World Series: Royals strike again in Game 4

It is a gorgeous, sunny Sunday morning to start the month of November. And the Royals could win the World Series tonight – thanks to another thrilling victory last night.

All of this, of course, is not a surprise to those of us who have been watching this team all year long. It was just another night of Royals baseball. Never giving up. Capitalizing on the opponent’s mistakes. And keeping the line moving.

Take it away Sam Mellinger
When they fall behind, they do their best work. It would be repetitive if it wasn’t so enthralling. It would be unrealistic if we weren’t all watching in real time.

Their greatest moments have all come after mistakes by the other side. The Astros’ Carlos Correa missing that grounder that bounced off the mound in Houston. The Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista throwing to the wrong base in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Now this.

That’s part of the story, of course. Baseball is a game of failure, it is often said, and the winners and losers are separated by how they manage. The Royals make these things count.
Finally. Finally – after the Royals struck in that eighth inning last nightthe narrative – not the momentum, which I’ll defend the Royals have had since Game One – seems to be changing.
Remember, while the Mets were going through all the pain of the last 29 years, the troubled careers of Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, the 2000 Series, the Adam Wainwright pitch, the collapses of 2007 and 2008, the Royals were losing too. The Royals were losing worse, and for longer. The Mets have been a wild epic soap opera tragedy with constant twists and turns that we can't stop watching, but the Royals have been far more depressing: They've just been quiet, modest, sullen failures, the sort of barren, depressing novel that never makes the bestseller list and ends up going out of print. They've been going through the same pain Mets fans have, maybe even worse pain. This is their story too. And this is looking like their breakthrough.
Funny how people were drawing connections to Bill Buckner after Eric Hosmer’s Game One error, and now the attention has turned to Daniel Murphy after his costly error last night.

For the first seven innings of last night’s game it was a mostly unexciting, tedious affair. Steven Matz went about his business on the mound for the Mets and Michael Conforto homered twice to provide New York with a lead.

It also didn’t help the Royals when Ben Zobrist was called out in the first for interfering with the catcher while Alcides Escobar stealing second – resulting in Escobar being called out, too. And Alex Rios forgot there were only two outs in the bottom of the third and missed a chance to throw out Wilmer Flores as he was tagging up.

But the Royals had hung around all night. In the fifth, Salvador Perez doubled and Alex Gordon batted him in with a single to put Kansas City on the board and make it 2-1. After Conforto’s second home run, Ben Zobrist doubled and Lorenzo Cain scored to make it 3-2.

I had seen a tweet early in the game that noted the team to score first in this series had not won either of the first three games. I figured all along the Royals were going to win Game Four. It was just a matter of when they were going to make their move.

Then the eighth inning happened.

After Alcides Escobar led off the inning with a ground out, Zobrist walked. Cain walked.
Hosmer hit a soft ground ball toward Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, and the ball bounced under his glove. Zobrist scored and suddenly we had a tie game.

Mike Moustakas followed with a RBI single. And Salvador Perez matched it in the next at-bat. Royals led, 5-3.

They did it off Jeurys Familia, the Mets’ closer whom the Fox analysts had been praising for most of the night and calling for New York manager Terry Collins to put in the game. Again, their memories seemed to be so short that they didn’t recall Alex Gordon beat Familia in Game One. Every time they mentioned that Familia needed to enter the game, I thought, Yeah, go ahead, stick him in there.

Some of my favorite tweets from the inning …

The bottom of the eighth and ninth innings belonged to Wade Davis. Sure, the Mets offense made some noise in their half of the ninth, but I never doubted the Royals would hold.

Good reads … 

No comments: