2019 is mercifully over. The Royals lost 103 games. Ned Yost retired. Alex Gordon may have played his last game as a Royal.
But today, the Royals put a smile on everyone’s face. They won their 162nd and final game, 5-4, over the Minnesota Twins. They did it for Ned. He went out a winner for the 746th time in his managerial career.
The Twins got three in the first inning off two home runs while facing Jorge Lopez, who was among the biggest disappointments for the 2019 Royals. Lopez gave up a tiebreaking run in the fifth on another homer, but he otherwise did fine by his standards.
The Royals, down 3-0, got the three runs back in the first four innings. Jorge Soler tattooed his 48th and final homer of the year, solidifying his new record after breaking the old mark by 10.
In the fourth, the Royals got two more runs on a double by Erick Mejia and a single by Nick Dini. By this point, Ned Yost had already begun pulling starters from the game by this point, though the remaining pieces left would make some noise later on.
It wasn’t until the eighth inning that the Royals finally pulled even, but Hunter Dozier banged a leadoff triple and Ryan O’Hearn hit a game-tying double. They had a great chance to take the lead right there, but they fumbled it, which would have made the Chiefs proud.
In the ninth, Humberto Arteaga doubled down the left-field line to open the frame. Nick Dini blooped a single into center field to move Arteaga to third. Brett Phillips hit a game-winning, sacrifice fly lineout to right. 5-4.
Four men tied for the MLB lead with 10 triples this year. Three of those four are Royals: Hunter Dozier, Whit Merrifield, and Adalberto Mondesi.
Whit Merrifield was pulled in the middle of the contest. He finished the season with 206 hits, which leads the league. Jorge Soler’s 48 homers also led the AL.
Somehow, this team had the AL’s leaders in homers, hits, triples, and (almost) steals, and they were still freaking terrible. I’m not sure how that’s possible.
Alex Gordon was pulled in the fifth inning and got a standing ovation for his efforts. We’ll see what his future holds.
The Royals finish the season 59-103. 2020 awaits. The 2010s close with Ned Yost at the controls of each of those 10 years, and it brought some of the craziest, wildest memories in franchise history. Thank you, Ned.
Please don’t hire Mike Matheny.