Royals fans don’t have a dog in this year’s playoff fight, but many are rooting for the Chicago Cubs.
That’s due in part to the Cubs’ remarkable ability to not win a World Series over the last 108 years. Some became lifelong Ben Zobrist fans after his stint with last year’s World Series championship Royals team.
Others simply like this group of Cubs players and their energy. It reminds them of last year’s Royals team.
The Cubs’ NLDS-clinching victory Tuesday night was Royals-esque. Down 5-2 in the ninth inning, the Cubs scored four runs and won 6-5 at San Francisco. All that was missing was threat of elimination.
Zobrist noted the similarities between the Cubs comeback against the Giants and the Royals’ win at Houston in Game 4 of last year’s ALDS.
“Every team that wins in the postseason, you have to have a comeback win,” Zobrist told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale after Tuesday’s win. “That’s what happened when we beat Houston. We knew we were going to win after that.”
Zobrist expanded on that thought while talking with ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
“I think it’s important. I know that eight out of our 11 wins in Kansas City last (postseason) were comeback wins,” Zobrist said. “So to me, that’s such a huge part of a championship team — is that you don’t quit and you always believe you’re going to come back.”
One other similarity: The keep-the-line-moving mentality that engergized the Royals. In Tuesday’s game, Zobrist had a huge RBI double after Kris Bryant led off the inning with a single and Anthony Rizzo drew a walk.
Zobrist called Rizzo’s walk “huge,” while talking with Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It’s easy for somebody to do too much in that situation,” Zobrist said. “Especially our two big guns there starting off that inning, one getting a knock and the other a walk and just passing the baton to me. It’s big because you feel like no one of us has to do it all, just the next good thing and pass it on.”