Because we can't have too many indiscriminate lists during the offseason. Here are my ten most memorable Royals wins of 2011. Yes, I had to leave a few good ones out - the hardest ones for me to leave off were April 1 (Kila's walkoff), July 23 (Farnsworth's blown save), and August 7 (the game where Francoeur saved Chen's win by throwing Peralta out at third).
Anyways, here goes, and this is based very subjective on what I have the best memories of (though I did go through a list of every Royals result in 2011):
10. July 29: Royals 12, Indians 0
I didn't actually really get to watch this one, but I did at least get to see the replay of the one inning everyone remembers: Cabera's gloating after hitting a grand slam (which doesn't seem bad compared to what Albert Pujols did during the World Series, but that's neither here nor there), followed by Carlos Carrasco's subsequent retaliation at Billy Butler, and immediate ejection.
9. April 21: Royals 3, Indians 2
This one might have been higher had it been televised, but I remember listening to it on the radio. It was the game where Melky Cabrera gunned down Carlos Santana at home in the 8th, and then walked off against Chris Perez the next inning. Were we all overvaluing Melky's defense after this one? We were. But it was fun.
8. August 17: Royals 5, Yankees 4
The Royals were mostly buoyed by a big third inning, in which Alex Gordon homered, and Billy Butler, well, was credited with homering, having it upheld after replay because the umpiring crew was unfamiliar with the K ground rules. MLB admitted after the game that Butler's home run should not have counted, but Girardi did not challenge the game. This could have been the first upheld protest since another game in which these two played in the 80s. You may have heard of it.
This game was also memorable for being Soria's worst save of the year. He inherited a two run lead; he gave up one, and finally got the save after 40 pitches, striking out Jorge Posada with the bases loaded. That ninth inning may well have been a microcosm of Soria's season (and I'm only going with it because this post is not about Royals losses).
7. May 27: Royals 12, Rangers 7 (14 innings)
This game looked like it was going to be a Chiefs-Cowboys score, as the Rangers led 7-6 after two innings. Nate Adcock pitched poorly, and was replaced by 2.2 innings with newly acquired Felipe Paulino, who did not even arrive at the stadium in time due to flight problems. 11.1 scoreless relief innings, including 4.1 from Paulino, kept the Royals in the game, and Rangers reliever Dave Bush finally imploded in the fourteenth, giving up homers to Melky, Hosmer, and Brayan Pena.
6. April 3: Royals 12, Angels 9 (13 innings)
This was the game where Matt Treanor hit the walk off home run in the 13th inning. We had no idea he had any power at this point in time, and for the most part, he really didn't, to be honest. A very surprising ending to a game I just don't remember all that well otherwise, as it was so early in the year.
5. June 1: Royals 2, Angels 0
The Angels failed to take advantage of 7.2 scoreless innings from young pitcher Tyler Chatwood. Paulino only went 5 innings, but Holland dazzled with six strikeouts in only 2.2 innings. This was the game, I think, where we began to realize that he was good. The game remained scoreless until Billy Butler hit a ball into dead center in the ninth inning that was reviewed and ruled a home run.
4. July 25: Royals 3, Red Sox 1, 14 innings
This game isn't so much memorable for Aviles and Escobar's 14th inning heroics or for Kyle Davies's surprising quality start. No, this was the eternal game that was supposed to start at 6 PM CST, was rain delayed for a long time, and then went so late that FSKC switched to Streetball at midnight. Sic Em! Bone Collector! Country Breakfast! This was also one of the best game threads of the year (and I don't even remember how many overflows there were), if not the best.
3. April 29: Royals 4, Twins 3
That's what speed do. Need I say more? Yes, the throw to home was completely off base, but nobody expected that from Jarrod Dyson... at least, nobody from Minnesota.
Also, Soria had a rare 1-2-3 9th: all 3 outs were groundouts.
2. July 15: Royals 2, Twins 1
Hochevar had a decent start against a bad team, yielding just one run on three hits through seven innings. It seemed he would nonetheless get a very unlucky loss... until Eric Hosmer homered off Matt Capps with two outs in the ninth. This was Capps's final game as closer for the Twins, as Joe Nathan regained the role after the game.
1. May 11: Royals 4, Yankees 3
Yes, the family reaction was way overplayed, but the excitement of Hosmer's first MLB home run in this game may have been the most exciting moment of the season. At least, I think it was for me. Finally, The Process felt tangible.
The game itself was far from immaculate. Vin Mazzaro labored to get through 4; Soria blew a save in the tenth, and Coleman ended up having to get his first MLB save in the 11th. Still, sometimes, one moment alone can do it, and that moment doesn't have to come in late innings.