Yes, that headline is accurate. The Kansas City Royals are going to their first World Series since 1985 after beating Baltimore 2-1 on Wednesday to sweep the ALCS. Even more amazing? The Royals are a perfect 8-0 in the 2014 playoffs after facing elimination at the hands of the Athletics numerous times in the Wild Card game. Eight straight wins to start a postseason is a baseball record.
Kansas City wasn’t the longest shot — oddmakers slotted them around 33-to-1 to win the Series before the season began — but given the franchise’s futility over the last 29 years it feels much more improbable and all the sweeter for the team’s fans.
Greg Holland induced a routine groundout to third off the bat of J.J. Hardy for the final out. Holland saved all three games during the ALCS. The Royals bullpen (Holland, Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera and even journeyman Jason Frasor) was beyond impressive during the series, perhaps only trumped by the team’s defensive play in the outfield thanks to players like Lorenzo Cain, whom earned series MVP honors.
It must be the rally nachos. Or Ned Yost bought some magic beans that actually worked.
Bunts for everybody!
The World Series begins Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Kauffman Stadium.
[photos via Getty]