The Royals go for the sweep while the Giants attempt to take a commanding 3-1 lead in two series that have certainly not lacked in drama.
It may be an evenly matched series with games going down to final few at-bats, but that doesn't change the fact that the Royals have a commanding 3-0 lead are looking to finish off the sweep at home on Wednesday afternoon.
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A look at one game in the life of the Royals' supposed weak spot.
Recap: The Orioles jumped ahead but only by a run, Jeremy Guthrie was better than expected, the Royals erased the lead in the middle innings, jumped out ahead in the sixth, their defense and bullpen shut things down from the seventh on, and the Royals are up three games to none. In a postgame press conference, Guthrie took to wearing a taunting shirt based on the worst, I mean really the worst pop song of the year. He can get away with it because the Royals are about to go to the World Series and everybody except the Orioles and a few Angels fans is happy about it. Considering it was a 2-1 game in an LCS, it wasn’t all that interesting of a game. Lorenzo Cain made a nice catch. Mike Moustakas made a nice catch. Some more people on Twitter made Wil Myers jokes. Home sweep home, how sweep it is, ain't glove the sweepest thing, from the outhouse to the penthouse sweep. That’s the recap. Forgive me if I’m not inspired to do more, strict-recapwise.
The Fightin' Showalters against the Yosts with the Mosts.
Since 2000, only one AL team has won fewer games than the Baltimore Orioles. Think you can guess who that team is? Answer at the bottom of th-- nah, just kidding, you know who it is. So here they are in the ALCS, and one will go to the World Series. No team in this century plays like the Royals do, so any matchup will be an odd pairing, but this one in particular pits two teams with different philosophies, different strategies, different offensive approaches, different men at the helm. Except neither team draws any walks. Admit it: That's not the worst thing in the world at a time of the season when games start pushing four hours for no good reason at all. Here's how the showdown shapes up:
The Royals are the latest team to remind us to expect the unexpected in the playoffs.
The Kansas City Royals entered the 2014 postseason as the feel-good team of the year. The franchise hadn’t enjoyed home cooking in October since the glorious 1985 season. Of course, they weren’t considered a dominant club in the regular season this year by any stretch, but thanks to a combined 34-21 record in August and September, the Royals ended that woeful 29-year postseason drought. The baseball world rejoiced. It was a tremendous story.
The pitcher shares his scouting report on himself.
Over the last few days up here in the loge level, we could hear the unsettling clamor surrounding the Royals’ starting pitching assignment for Game One of the ALDS. Many seated behind me would not let go of the thought that it should have been left-hander Danny Duffy. So it turns out those curmudgeons are all smiles now. Duffy didn’t get the start; instead he landed a lead role in one of the final scenes of the opening win.
The best team in the AL takes on the Wild Card champ Royals in a matchup of aggressive managers, lopsided team rosters, and teams who have employed Raul Ibanez this year.
Here’s something I learned about the Angels’ fanbase while covering the team five years ago: They hated Rob Neyer. Not for the usual reasons that everybody hates everybody else these days, but because, in the late 1970 and the 1980s, the Angels and Royals were legit rivals. In 1978 and 1979, each team won the AL West once—and finished second once. 1982, the Angels won and the Royals finished second; in 1984 and 1985, the Royals took the crown, and the Angels were in both years the runner-up. In 1986, the Angels took it, and the Royals were third. They hated each other, so much so that Angels fans still hold it against Neyer that he was a Royals fan at the time and, to their view of the world, must hate them. Of course, since then Kansas City and Anaheim have moved farther from each other on the map; the former is now in the Midwest, if you can believe it, so there is no division rivalry, but this week will surely revive some of the old feuds.
I tried to think of some clever way to start this recap; something about Ned Yost, Billy Beane, or Moneyball. Nope. None of that would do justice to a game that was, at its heart, baseball in its purest form.