Top 25 Moments of the Last 5 years: #19 – The Comeback

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The Kansas City Royals, after so many years of irrelevance, broke through in a big way from 2013-2017.  They rejuvenated a dormant fanbase and rekindled a passion for baseball in a town starving for something good.  There were many moments that defined this team throughout those years.  This is a list of the Top 25 moments.  They could be specific moments in time or something that spanned most or all the era.  Our No. 19 moment:

#25 – The James Shields Trade

#24 – That's What Speed Do!

#23 – Duffman Ks 16!

#22 – The Bullpen Dominance

#21 – Ned Yost becomes Royals winningest manager

#20 – George Brett Returns

#19 – The Royals score seven in the ninth to defeat the White Sox

The 2016 season for the Royals was disappointing in the fact that the team didn’t get an opportunity in October to defend its World Series title.  Injuries, inconsistent performances, and underachievement led to their 81-81 record.  However, there were moments of brilliance during the season.  None more prominent than on a Saturday afternoon in May.

The announced attendance for the game was 31,598, however, many had left before the ninth.  At this point, the Royals had Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon, and Kendrys Morales all injured.  During the game, Salvador Perez and Cheslor Cuthbert collided and Perez came out with an apparent knee injury.  The Royals finished the game with guys like Whit Merrifield, Brett Eibner, and Drew Butera in the lineup.

The Royals trailed the White Sox, 7-1, heading into the bottom of the ninth.  Yordano Ventura pitched seven innings, giving up seven runs (six earned).  Chien-Ming Wang came into “mop up duty” and pitched two scoreless innings.  Then things got a little crazy in the ninth.

Entering the bottom of the ninth, the Royals had a <1% chance of winning.  The fact that the Royals were facing David Robertson, the White Sox closer, didn’t help things either.  It appeared the Royals were headed to another forgettable blowout loss.

After Paulo Orlando struck out to begin the ninth, Cuthbert would single to center field.  Rookie Brett Eibner than doubled, putting runners on second and third with one out and raising the Royals chances of winning to 1%.  Omar Infante than walked to load the bases for Alcides Escobar who did a very rare thing, he walked.  That made the score 7-2 White Sox and raised the Royals chances of winning to 5%.

Merrifield than hit a grounder to Robertson, who could have got a least one out if he fielded it and a game-ending double play if he had let it go, that ricocheted off his glove and into right field, scoring Eibner and Infante, making in a 7-4 game.

The speed of the Royals would save the game next.  With runners on the corners and one out, Lorenzo Cain hit what looked like a ground ball double play.  Instead, with Cain hustling down the line, he beat the throw the first while Escobar scored, making it 7-5.

Eric Hosmer than stepped to the plate representing the tying run.  He would split the gap in right-center, scoring Cain and making it a 7-6 game. 

Tommy Kahnle would come into pitch to Drew Butera, who had taken over for Salvador Perez after his injury.  The light hitting Butera then hit a double to left-center that would score Hosmer and tie the game.

After intentional walks to Orlando and Jarrod Dyson, who was pinch-hitting for Cuthbert, Brett Eibner had a chance to be the hero.  After ten pitches and taking many borderline pitches, Eibner lined a ball into right field, scoring Butera and completing the biggest comeback heading into the ninth inning in Royals history.

The Royals had many comebacks in the previous two seasons.  However, this may top them all.  Without many of their key players, they came back to win a game where they had a <1% chance of winning heading into the last of the ninth.  This was, perhaps, the last great comeback in this era.

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Top 25 Moments of the Last 5 years: #20 – Return of a Legend

The Kansas City Royals, after so many years of irrelevance, broke through in a big way from 2013-2017.  They rejuvenated a dormant fanbase and rekindled a passion for baseball in a town starving for something good.  There were many moments that defined this team throughout ... Read more

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The Kansas City Royals, after so many years of irrelevance, broke through in a big way from 2013-2017.  They rejuvenated a dormant fanbase and rekindled a passion for baseball in a town starving for something good.  There were many moments that defined this team throughout ... Read more

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Author: Christopher Till

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