The Kansas City Royals haven’t lost a game in the post season, as they are 7-0 through two different series and the Wildcard play-in game. Kansas City is now one win away from advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1985, also the franchises last appearance in the playoff.
Baltimore and Kansas City have been playing in tight games throughout the ALCS, none of the games have been determined by less than two runs, but the Royals are on the verge of sweeping their second straight series.
The Royals aren’t supposed to be in this position, after all they’ve been one of the league’s worst run franchises over the last three decades. General manager Dayton Moore traded the franchise’s future for a two-year rental of starting pitcher James Shields, with a team that didn’t appear to be ready to contend.
But contend the Royals did, they won 86 games in 2013 and 89 in 2014 (and almost won the AL Central too); and now Kansas City is one win away from its second World Series appearance in franchise history.
Kansas City’s rapid rise through the post season has been stunning, and based off an increase in run production from the regular season. The Royals run has been fueled by solid starting pitching and excellent defense.
The Royals have made this run despite the strategy of manager Ned Yost. Yost’s in-game strategy has come under increasing fire from around the country, including former Red Sox starting pitcher Pedro Martinez.
His use of relief pitching and love for the sacrifice bunt has cost the team runs on several occasions, and probably played a part in Kansas City’s inability to hold on to the AL Central. But the players have taken the decision-making out his hands by hitting for more power.
Baltimore is facing elimination after an incredible run of its own in the post season. The Orioles swept the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS, and is now one loss away from getting swept by Kansas City.