The Royals playoff odds may be down to less than one percent, but they must be getting advice from Captain Han Solo these days, for he once said "never tell me the odds." The Royals, despite their long shot at their first playoff berth since Ronald Reagan was president, aren't quitting on the season quite yet.
Starter Jeremy Guthrie put up a three-spot in the top of the first, thanks in part to a two-run home run by Justin Smoak. By the fifth, the Royals were down by five (by the way, we need to have a serious talk about how much Guthrie has regressed in the second half. The "WINS! WINS!" crowd may not be noticing, but Guthrie really hasn't been that good this year). Past Royals teams would have packed it in at this point, on a lazy, sparsely-attended weekday afternoon game.
But not these plucky Royals. Alex Gordon hung glorious dong, his team-leading seventeenth homer of the year. Emilio Bonifacio, Billy Butler, and Sal Perez hopped aboard the singles train to produce another fifth inning run to cut the deficit to 5-3. The Royals erupted in the eighth off reliever Brandon Maurer with an RBI double by Eric Hosmer and an RBI single Billy "He's not clutch except all the times he gets clutch hits" Butler. Justin Maxwell's sacrifice fly was deep enough for even Billy to score, and the Royals took a 6-5 lead into the ninth. Greg Holland time. Game over.
Except for our old pal Raul Ibanez. The Ageless Wonder reached out and popped a Holland fastball over the fence for a game-tying home run. Again, the old Royals would have fallen apart at this point. BUT NOT THESE PLUCKY ROYALS.
We got some free baseball as the teams battled in extra innings. Each team would get an opportunity with a runner in scoring position, but would fail to score. Finally, in the thirteenth, Mike Moustakas, who had entered the game as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, said "ENOUGH OF THIS NONSENSE" and poked a Chance Ruffin fastball down the right field line for a walk-off dong shot.
Friends, the Royals are still alive for the playoffs. If the Falcon can do the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs, the Royals can and will make the playoffs.