Hello, World Series, we meet again.
A full 29 years after their only world championship, the Kansas City Royals on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon at a rocking Kauffman Stadium completed an improbable four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.
It took a total team effort to secure the American League Championship Series. The Royals now have an unprecedented streak of eight victories at the start of postseason baseball.
Fans roared in the bottom of the first inning when the Royals mustered just enough offense from an Alcides Escobar single, a batter plunked by a pitch (Nori Aoki), a sacrifice bunt by Lorenzo Cain and a two-run catcher’s error to cobble together the eventual 2-1 victory.
The fans spent the rest of the game cheering madly for the club’s spectacular defense, especially that of Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas.
And they got louder and louder in the sixth, seventh, eighth and finally ninth innings after every out recorded by the dominant relief pitching staff of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland.
Manager Ned Yost, whom many fans wanted fired a month ago for his questionable decisions, made all the right calls to help his club win the pennant.
The first game of the 2014 World Series is five days away. It will be played in Kansas City. Typing those words? To quote so many Royals players after Wednesday’s win: “It’s unbelievable.”