The Royals, who have not lost a postseason game since game four of the 1985 World Series, continued their winning, sweeping the Angels and going back to the ALCS for the first time since that magical year in 1985.
Kansas City ended their lengthy postseason drought this year, and now if they can take four of seven from the Baltimore Orioles, they will end their World Series drought in one fell swoop.
The Royals defeated the Athletics 9-8 in a stunning comeback in the AL Wild Card Game, but nobody thought they could take down the team with the best record in the majors. Or at least this fast.
The Royals took the charge in this series from the get go. In games one and two at Angel Stadium, Kansas City took both games to eleven innings. They got go-ahead homers from Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer in those games, respectively, that gave them a commanding 2-0 lead.
The team played a game of "pitch until you get your clutch hit." Kansas City pitching held the Angels to just two and one runs in those games before delivering during the extra innings. Jason Vargas allowed two runs on three hits in six innings game one; Yordano Ventura went seven, allowing one run on five hits. A shutdown bullpen allowed just one run over the short series.
In game three at Kaufmann Stadium, the Royals didn't need that clutch hit, as even after Mike Trout homered in the top of first, Alex Gordon doubled in three in the bottom of the inning. Then the Royals went on cruise control. Hosmer, who has been their hottest hitter, left the yard with a two-run homer in the third, and Moustakas went yard in the fourth. Behind James Shields, the Royals held the Angels to three runs on eight runs, scoring eight runs on nine hits themselves.
The Angels just never looked comfortable. They pressed for runs and just did not play the smooth game that the Royals did. Games one and two could have been theirs had they not outplay themselves. The Angels pressed this series, attempting to live up to the World Series contender status. Now it's the Royals that become the World Series contenders.
The Royals do not play again until Friday, when they take the Orioles on in game one of the American League Championship Series at Camden Yards. It's been awhile, but the Royals are picking up their postseason success where they left off, and now they might just be headed to the World Series.