Kansas City will be crowned Royalty

Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) throws in the ninth inning during Saturday’s baseball game against the Detroit Tigers on September 20, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Tigers beat the Royals 3-2.

It’s July, manager Ned Yost is on the hot seat, the Royals are eight games out of the AL Central and hope is dwindling for Kansas City’s fan base as another losing season is well within reach.

Three months later, the Royals are in their first World Series in 29 years, they have yet to lose in the postseason (8-0) and “Ned Yost Ball” has taken the MLB by storm. The Royals are the first team in the history of baseball to open the postseason with eight straight wins. The momentum of their unprecedented playoff run makes them an incredibly scary opponent for the Giants to face.  

The Royals have lived by the phrase that is heard so often throughout postseason baseball — they got hot at the right time. In the eighth inning of the Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics, the Royals were down 7-3 and had a 4.4 percent chance of winning the game according to Elias Sports Bureau. Despite the slim chance, the Royals were able to pull off one of the biggest comebacks in MLB history and paved their path for future success in the postseason. Their National League opponent, the San Francisco Giants, have been anything but self-sufficient in their journey through the NL playoffs. Since Game Two of the NLDS, the Giants have scored 28 runs, with almost 50 percent of them being driven in on something other than a hit. They’ve relied on errors, sacrifices and walks to keep their offense going. Despite scoring a lot of runs, the Giants have needed a lot of help from opposing teams to score their runs, unlike the Royals, whose bats have been on fire all postseason.

Don’t expect the Royals to do the Giants any favors in the field. Kansas City has only committed three errors all postseason, which have been complemented by the web gems that Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain produce on a nightly basis.

If the Giants can’t score on errors, can they drive in runs off Kansas City’s pitching? Kansas City’s 7th, 8th and 9th inning pitchers, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland have allowed one run apiece over the entire postseason. Davis picked up two wins in the ALCS and Holland recorded a save in all four games of the sweep over Baltimore. K.C.’s bullpen is nasty.

Yost has a short leash on his starting pitchers, not allowing them to go past the 6th inning on most occasions, and this will make scoring runs much more difficult for the Giants.

The biggest asset for the Royals in the World Series will be their baserunning. The Royals have 13 stolen bases this postseason, and their main base stealers, Terrance Gore and Jarrod Dyson, are a combined 4-for-6 on attempts in the playoffs. Gore has yet to be thrown out in his MLB career. The Royals’ offense has come alive in the postseason, scoring 42 runs, including in their Wild Card game against the Athletics, when they dropped nine runs on Oakland. The offense has been anchored by Cain, who is hitting .353, Eric Hosmer, who is hitting .448 with two home runs, and Mike Moustakas, who leads the club with four postseason home runs.

If the Royals do find themselves locked in a tight game with the Giants, they should be able to set “Ned Yost Ball” into effect. In the late innings, expect to see a wave of pinch runners, steals on first pitches, sacrifice bunts and clutch hits from unlikely heroes. It doesn’t matter how many extra innings Yost has to take the game to; he will win the games his way, and he will win the World Series for Kansas City his way.

Lucas is a freshman in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @LucasWright95.