Royal Flush: Kansas City barbecues the Baltimore Orioles to advance to their first World Series since 1985
The Kansas City Royals are representing the American League in the World Series.
The last time you could say that the year was 1985. George Brett was the third baseman and Bret Saberhagen won 20 games. Since that magical year, they have not been in the postseason.
Their miraculous run will continue. The Royals, now winners of eight straight since the beginning of the postseason, have swept the Baltimore Orioles, clinching their ticket to the World Series with a 2-1 win in game four. This team won the American League Wild Card Game, swept the American League Division Series, and now has swept the American League Championship Series.
This is a great accomplishment for many. First, Dayton Moore. The general manager of this club built this team from the ground up. The 47-year-old Moore grew up a Royals fan in Witchita, Kansas. And since 2006, he has been the general manager. They have posted a .500 winning percentage or better just twice, this season and last. And now, their homegrown talent brings them to the World Series.
Alex Gordon was selected by the Royals with the second overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, picked in the same draft as Andrew McCutchen, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, Justin Upton, Matt Garza, and others. That selection of Gordon was before Moore was GM. But it was the centerpiece of this World Series bound Royals team nine years later.
Mike Moustakas, Billy Butler, and Eric Hosmer added to Gordon through the draft. Salvador Perez and Yordano Ventura came through international signings. Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain came through the Zack Greinke trade that sent the hurler to Milwaukee. James Shields was acquired from Tampa. And Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas were all added through free agency.
The Royals barbecued (pun intended) the Orioles in this series. They won the first two games in Camden Yards by a combined score of 14-10. Then, they took their pitching home to Kansas City and won on consecutive days by a final score of 2-1. Their bullpen was absolutely their most valuable asset. They allowed just two runs (both in game one) in 16 innings. If the Royals were winning after their starter came out of the game, it would end up leading to a Kansas City victory.
Speaking of valuable, Cain, the former Brewers prospect, was the ALCS MVP. During the series, Cain was 8-for-15 (.533) with two doubles, an RBI, a stolen base, and a 1.548 OPS. He added to his fantastic performance with great defense in center field.
The Royals will be going to the World Series. How can you not love the sport of baseball?