On a night where there was another terrible showing on Thursday Night Football in the NFL and the #2 team in the nation in college football lost on their home turf, there was still magic occurring in the world of postseason baseball.
Not so much magic in Baltimore as there was in the Los Angeles of the Anaheim variety as the Royals once again find some magic out of a hat to put the Angels on their back in this best of five Divisional Series.
First let's get to Baltimore where 8th innings are places to die for one Detroit Tigers ball club. 8 runs allowed in the 8th inning all off of a Romine misplayed ball at shortstop to allow the first run of the inning making it 5-3 in the 8th. After that, finding a way to stop the bleeding in the 8th couldn't be found. Up until the 8th inning, this was looking like a very classic 4-3 ballgame getting late. The Tigers in their half of the 8th were putting quite the scare into the Orioles as their championship grip was showing as the Orioles needed to put in Zach Britton to hold the lead heading into the Oriole half of the inning, which turned out to be a barn burner. The Orioles ultimately won the game 12-3 and took a 1-0 lead in the ALDS over the Detroit Tigers.
Let's get to Los Angeles where the real drama ensued.
Another extra inning magic show by yours truly, the Kansas City Royals. Boy, the Angels sure did have a power outage late inning after late inning when they could not put the go ahead run across home plate as they consistently seemed to have 2 runners on every bottom of the inning until they lost ultimately in the 11th.
Early in the game, Weaver was on his game and the only time the Royals scored was when they put together a late inning rally to manufacture one run to get on the board. Then once they did that, the Angels responded with a solo blast to tie it. 3rd inning it was Chris Ianetta who answered the bell, and in the 5th it was David Freese who once again added on to his already heroic efforts in the postseason for his career. After that, it was a pitchers duel as two friends in Jered Weaver and Jason Vargas both kept their teams in check to get the win. Vargas just did enough, where as Weaver was an absolute master of shutting down those Royal bats.
Vargas also got some serious help in this game. Lorenzo Cain made 2 great catches along with Nori Aoki making 2 game saving catches (which truly weren't the prettiest things to view). Vargas and the rest of that pitching staff definitely have to find a way to own it back to those two for finding the ball in their gloves on those 4 plays. But the real hero was the Moose,
Mike Moustakas came up to the plate in the top of the 11th, and made another stamp in the history books for what defines magic. After multiple innings of the Angels getting so close to ending the game, the Moose was fed up and decided to silence the already inconsistent crowd at the ballpark in Anaheim and put the first run on the board that had an exclamation point next to Kansas City in the box score. A homerun that could find a way to shift the power within this series as the road team (with momentum) now holds home court in a series that is already short enough as it is (5 games). One more win for Kansas City, and the Angels could find themselves sitting on their couches faster than they thought a week ago tonight.
This was a 4+ hour game. I didn't hear anybody complain about how long it was. Stop talking about needing pitch clocks because those may take away from the romance and drama that games like this provided tonight. They are still partying like it's 1985 in Kansas City, they are 2 wins away from an ALCS appearance (just like the Baltimore Orioles established tonight).
We got 4 games tomorrow! I'll be covering all of them and I'll be writing about them again tomorrow! Should be another fantastic day across America when it comes to the game played on the Diamond in October!