For the first time in 30 years, the Kansas City Royals are World Series champs. After losing last year’s Fall Classic in heartbreaking fashion to the San Francisco Giants, Kansas City finished things off this time around. With young, talented hitters like Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, as well as the ideal mix of experience and youth on the pitching staff, this could be a title contender for years to come. As K.C. celebrates, let’s look back at its championship run.
After last year’s huge improvement, the Royals proved they were no fluke with a dominant 2015 regular season. Finishing 95-67 and easily winning the AL Central, the squad rode clutch hitting throughout the year from bats like Cain and Kendrys Morales, and a deep rotation featuring the likes of Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura, to the number one seed in the AL playoffs.
Baseball’s 2014 Cinderella story faced off against 2015’s in the epic ALDS matchup between the Royals and Astros. Down two games to one, Kansas City’s bats came alive in Games Four and Five, when it tallied 16 runs combined and left little doubt about who was the favorite in the American League.
To get to the World Series, Kansas City had to defeat the daunting hitters in the middle of the Toronto Blue Jays order. After taking the first two games behind solid pitching, the Blue Jays’ bats came alive in Game Three, which they won 11-8. But K.C. responded with its own dominant offensive performance, taking Game Four, 14-2. Toronto wouldn’t go down without a fight, taking Game Five, but the Royals used some late-game heroics to advance in six.
And just like that, Kansas City was back in the World Series for the second year in a row. But standing in its way was a formidable New York Mets squad, led by a dominant pitching staff. Aces Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey had been mowing down NL offenses and presented a major challenge. But just like they did all year, the Royals found a way. Showing true resiliency and grit, they won the series in five games, despite having to come from behind on all four of their victories. Catcher Salvador Pérez, who hit .364 during the series, was named World Series MVP.
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