Let's do it again!

My goodness. The Royals did it again this afternoon.

It was almost like watching the 2015 American League Wild Card Game all over again.

Hope. Despair. Anger. Hope again. And finally euphoria. 

Today was do or die for the Royals. Game 4 in Houston. The Astros led the series two games to one.

I was scheduled to have the day off from work anyway – not because there was playoff baseball to be played, but because I was desperate for a “me” day and to work on some projects that weren’t connected to my day-to-day job. … As it turned out, Faye was running a fever for most of the weekend and still wasn’t well enough to go to school today. So it turned into a “me and Faye” day.

We turned on the game for the first pitch and I tried to get Faye to relax with me on the couch and fall asleep. … The Royals went up 2-0. The Astros tied the score at 2. And Faye finally fell asleep with her blankets on the floor in front of the TV about midway through the game.

In Houston’s half of the seventh inning, the Astros blew it open. The inning ended with the Astros leading 6-2 and the home crowd was absolutely roaring. The Fox commentators had pretty much written Houston into the ALCS and began talking about how the Royals roster might change during the offseason.

Oh sure, I was disgusted the Royals had given up so many runs and nervous that their season could be over in a matter of minutes. …

But this is the Royals we’re talking about. They fight and find a way to win when it’s necessary. We’ve watched them come back before …

In the top of the eighth, they loaded the bases and started chipping at Houston’s lead with five straight singles. They took pitches. They fouled off pitches. The Astros made mistakes. The Royals came all the way back.

I was doing all I could to squelch my cheering as Faye stayed sleeping on the floor and I paced the room. In my office, my colleagues had turned on the game and were sending their commentary via text messages. I imagine similar scenes were playing out throughout the Kansas City area ...

Then, Drew Butera, the Royals light-hitting catcher who had replaced the Royals’ MVP Sal Perez, had an epic at-bat to take a walk and keep the inning alive. Alex Gordon stepped to the plate next and grounded into a 4-3 putout but knocked in the go-ahead run.

Here's how it went down ...

The video highlights ...

Faye woke up after the comeback was complete and parked herself on my lap in front of the TV. We did the “Let’s go Royals” cheer and counted down the remaining outs. My parents called, too, and shared in our excitement.

The eighth and ninth innings, as we say, belonged to Wade Davis. And Eric Hosmer put an exclamation mark on the win with a two-run bomb in the ninth.

I will revel in this tonight – as I root the Cubs and Dodgers in the NLDS games – and look forward to watching a Game 5 at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday.

Here's what Sam Mellinger had to say ...
Again? This happened again? You could not help but be reminded of last year’s Wild Card Game against the Oakland Athletics, almost exactly 54 weeks earlier. A four-run deficit erased in the eighth inning — with Luke Gregerson on the mound for the other team, even — and if the Royals complete the deed on Wednesday, this one will fuel the same sorts of stories and awe. ...

The Royals had two hits and no life across seven innings. A close game blew open when Ryan Madson allowed an inherited runner and then two of his own to score. The Royals trailed by four. The Astros had hit four home runs, and the air in Minute Maid Park filled with cheers. At some point, the Texas governor’s official Twitter account congratulated the Astros on winning.

Moments like the one the Royals gave us on Monday are a blast precisely because they come from nowhere. This is what makes baseball so much fun. It is our most measurable sport, and it is also our most unpredictable. That’s a heck of a thing.

And here's a good read about how a gruff Royals manager came to win with the funnest team in major-league baseball.

In other news, the Cubs went up two games to one on the Cardinals at a rocking Wrigley Field tonight. I watched the first four innings, up to Starlin Castro's home run at home and ended up listening to the rest at Phoebe's gymnastics practice. It seemed like ever other Cubs batter had Pat Hughes making his home run call ... The Cubs knocked out six tonight! It's time like these that have me yearning to be back in Chicago.

Postseason baseball rocks.

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