The fans in Kansas City have been starving for playoff baseball for 29 years, and they got 12 innings of some of the most exciting postseason play in MLB history. The Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland A’s 9-8 thanks to the strengths that got the team there, despite one of the team’s weaknesses.
Manager Ned Yost has obviously done a lot of things right this season, but his run of questionable decisions continued and almost ended the Royals’ season. Pulling James Shields in the sixth inning for Yordano Ventura was as baffling as any call he’s made in his career. Ventura has been great this season, but he just threw 73 pitches on Sunday, and the righty was facing lefty Brandon Moss who had already homered in the game.
When Moss homered off Ventura, who missed badly twice and grooved a fastball down the middle to give the A’s the lead, one of Yost’s famous decisions devoid of logic almost burned Kansas City again.
Fortunately for him, one of the team’s strengths brought the Royals back. Jarrod Dyson’s famous ,‘That’s what speed do” line has been quoted so much around Kansas City that it is almost a cliché at this point. For those who had trouble understanding Salvador Perez’s post game interview, he said it twice.
There’s a reason why it’s been quoted so much. The Royals keep winning with speed. Kansas City stole four bases in the eighth and ninth innings to help bring the game into extras, and seven different players stole bases on the night. Another strength that came through for the Royals was the bullpen. Outside of Ventura, who isn’t normally a reliever, the pen allowed just two runs in 6.2 innings.
On a historic night in Kansas City, the Royals did what the Royals do, and came away victorious.