They truly are the never-say-die Royals

By Steve Sell
October 28, 2015

It’s already a done deal, you can book it. There will be no topping the emotion of Game 1 of the World Series for the Kansas City Royals, unless they win it all.

Tuesday’s instant classic against the New York Mets will go down in history for numerous reasons, most of them being matters of the heart.

There was Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez learning after the game that his father had died earlier in the day, though he was not told before he took the mound. The Royals honored the family’s request and Volquez pitched six solid innings, though he left with his team trailing 3-1.

There was the high of the Royals scoring two runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at 3-all, only to be followed by Eric Hosmer’s rare error in the eighth inning to allow the Mets to regain the lead at 4-3. Hosmer also had a poor at-bat in the bottom of that inning when the Royals had something going and entering the ninth inning, measurements were being taken for the proper size of goat horns he would receive.

The Royals’ emotions did a 180 the next inning, though, when Alex Gordon crushed a quick-pitch attempt by the Mets’ nearly untouchable Jeurys Familia to tie the game at 4-all.

The Royals were emotionally bankrupt again in the 12th when they fumbled away a chance to win the game, as Jarrod Dyson left the bases loaded.

The pendulum swung for the final time when the Royals won the game in the 14th as Hosmer atoned for his error with a sac fly that scored Escobar.

The game could really set the tone for the rest of the series. Both teams exhausted their pitching staffs and there can be little emotional energy left for Game 2 tonight. The winner will be decided by which starting pitcher can give his team at least seven innings, Kansas City’s Johnny Cueto or New York’s Jacob DeGrom. Cueto needs to be the Cueto of Game 5 Houston ilk, not the batting-practice, meat-throwing pitcher of Game 3 against Toronto. DeGrom has pitched like an ace in the postseason, supplanting the more heralded Matt Harvey, who probably deserved a better fate in Game 1 as he had the Royals muffled for the most part.

Game 1 once again proved, beyond a doubt, the Royals have the most resiliency of any team in baseball. How many times will this team have its back against the wall and be able to overcome all obstacles in its path? Kansas City has the heart of a champion, let’s hope that’s the end result.