Royals’ rallies become essential to success

Royals rally

MAY 2016Perhaps you have heard the For King and Country song, “It’s Not Over Yet.” While the Australian brothers, John and Luke Smallbone, did not write the song about the Kansas City Royals, it should be added to the Kauffman Stadium playlist and become a staple when the Royals are behind after six innings.

They upbeat inspirational lyrics would send the crowd into a frenzy.

The chorus goes:
“Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit, It’s not over yet, It’s not over ye-et…
And even when you think you’re finished, It’s not over yet, It’s not over ye-et…
Keep on fighting, Out of the dark, Into the light, It’s not over…
Hope is rising, Never give in, Never give up, It’s not over…
Yea-et-et, whoa, Yea-et-et, whoa”

For Royals fans, they know it is not over until the final out or in an opera until the fat lady sings.

Nothing is irreversible until the final curtain.

The Royals’ wild miracles birthed in the 2014 wildcard game against the Oakland Athletics, when they looked hopelessly down and out, all but eliminated by left-handed nemesis Jon Lester. They trailed 7-3 entering the eighth inning, but scored three runs to chase Lester, tied it with a run in the ninth, trailed by a run in the 12th before scoring two in the bottom of the inning to pull out a 9-8 miracle.

The Royals would not lose again in the 2014 postseason until facing the San Francisco Giants and their ace left-hander, Madison Bumgarner.

The theme continued in 2015, where the Royals had to come from behind in eight of their 12 postseason victories, including an unprecedented seven with a multiple-run deficit.

The most memorable rally came in the ALDS Game 4 at Houston, which was similar to the 2014 Wildcard game. The Royals trailed 6-2 entering the eighth inning. If the Astros won, the Royals would go home. Instead, the Royals scored five in the eighth and two more in the ninth to win 9-6, forcing Game 5. In the decisive game, Johnny Cueto limited the Astros to two hits over eight innings as the Royals won 7-2 to advance. By the way, Houston did own a 2-0 lead after three innings.

The Royals were down 3-0 after six innings in Game 2 of the ALCS with Blue Jays left-hander David Price in complete control, but in the seventh Kansas City sent Price to the showers with a five-run inning and won 6-3.

Fast-forward to Game 1 of the World Series and the New York Mets are two outs away from winning at Kauffman Stadium, holding a one-run lead until Alex Gordon homers off Mets closer Jeurys Familia to tie it. The Royals won 5-4 in 14 innings with Eric Hosmer’s sacrifice fly scoring Alcides Escobar and Chris Young, the seventh Kansas City pitcher, picking up the victory.

In Game 4, the Royals fell behind 3-1 at New York, but score three in the eight and win 5-2. In Game 5, Matt Harvey shuts out the Royals for eight innings and convinces Mets manager Terry Collins to come back out for the ninth with a 2-0 lead. The Royals rally with two runs in the ninth with Eric Hosmer’s mad dash home tying the score. The Royals put up a five spot in the 12th inning to win 7-2 and clinch the World Series. Christian Colon pokes the go-ahead run-producing hit and the Royals keep adding on. Salvador Perez is named the World Series MVP.

The Royals have had scant comebacks early in this season, only three come-from-behind victories by early May. But they know their history, their “keep the line moving” mentality, their tenacity. They know they can. And so do their opponents.

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Article by Alan Eskew, Editor

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