Forget the catchy opening. I'm not even going to try. This team is just too special.
The Kansas City Royals are world champions. They have won the 2015 World Series. After a 10,962 day title drought, Kansas City is on top of the sports world once again. A 7-2 win on Sunday night ended the 2015 MLB season, concluding a World Series that saw the Royals beat the New York Mets in five games.
I'm sorry, has that sunk in yet? After 30 years, THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS.
Okay, now, onto the game. Where to begin?
It took five games, but we finally saw that dominant Mets starting pitching that we were promised from the start. We also saw the Royals comeback magic that we've seen the entire postseason.
Matt Harvey breezed through the Royals for most of the early portion of the game, four-hitting Kansas City over eight brilliant innings. All four Royals hits were singles. Only one man reached scoring position in the first eight innings, and that came in the first frame.
And then came the ninth. Manager Terry Collins let Harvey start the inning. He opened the frame by walking Lorenzo Cain after letting the count run full. Then came Eric Hosmer, who walloped an opposite-field double to plate Cain and cut the deficit in half. Collins went to his bullpen at this point, but closer Jeurys Familia blew his third save of the World Series in one of the wildest ways you'll ever see.
Mike Moustakas grounded out to first, advancing Hosmer to third base. Salvador Perez then came up and hit a chopper to third base, but when David Wright threw to first, Hosmer broke for the plate. Duda snagged Wright's throw at first to record the second out and then fired home, but it was wild, and Hosmer slid in safely to tie the game. The Royals' dugout exploded. Citi Field was quieted. Writers frantically erased and re-typed their columns. Pandemonium.
Way back in the first inning, Lorenzo Cain reached with a two-out single against Harvey. He stole second base to get into scoring position. Kansas City immediately blew its best scoring chance of the night when Eric Hosmer struck out, and after that, the Royals were thoroughly shut down for the remainder of the evening.
On the other side, Edinson Volquez, pitching just five days removed from the death of his father, put forth a very good start. He opened the game by surrendering a home run to Curtis Granderson when he hung a changeup on 0-2. After that, he didn't allow another hit until the sixth inning. He walked five to match his strikeout total, throwing 90 pitches over his six frames of work.
The Mets' second run came in the sixth inning, which has been trouble for Volquez all season. Facing the order for the third time, Granderson worked a leadoff walk before David Wright roped a single. Daniel Murphy then hit a chopper to first base, but Eric Hosmer mishandled the ball to load the bases with none out. Yoenis Cespedes struck out, but Lucas Duda lofted a sacrifice fly to double New York's lead.
Harvey's final line: 8.0 innings, five hits, two runs, two walks, and nine strikeouts. He threw 111 pitches.
Kelvin Herrera worked clean seventh, eighth, and ninth innings to carry the game into extras. It's the first time he's worked three innings since August 2013; ironically that was also against the Mets at Citi Field. He needed 33 pitches to record nine outs, getting three of them via the strikeout.
After Familia worked a perfect top of the 10th, Luke Hochevar countered with a perfect 10th of his own. Jonathon Niese and Hochevar both worked around two-out baserunners in the 11th to extend the game further.
In the 12th against Addison Reed, Salvador Perez blooped a single down the right-field line to open the inning. Jarrod Dyson entered as a pinch runner and promptly swiped second base. He advanced to third on a groundout by Alex Gordon. Christian Colon then came up as a pinch hitter, in the biggest spot of his career. It was his first plate appearance of the postseason. He fell behind 0-2, but on the fifth pitch of the at-bat, he lined a single into left field to break the tie. Just like that, Kansas City had the lead.
A miserable 12th inning continued for the Mets when Murphy booted a ground ball to second base, putting Orlando on. Alcides Escobar then chopped a grounder just fair down the left-field line, plating Colon and extending the lead to 4-2. The hit was Escobar's 23rd of the postseason, which is the most for any shortstop in a single playoff run. Derek Jeter formerly held the record with 22.
Zobrist was intentionally walked, so then up came Cain, looking to blow the game open against Bartolo Colon. He did just that. He lined a double into the gap in left-center field, clearing the bases and breaking open the score to 7-2. It capped a five-run 12th inning for the Royals, all but securing their second-ever world championship.
Wade Davis got the last three outs of the season to shut it down. In all, Kansas City's pitching staff held the Mets to three hits in 12 innings.
Luke Hochevar is the winner. Addison Reed is the loser.
The MVP of the series was Salvador Perez. One year after making the final out in game seven of the 2014 World Series, Perez slashed .364/.391/.455 to earn a nifty trophy and a flashy new Camaro.
The Royals finished 7-for-7 in the World Series in stealing bases. Oh, and the bullpen tonight? Six innings, two hits, no runs, and six strikeouts.
Remember that stat about how the Royals dominate opponents in the late innings of playoff games? They outscored their opponents 51-11 from the seventh inning on this postseason. That. Is. Ridiculous.
Also, Kansas City won 11 games this postseason. Seven of them were contests where they trailed by multiple runs at some point during the game. Needless to say, that is a record.
For a while, this game mirrored Game Five of last year's World Series. In that game, Madison Bumgarner shut out Kansas City while James Shields, Kansas City's starter, allowed two runs over six innings. That is, until the ninth inning. And everything after that. And the happy feelings that ended the game.
This team was six outs away from elimination on October 12th. They trailed the Houston Astros, 6-2, in the eighth inning of the fourth game of the ALDS. The rest is history.
On a more personal note, I want to thank the readers and administrators of Royals Review for allowing me to write this season. It's a privilege to write for you guys, and I can't wait for next year to continue doing so. I'm just a junior in college, but this experience has dramatically changed and influenced my future for the better. You truly are the best fanbase in sports, and there's not a single one out there that deserves this more than you.
NOW CELEBRATE THIS, KANSAS CITY!!!!! THE ROYALS ARE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!