Friday, January 15, 2016

Top Moments (#210 - #201) of the 2014-2015 Kansas City Royals.

The hits don’t stop ‘til we reach the top. And we got a looong way to go to reach the top. So moving on…

Moment #: 210
Date: October 17, 2015
Game: 2015 ALCS Game 2, vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Score: Toronto 1, Kansas City 0, Top of the 6th
Situation: No outs, bases empty
Count: 2-1
Matchup: Josh Donaldson vs. Yordano Ventura
Result: Foul ball, no play

Summary: Salvador Perez makes a nifty bare-handed catch on a foul ball, but a wire in the field of play nullifies it.

Link to video: Here.
I attended this game with my daughter, and sitting down the third base line, we couldn’t see the wire and thought Perez had made an amazing bare-handed grab. It was an impressive catch given that the ball was re-directed on the way down, but the re-direction also nullified the catch. Given new life, Donaldson beat out an infield single, which proved to be crucial because Ned Yost chose to stick with his starting pitcher in the 6th inning, and – I know you’re as shocked as I am – the decision backfired. Yordano Ventura allowed five of the six batters he faced in the inning to reach base. By the time Yost finally pulled him, the Royals were down 3-0 and the bases were loaded with one out. How did the Royals win this game? Well, there’s a reason we still have 209 moments to go.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Top Moments (#218 - #211) of the 2014-2015 Kansas City Royals.

Ok, here we go. I have managed to unearth video of every moment on the list, and if everything goes according to plan, each moment should have that video embedded in this post. (If everything doesn’t go according to plan, please let me know.) For whatever reason, the embedded videos from are not nearly as high-resolution as the videos native to their website, so above each embedded video I have included a link to the original video if you want to see a better-quality version.

I have also tried to embed tweets that I wrote in real time for each moment that such a tweet exists. I hope there won’t be any glitches, and if there are, I hope that you will let me know so that I can fix them as soon as possible. (Also, I had to update the formatting of the blog to accommodate the size of the videos. I hope you will be adjust to my blog no longer looking like something out of the Precambrian Era, and closer to the Cretaceous Era instead.)

Without further ado: the 218 biggest moments of the 2014-2015 Kansas City Royals.

Moment #: 218
Date: October 27, 2015
Game: 2015 World Series, Game 1, vs. New York Mets
Score: 4-4, Bottom of the 11th
Situation: None out, bases empty
Count: 0-0
Matchup: Jarrod Dyson vs. Jonathan Niese
Result: Lineout to right field
WPA: -6%

Summary: Jarrod Dyson nearly hits an inside-the-park walkoff home run in the World Series.

Link to video: Here.
I figure I should start with the play that inadvertently sparked this entire project. Jarrod Dyson, who was batting for just the second time in the postseason after pinch-running for Kendrys Morales in the 8th inning, hit the first pitch from Jonathan Niese – who had buzzsawed through the heart of the Royals’ lineup in the 10th inning – deep into the right-center field gap. Curtis Granderson caught up to it, but very nearly overran the ball – on slow-motion replay, you can see that the ball hit the pinky edge of his glove before nestling into the webbing. If that ball slices another half-inch, it probably bounces off the edge of Granderson’s glove in a random direction, which means Dyson winds up at third if the Mets are lucky. If they’re not, well, not only would this be the first playoff game that ever ended on an inside-the-park home run, it would be the only playoff game ever to witness two inside-the-park home runs – and incredibly, they would have been the first and last hitters of the game for the Royals.

I can’t say I regret anything about the 2015 Royals, but that would have been cool.