They’ve made it this far: Royals win ALDS game 5

Evan Pflugradt

The Kansas City Royals are once again making a push for the World Series. 

The Royals have put it all on the line. In July, the team traded the Cincinnati Reds three left-handed pitchers, highlighted by Brandon Finnegan. The Royals were not directly faced with immediate loss from the trade, and by gaining the asset of right-handed starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, the team gathered the last piece to build their playoff organization. 

Cueto brings experience; he started two postseason games for the Reds before the trade acquisition. Cueto has not been in the pinnacle of success as the Royals may have aspired. Cueto allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings against the Astros in game two of the American League Division Series. 

By passing the Astros, Cueto has proven that he is worth it. 

The Royals took game five in the ALDS series with seven runs, over the Astros’ two. 

The bullpen has been nothing short of honorable. Wade Davis has stepped into the driver’s seat in the clutch moments of the series. In game four Davis finished a rare two-inning save. Davis was credited with six outs, allowing no hits and three strikeouts. Davis completed this astonishing save on 24 pitches. 

Looking onward now to face the Rangers and Blue Jays, the Royals are starting to shape up. In game four of the ALDS, the Royals returned as the underdog team America fell in love with last season. 

Fundamentally, the team returned to the game strategy that landed them in the 2014 World Series — small ball. The Royals are equipped with DH Kendrys Morales, who ranked eighth in the league in regular season RBIs, 106 on 165 hits, but the team is not built as a strong hit for the fences team. In game four of the ALDS, the Royals sparked a late comeback driven in the eighth inning where the team rallied five consecutive singles. Eric Hosmer dropped in a two-run homerun to open the gap to the victory, but the Royals returned to small ball. 

The Royals are playing baseball different than any other remaining playoff team, but if they continue the strategy of playing small ball and getting base hits, they have proven they can compete at the best level. Their nine-run showcase in game four of the ALDS is the second highest score of all playoff games this season (Mets 13).

Rallied by late success, the Royals continue to push to #TakeTheCrown. They’ve made a statement to America that they’re still alive, and they won’t go down easy. Keep the faith, the Royals have made it this far, and they’re not slowing down now.  

The Royals will return to action Friday against the Blue Jays.