excellent speed and base-running prowess with a dash of timely hitting is the icing on some tooth-achingly sweet confection. (Devil’s food cake, perhaps?)
In short, this team is pretty hard to believe.
According to the statistical analysis site fangraphs.com, the Royals now have a 30% chance of winning the World Series. The team with the next highest likelihood of winning? The Baltimore Orioles at 16%.
All roads to glory lead through Baltimore.
The adventure begins anew on Friday night.
Now if I can just find a way to put myself into a coma until then, everything will be OK.