The Kansas City Royals have swept the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS winning 2-1 in Game 4 in front of the hometown fans.
It marks the Royals’ first World Series appearance since 1985. It is their third AL pennant overall. The Royals made their first World Series appearance in 1980.
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain was named ALCS MVP. Cain went 8 for 15 with two doubles, a stolen bases and critical sacrifice bunt in today’s game. What probably won him the ALCS MVP was his defense. While I think a case could have been made for Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas who hit 3 HR and made an over the rail catch during Game 3, I don’t quibble with Cain being honored.
Despite the sweep, the Royals didn’t dominate the Orioles. The O’s didn’t lose any game by more than two runs and were only outscored 18-12. But the Royals set the agenda from the moment Moustakas and Alex Gordon hit back to back HR in extra innings in Game 1. The Orioles were competitive, but uninspired.
The Royals are now 8-0 in the 2014 post-season. However, the longer the NLCS goes the greater the disadvantage K.C. will be at in the World Series. The Fall Classic doesn’t begin for six days. As I write this, the Cardinals and Giants are about the get underway in Game 4. The Giants are up 2-1. If the Giants win today and tomorrow then they will have a five day layoff. So it won’t make that much of a difference. But if the NLCS goes seven games that means the NL pennant winner will be decided 48 hours before the first pitch in the World Series. In that case, I give the edge to the team that has been on the field be it the Cardinals or the Giants.
Nevertheless, this is a magnificient accomplishment for a Royals franchise that has been in the doldrums for nearly three decades.