Courtesy of MLB.com
NEW YORK — This is a team, and a season, that will be remembered for generations.
The 2015 Royals never let you rest. And when it counted most, they never let you down.
|Gm 1||Oct. 27||KC 5, NYM 4 (14)|
|Gm 2||Oct. 28||KC 7, NYM 1|
|Gm 3||Oct. 30||NYM 9, KC 3|
|Gm 4||Oct. 31||KC 5, NYM 3|
|Gm 5||Nov. 1||KC 7, NYM 2 (12)|
“This is just a special, special group of guys,” outfielder Alex Rios said after the Royals clinched the World Series title with an exhilirating 7-2, 12-inning win over the Mets in Game 5 on Sunday night at Citi Field. “Never seen anything like it. Coming back in games, it’s just what we do.”
Outfielder Alex Gordon, the longest-tenured Royal, said it was a group that simply refused to stop believing.
“It just seemed we never got down when we were behind in games,” Gordon said. “It was just a matter of how we would come back.”
The Royals, down 2-0 in the ninth inning Sunday, staged yet another improbable comeback, getting two runs off starter Matt Harvey and closer Jeurys Familia in the ninth. Kansas City then blasted through with a five-run 12th to win its first championship in 30 years.
It was the Royals’ eighth comeback of the postseason, a record that surpassed the five set by the 1996 Yankees. Kansas City also became the first team to win three World Series games in which it trailed in the eighth inning or later, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It’s just a group of guys that hung together the whole season,” third baseman Mike Moustakas said. “When we get it going, we just feed off each other.”
Added right-hander Chris Young: “It seems like a different guy stepped up every time we needed it.”
Outfielder Jonny Gomes, who wasn’t even on the postseason roster, observed the same thing.
“You look at tonight,” Gomes said, “and we had Kelvin Herrera step up for three innings of relief. Edinson Volquez pitching after what he went through [with his father’s death last week]. You had Luke Hochevar with a couple of scoreless innings.
“And then you had a guy who hadn’t even played, in Christian Colon, get the big go-ahead knock in the 12th. Amazing stuff.”
It truly was. And it happened time after time in the postseason.
The Royals outscored their opponents, 51-11, from the seventh inning on this postseason. They scored 40 runs in the eighth inning or later, including all seven of their runs in Game 5.
“It’s not supposed to always happen that way,” second baseman Ben Zobrist said. “But it’s a group of guys that bonded together. We wouldn’t be denied.
“We had a tough September, but then we picked it up right at the end. I think when we had that game in Houston when we were down by four and facing elimination and came back to win [in Game 4 of the American League Division Series], that really set the tone. It showed what we could do.”
And now that he has a World Series title, his first, what will Zobrist do now?
“Oh, head to Disney World, right?” Zobrist said. “Oh, wait. I can’t, that’s right. We’re about to have a baby.”
Zobrist and his wife, Julianna, are expecting a child within the week.
The rest of the Royals will just savor the moment.
Rios, who has been in the big leagues 12 seasons, said, “It makes you appreciate how special this is. So many guys, they never get to enjoy this. But here we are. It’s a remarkable feeling.”
“I can’t even describe it,” Moustakas said. “I love this group of guys and what we were able to accomplish. What a season.
“And I love that we could give this to the fans, because they have been so supportive.”