The Kansas City Royals rallied from behind to take Game 4 of the World Series 5-3. The Mets limp into Sunday’s game, desperately needing a win to stay alive. The Royals are one win away from their first championship in 30 years. It’s time to believe the magic.
It looked like the New York Mets had the game in the bag. The crazy Halloween fans attending Game 4 thought the same. But when you’re playing the Kansas City Royals, nothing is for sure. Things were going smoothly for the Mets. Steven Matz threw six strong innings for the home team and looked like he might be able to make it an even Series for the Mets.
But when you’re playing the Royals, things change fast.
The eighth inning was the inning of destiny for the Royals. Down 3-2, Jeurys Familia came in from the bullpen. With runners on first and second, he induced Hosmer to hit a soft ground ball towards Daniel Murphy. The crowd was standing and going wild, anticipating the turn of an inning-ending double play.
But the Royals have the magic.
The slow roller didn’t have the bounce that Murphy thought it would, and it skipped under his glove. Murphy was guilty of glancing at the runner and didn’t get his mitt down all the way. The ball died as it rolled into shallow right field, and Ben Zobrist raced home from second base with the tying run.
The Royals continued their victorious rally in the inning. Mike Moustakas and catcher Salvador Perez followed with RBI singles to put the game out of reach.
“Hoz did a good job of putting the ball in play and make some things happen,” Moustakas said. “It’s just kind of how the ball bounced today. It kind of rolled right for us.”
Murphy made a spectacular play to end the inning, but the damage had been done. Familia had blown the lead. The Mets were faced with trying to tie the Series against the Royals’ talented bullpen. The Royals may be the team of destiny, but their relievers are the bread-and-butter for these late inning rallies.
“There’s no way to describe it. It hurts when you feel like you got a direct hand in a ballgame,” Murphy said via Fox Sports. “I didn’t do the job. That’s the most frustrating thing.”
The Royals’ Ryan Madson pitched a flawless seventh for the win, and Wade Davis worked two scoreless innings for his first save of the series. Clippard took the loss.
The Royals just keep chipping away. They keep finding ways to win. The Royals have developed a mindset that won’t allow them to believe they will lose. No matter what the situation is, they will eventually rationalize the answer for the problem. It wasn’t tons of power or the lineup batting around that won the game. It was a slow rolling ground ball that bounced away from Daniel Murphy. That was the key to the Royals rally.
Royals’ manager Ned Yost summed it up best. As reported by ESPN, he knows that the players will never give up. They have a resolve that just won’t quit.
“It’s experience. It’s character. It’s a group of really, really talented players,” Yost said. “But a lot of it, I think, is a mindset. We’re on the biggest stage that you can play in front of, and these guys are totally confident in their abilities.
“They’re as cool as cucumbers. They never panic because they’ve been through it before, and they know they’re capable of doing it again. It’s just something they believe in their heart that they can accomplish.”
The Royals believe. The rest of the world may become believers after Game 5.
[Featured Photo by Doug Pensinger / Getty Images]