We’ve used a plethora of words to describe the Royals roller coaster season thus far, but last night’s win can be described with just one: magical.
Just when we all thought it was over, when we were all about to throw in the towel, the Royals came through with the craziest win of the season, and possibly the craziest win in franchise history. A game that was full of mediocre pitching, bad defense, and even worse offense was all over shadowed by the magical moment in the ninth inning.
It all started in the seventh inning of course, when the Royals scored a run to cut the deficit to two. A double play would end that inning though, and the cynicism returned. Another run came across the plate in the eighth, which made would make the loss that much harder to bear.
The ninth inning came, and the overpriced second baseman grounded out to leadoff. Mike Moustakas was able to hit a rare double down the left-field line, and that’s where the magic starts. Of course, Dyson pinch-ran for the big bear, but Alcides Escobar wasn’t able to move him over. That didn’t matter though, because a wild-pitch off the foot of the catcher would move him to third, and home, too.
The game was tied, and we all thought it was simply going to extras, as Nori Aoki stepped up to the plate. He had already managed three singles with only two swings on the night, playing in his unconventional way that he usually does. He doubled down that same line that Moustakas did, and on came Gore. Terrance Gore.
Gore, who was called up in September, stands at about 5′ 5″, and is valued because of his speed. We saw him earlier this month in a similar situation, but he never found his way across the plate. This time, he did. Lorenzo Cain swung at ball in the dirt like he normally does, which managed to chop its way up the middle of the infield, bringing home Gore.
Just like that, the Royals capped off a crazy, unconventional, and magical final three innings of what was probably the most important game in the season, at least up to this point. They managed to string together half-swing bunts, a couple of doubles, and stolen bases to steal a win from the White Sox.
The Royals, who are 0-6 against John Danks, showed us that even a pitcher with an above 5.0 ERA can look like Cy Young pitcher thanks to abysmal offense. The Royals won a game they weren’t supposed to win, and did it in a way they weren’t supposed to do it.
Just when we thought we’d seen everything from the Royals this season, they went out to Kauffman Stadium Monday night, and gave us one more thing to add to the list. They sucked back in the handful of folks that had given up hope, and gave them a reason to believe for at least one more game.
This is one of those games that fans won’t forget, even among 161 others. This is one of those games that define a season, no matter how it ends. This is one of those games that (hopefully) reignites a team, and puts them back on track to finish off what could be their best season in 29 years.
The Royals have the unique opportunity to make a team that has been laughed at, scoffed at, mocked and forgotten, relevant once again in a city that wants it more than any other city in America. They have a chance to take this team to the playoffs, and restore a passion in Kansas City that has been fading for 29 years too long.
Last night, in their most magical win of the season, the Royals changed the trajectory of the final stretch of a pennant race with a kind of win that thousands of people had never seen before.
Hold on tight Kansas City, because the final 12 games of the season are going to be the last loop in the wildest roller coaster ride of our lives.