Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top Moments (#180 - #171) of the 2014-2015 Kansas City Royals.

These moments are important, and in some cases crucial, and I can’t believe there are 170 even better ones. But there are.

Moment #: 180
Date: October 22, 2014
Game: 2014 World Series Game 2, vs. San Francisco Giants
Score: San Francisco 1, Kansas City 0, Bottom of the 1st
Situation: Two outs, men on first and second
Count: 0-1
Matchup: Billy Butler vs. Jake Peavy
Result: Single, tying run scores
WPA: 11%

Summary: The Royals finally get on the board in the World Series and erase the Giants’ early lead.

Link to video: Here.
After winning eight consecutive playoff games to get to the World Series, the 2014 Royals ran into the buzzsaw that was Madison He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named in Game 1 of the World Series, which is pretty clearly the worst of the 31 postseason games the Royals played the last two years: they fell behind 3-0 in the top of the 1st and trailed 5-0 by the middle of the 4th. (I believe it is the only one of the 31 playoff games that doesn’t have a single entry in the Top 218.) So when Game 2 started and the first batter of the game, Gregor Blanco, homered off of Yordano Ventura, it was easy to assume the worst:

And then, after Alcides Escobar led off the bottom of the 1st with a single, he would be erased on a stolen base attempt after Nori Aoki flied out, emptying the bases with two outs. So it came as a relief as much as anything else when Lorenzo Cain doubled, Eric Hosmer walked, and then Billy Butler came through with this bullet just past the outstretched glove of Brandon Crawford at shortstop. The ball was hit so hard that, even with two outs and Lorenzo Cain at second base, it wasn’t a sure thing that he would score…until we got our first good look at Travis Ishikawa’s arm. Cain scored with ease, and we had ourselves a ballgame. The 2014 Royals weren’t going to be the 2007 Colorado Rockies after all, especially when…