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Reactions to the Royals winning the American League Championship Series

Back-to-back AL Champs!

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals clinched the fourth American League pennant in franchise history and will return to the World Series for the second consecutive year. Here were the reactions to last night's epic 4-3 Game Six victory over the Blue Jays.

Ken Rosenthal writes that Mike Jirschele won the game by being aggressively wise.

Jirschele watched Bautista cut off Hosmer’s hit near the foul line, knowing the right fielder possessed a strong arm. Second baseman Ryan Goins had set up as a cutoff man in the "4" hole, near his normal position. If Bautista had thrown to Goins, Jirschele said he would have held Cain at third, fearing a throw home. But Bautista threw near the bag, where shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was waiting. Tulowitzki turned and fired to the plate, but the play at home was not close.

"I was waiting for him to release the ball," Jirschele said of Bautista. "As soon as he released it, with Cain running full speed, I was not stopping him."

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that Jirschele should silence any critics that questioned his decision to hold up Gordon last year.

"If Cain was running last year, we probably would have scored, too," Gordon said. "But my slow ass was running."....

"Once I hit third and I saw him waving, I was definitely confused," Cain said. "I didn’t know what was going on. But I trust him to the fullest."

Ned Yost, on Lorenzo's run:

Its not every day a runner scores from first on a single.

Lorenzo Cain's run represents the Royals success, writes Joon Lee.

Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy is impressed.

Wade Davis was not coming out of that game, rain delay or not.

Every once in a while, the silence broke up when manager Ned Yost poked his head in. How do you feel? Always, the same response. Fine. Nick Kenney, the team's head trainer, nervously watched the clock. Closers rarely come back out for a second inning, in any circumstance, but after a rain delay? Later, longtime baseball men would say they had never seen anyone do what Davis was preparing to do. Yost was going to let Davis make the decision. He'd earned that.

Kenney gave Davis heat packs, stretches, and neural flossing to stay loose, but he couldn't make time stop. A half hour went by. Forty minutes. After 45 minutes, Game 6 of the American League Championship Series resumed. It would be an hour between Davis' last pitch of the eighth inning and his first pitch of the ninth. The decision was Davis', which meant the decision was easy.

"I'm going back out," pitching coach Dave Eiland would remember him saying, "because I want to go to the World Series."

Jeff Passan marvels at Wade Davis and how the Royals were able to stay resilient.

For Davis to stare down the situation he created, first and third with no outs, and escape by retiring the presumed AL MVP, was about right for this team that last season learned how good it is and spent this year reminding the rest of the world.

"When we came back from the rain delay, the whole thing was lined up," Royals outfielder Jonny Gomes said. "Who has the most stones?"

Call it stones or cojones or moxie or whatever euphemism best fits. The Royals, kings of the comeback this postseason, outdid themselves on a night when so many things were conspiring against them.

Speaking of Gomes.

Vahe Gregorian writes that the nucleus of the team overcame obstacles to get here.

But no one had more heavy expectations of them as future franchise cornerstones than first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, each of whom was promoted from Class AAA Omaha in mid-2011 with the label of being the future. The ebb and flow of their first few years frequently made it seem uncertain to outsiders that they’d ever fulfill those hopes until they helped carry the Royals to Game 7 of the World Series last postseason. And in a fine piece of symmetry, here they were on Friday, each making major offensive contributions before completing the final out of the game with Moustakas fielding Josh Donaldson’s hard grounder to throw him out at first and douse a last Toronto threat.

"It’s not surprising, because they’re competitors and they love to play," Moore said on the field after the game. "They love the moment, they want to be in the pressure situation. "We’ve seen that time and time again."

The Royals offense clicked because of Alcides Escobar and Ben Zobrist at the top of the line up.

"As soon as the rubber met the road in that last week, and then in the playoffs when the lights came on, he was as focused as can be and ready to come out and play good baseball. That’s what he’s done," Zobrist said of Escobar. "He’s been so solid at shortstop for us. But then to come up with the bat he has, you can’t ask the guy to do anymore."...

"For me, it’s a lot of fun being in the leadoff spot because I like to swing the bat and still be aggressive," Escobar said. "That’s why I’ve been really consistent in this series."

Caleb Humpreys, the 19-year old fan from Blue Springs who caught the Mike Moustakas home run was worried he might become the next infamous fan.

"I got really worried it was going to be taken away," he said about the umpire review. "I feared they were going to lose by one and I was going to be the kid who took it away." But the umps didn't take it away and the home run stood. "I'm on top of the world," the former Blue Springs baseball player said. "I never expected to have this experience."

Blue Jays fans are not pleased about the fact no fan interference was called on.

The Star follows some watch parties around town to see how fans reacted to the game's unfolding events.

Fans celebrated.

Thanks JJ! And thanks to all the fans that stuck with this team and stuck with us. You will be rewarded with all the otters. #TaketheCrown!