Another extra innings game. Another round of late-game heroics. Another come-from-behind win. And, for the first time in 30 years, a World Series win for the Kansas City Royals.
And what a way to do it: Down 2-0 coming into the top of the ninth, the Royals scored two runs to tie the game. Then, in the 12th, they racked up five more to seal the win.
The Royals had come from behind again for eighth time in their 11 postseason games, according to MLB.com, securing their first World Series title since 1985.
The Kansas City star’s website blared “Royalty,” while — in typically modest Midwestern fashion — asking if the win meant the city could drop its longstanding inferiority complex (we’re working on it was the answer).
Fans celebrated into the early-morning hours, and the city began planning for a Tuesday afternoon parade to welcome the new champs home.
Dramatic 12th inning
It all seemed so unlikely going into the ninth inning.
The Royals were down — and seemingly out — 2-0 in the top of the ninth when they scored a couple of runs to tie the game.
Then they blew the game open with five runs in the 12th inning.
First, Jarrod Dyson scored off a hit by Christian Colon — his first at-bat in the postseason. Then Alcides Escobar hit a double down the third base line, allowing Colon to score. Finally, Lorenzo Cain hit a base-loaded double that drove in Paulo Orlando, Escobar and Ben Zobrist.
It was the first series with multiple extra-innings games since 2001. Game 1 went 14 innings, the longest Game 1 in World Series history.
Dark Knight rises
The starting pitchers in the game were nothing short of phenomenal.
For the Mets, the Dark Knight — better known as Matt Harvey — was simply on fire, pitching into the ninth inning and throwing 111 pitches, giving up two runs and five hits.
He left the field at the end of the eighth inning with chants of “Harvey” raining down on his ears. Later fans chanted, “We want Harvey,” urging the Mets to keep him in for the ninth despite the many pitches he had thrown. When he emerged from the dugout as the ninth inning began, Citi Field exploded in cheers.
After he allowed an RBI double from Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer later in the inning, Harvey was pulled, but no one could argue he was anything but dominant on the game’s biggest stage.
Volquez battles on
One of the big questions coming into Game 5 was how Royals’ starting pitcher Edinson Volquez would respond after the death of his father before Game 1. Volzuez briefly left the team to go to the Dominican Republic to mourn his father’s passing.
Volquez gave up a leadoff home run to the Mets’ Curtis Granderson during the bottom of the first, but after that he seemed to steady himself. He tossed 90 pitches through six innings, giving up two hits and two runs.
Royals’ manager Ned Yost praised Volquez’s effort in the face of his grief. “He is popping,” Yost said during the Fox broadcast.
A miss in the sixth
The Mets missed out on a golden opportunity in the sixth. Daniel Murphy’s hit put the Mets in business in the bottom of the inning, loading up the bases with no outs thanks to an error by Royals infielder Hosmer.
That set up Lucas Duda’s sacrifice fly to center field that scored Granderson and put the Mets up 2-0. But that would be the end of the Mets’ scoring. Volquez was able to pitch himself out of that jam and get the Royals to the next inning without any further causalities.
Did the Mets have that on their minds when the Royals tied things up in the ninth?
World Series vs. ‘Sunday Night Football’
There was a time when the NFL would bow out on the Sunday night that the World Series was played. Not anymore. And not when the NFL had a showcase matchup between a pair of undefeated teams lined up.
So the MLB had major league competition for eyeballs Sunday night in the form of the NFL’s Denver Broncos-Green Bay Packers game.
So who came out on top — MLB or NFL? Ratings will tell, but last year football beat out baseball by a couple of million viewers.
By Doug Criss