We’re just halfway through October, and we already know one of the World Series teams. That’s so early, man.
- The Royals completed what felt like an inevitable sweep yesterday, taking out the Orioles 2-1. They scored the only two runs they would need in the very first inning (something something bunt shut up something), and they still have not lost in the postseason. They are apparently the first team in history to start a postseason 8-0.
- If you want to watch the clinch and the celebration, here you go:
- But now the Royals wait. The World Series doesn’t kick off until next Tuesday, October 21, so the Royals will have almost a full week between games. Resting up? Sure. But you do wonder about getting a little stale. Of course, if the Giants win today, they’ll have a long break, too. Just a minute on that.
- As for the how the Royals did it, I think it’s worth point this out:
So, remember when people said the Royals were proof that having an historically good farm system (a few years ago) doesn't mean anything?
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) October 15, 2014
- In 2011, the Royals not only had the top farm system in baseball, but they were thought to have the best collection of prospects perhaps ever. For three seasons thereafter, folks wondered if they had wasted their talent, or if evaluators were plain wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people point to those Royals when discussing the Cubs’ current historically good farm system, and how prospects won’t get it done. To be sure, the Royals’ success in 2014 was partly due to a number of outside moves, but they used their prospect depth to make some important moves, and have also received notable contributions from many of those 2011 prospects. If the Cubs followed the Royals’ track, then, we’d see another crummy year in 2015, a competitive year in 2016, and then a World Series trip in 2017. (Obviously that’s super reductive, and you can’t actually apply the history of another team like that. But it’s funny to think about.)
- As for the Royals’ opponent in the Series, it’s looking likely to be the Giants. Not that you ever rule out of the Cardinals, but they did choke away last night’s game, blowing a 4-1 lead, and ultimately losing 6-4. Two of the runs came on separate gaffes by Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams, and somewhere Clayton Kershaw doesn’t know why he’s smiling.
- Game 5 is tonight at 7pm CT, and it’ll be Madison Bumgarner’s chance to close things down against Adam Wainwright. In case you were wondering: the last time a team came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS was … the Giants against the Cardinals just two years ago. You can expect to hear that tidbit frequently tonight.