On paper, the Kansas City Royals probably shouldn’t have gotten this deep in the playoffs, especially without dropping a game. In the regular season, this young team only had 95 home runs all year, which was last in the league, and only won 89 out of 162 games. However, those wins were enough to earn the Royals the wildcard going into the postseason, and they have made the most out of the opportunity.
Even though they have had to go into extra innings in four of the six playoff games they’ve played in so far, Kansas City has found ways to win, and they now lead the Baltimore Orioles 2-0 in the American League Championship Series. Speed has definitely been a contributing factor in their wins, but so has the power hitting the Royals have found in the post-season.
Mike Moustakas, the Kansas City Royals’ third baseman, hit his fourth home run in the post-season against the Orioles, helping the Royals win Game 2 of the ALCS by a score of 6-4. As noted in the Washington Post, his post-season performance has tied the Royals’ Moustakas with baseball legends Carl Yastrzemski, Mike Schmidt, and Jimmie Foxx for career postseason home runs. Moustakas hit 15 home runs in the regular season.
Another Kansas City player whose bat has come to life in the postseason is Lorenzo Cain. Cain went 4 for 5 in Saturday’s win. The Royals’ centerfielder hit an average of.301 during the regular season, but performances like Saturday’s has propelled him to.750 for the ALCS.
Cain is one of the players on the Kansas City roster who has speed. During the regular season, Cain stole 28 bases, and he had one stolen base in Saturday’s win. Even though the Royals had a dismal year with home runs, speed helped them win during the regular season, and has an impact in the postseason. Behind players like Jarrod Dyson, who stole 36 bases during the regular season, they led the league in stolen bases with 153.
While manufacturing runs with stolen bases has worked well for Kansas City, the Royals have found power in their bats at just the right time. ESPN notes that Kansas City has won three of their extra inning postseason games with home runs, making them the first team to do that in major league history.
Although Las Vegas bookmakers probably didn’t give Kansas City’s young roster a chance to win in the postseason like they did the St. Louis Cardinals, as noted by the Inquisitr, the Royals are only two games away from returning to the World Series for the first time in 29 years. Ironically, they beat the Cardinals in 1985 to win the only championship Kansas City has had.
Most of the Royals’ players hadn’t been born yet or were in diapers when Kansas City last appeared in the World Series. However, if the Royals keep hitting, stealing bases and playing like they have in their first six postseason games, this young team could very well find themselves playing in the World Series this year. The Royals return home to Kauffman Stadium on Monday to try and win the two games they need to continue their magical postseason run.
Let us know if you think the Royals will play in the World Series and who their opponent might be. Will it be another “I-70 Series” with the Royals and Cardinals, or will the San Francisco Giants face Kansas City instead?
[Image Courtesy of AP]