So here we are... Or more so, there we were. 90 feet away from a tie game and 360 feet from a World Series title. The Royals went 11-4 this post season. Literally the most wins a team can have without winning the World Series and that's a heart-full and heart breaking number. A warm feeling and a cold number.
Sal Perez's final at bat:
Bochy had the scouting report on Perez. Posey had the report, Bumgarner had the report, and every person watching the game live or on tv had the report. Unfortunately, the only person without the scouting report on Perez was Salvador Perez himself. Six balls. Six extremely easy to call balls yet Perez got to a 2-2 count on two swinging strikes.
Here's how they pitched Perez the entire night
One strike thrown to him the entire night yet Perez took just 3 balls. Perez is an elite contact hitter, but he has terrible plate discipline. This is a known thing and it's probably something we'll always have to live with. He's the 12th best catcher all time through an age 24 season, and he'll be a Royal for at least the next two years and then likely the following three if his options are picked up. I think we can live with the poor plate discipline at the response of a 3.5 win league average catcher.
The guy was ridiculous. Expected to throw just two innings, he ended up going five and was dominant. It sucks that he had a historical run against the Royals, but there's gotta be some solace that the Royals didn't get beat by a lesser pitcher. Bumgarner had the KC hitters swinging at outside pitches his entire outing.
I'm sorry I put that out into both the digital and physical universe. Even so, this was an awesome ride. The World Series is a thing that only two fan-bases a year get to enjoy and one of them has to go home heart broken. It's a binary outcome. A zero sum game. This was the most fun October of my life. I'm a Mizzou fan so you can imagine the pain I've seen, but this is a sweet sorrow. A generational unseen sorrow and a new high. Something that can be remembered and a feeling that can be evoked for as long as you've got the heart and the strength of stomach.
Let's do this again next year.