Wow! Kansas City Royals — the wildcard team — take the Los Angeles Angels (the best team in baseball this year) three-zip in the ALDS. And that after an amazing wildcard game against the Oakland Athletics. The game last night — their fourth post-season game — was the first to go only nine innings and featured their biggest win so far: 8-3!
It’s hard to separate my rooting for them to win from how objectively great all four games have been, but I think anyone would agree these were great games. The Royals have been so much fun to watch. Their running game alone is a joy to behold.
Blue beat green in one and red in three; now they go after orange best of seven!
I’ve been going on a lot about the Royals and baseball lately, I know. You’ll just have to put up with it for a little while longer. For now, just a few brief notes about the game and, to finish, some KC Royals Haiku.
The Angels scored only three runs in two games in their own ballpark. But when the game in Kansas City began, it looked like there might be a turn-around. Mike Trout, the second batter in the first inning, goes yard giving the Angels an immediate one-run lead. Could this be the start of the unraveling of the Royals’ dreams?
Nope. Bottom of the first, Alex Gordon‘s double scores all three ducks on the pond, and the Royals are up by two runs!
By the fourth inning, when Albert Pujols also goes long, the Royals already have five runs. Just for insurance, they score two more in the bottom fourth. The Angels never had a chance. They score three, making their three-game total only six; an average of only two runs per game.
The Royals are known for their speed and running game, but even they seemed very surprised when Billy Butler stole second. That was outrageous! (In the “that party was outrageous!” sense of the word.) Apparently running is contagious.
MOOSE!! (KC fans know what I mean.)
Lorenzo Cain! Now there’s a center fielder. Instrumental in keeping the Angels silenced.
James Shields. Good. Maybe even very good. But not amazing. He was a bit off in the wildcard game and a bit off again last night. Still, six innings of Angels hitters and only two runs, that ain’t nothin’.
Angels staring pitcher C.J. Wilson doesn’t make it out of the first inning. For most of the game, the Angels field more pitchers than innings. By the end of the game, the Angels pitch eight innings among eight pitchers.
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton… oh-fer-thirteen in the series… Unexpected and very disappointing for Angels fans.
But I have a Texas Rangers friend who can’t stand him and is delighted. Texas fans were very offended by some things he said when he was a Ranger.
So it’s baseball with a side of Schadenfreude!
Best fan sign: the kid with a poster telling his teacher he’d be tardy tomorrow. Runner up: the lady with the puppy sign (see image below).
And now for your dining and dancing pleasure:
Baseball Haiku for the Royals
And if the Washington Nationals go down to the San Francisco Giants (they’re 0-2 now), both top seeds of the Division series will have collapsed, and two wildcard teams advance to the Championship series.
Post-season: joy and heartbreak! That’s baseball, and that’s life.