When a team is missing from the postseason for 29 years, it builds up a little karmic oomph. And so the Kansas City Royals, producing a series of minor miracles throughout their 12-inning struggle with the Oakland Athletics, live to play another series. They earned every bit of this one.
Down 7-3 in the eighth inning, the Royals scored three runs, then tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. After falling behind 8-7 in the 12th inning, they rallied for two runs in bottom half for a 9-8 win and a trip to the American League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels.
The game lasted nearly five hours. It was the Royals’ first postseason game since they won the 1985 World Series. And it marked another calamitous failure by the A’s, who lost 30 of their last 46 games before backing into the wild-card round. The A’s haven’t won a playoff series since 2006.
Perhaps there will be similar drama on Wednesday night in the National League one-and-done eliminator in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates meet the San Francisco Giants. The Pirates snapped a 21-year playoff drought last season and have returned again to the delight of the locals, who staged a pep rally on Tuesday in honor of what they’re calling Buctober.
Can Giants-Pirates possibly live up to the standard set by A’s-Royals?
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