KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- By the time a sharply hit ball off the bat of Salvador Perez skipped past Josh Donaldson down the third base line and sent the Royals to the American League Division Series, 4 hours and 45 minutes had passed, 385 pitches had been thrown and the Internet went crazy trying to keep up with the Kansas City Royals' first playoff win in 29 years.
The action really picked up in the top of the sixth inning after James Shields allowed the first two batters to reach base with the Royals clinging to a 3-2 lead, prompting Ned Yost to stroll out to the mound. The decision he made to bring in Yordano Ventura would make him a trending topic on Twitter for all the wrong reasons, highlighted by this in-game blog post from ESPN and this post-game Tweet from TBS analyst and former MLB pitcher Pedro Martinez.
I think Ned Yost was trying to give away this game, in any way possible. I dont agree with the situation of putting Ventura into the 6th
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) October 1, 2014
With many calling for the manager's job after the Athletics flipped a 3-2 deficit into a 7-3 lead, the Royals' winning chances appeared slim until an eighth inning rally powered by three singles, three stolen bases and a wild pitch brought the club within a run at 7-6. The rally reignited the crowd, and in the bottom of the ninth, Jarrod Dyson continued to Royals' running ways by swiping third base and creating the new unofficial dance of Kansas City. [protected-iframe id="83269d50b8e8c1336c9b14af1ef0a6a5-28016812-38006261" info="https://vine.co/v/OmOTw5MmOWq/embed/simple" width="600" height="600" frameborder="0"]
Dyson finished the first part of the improbable comeback by jogging home on a deep sacrifice fly by Nori Aoki, tying the game at 7, pushing the game into extra innings and sending the Kansas City Police Department into the viral stratosphere with a simple request.
We really need everyone to not commit crimes and drive safely right now. We'd like to hear the @Royals clinch this.
— Kansas City Police (@kcpolice) October 1, 2014
However, after a pair of scoreless extra innings, the game went into the 12th where Oakland regained the lead at 8-7, necessitating further late inning heroics... but it was getting late by the time Eric Hosmer stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 12th.
Hosmer nearly tied the game with a home run, but settled for a standup triple and was brought home on a Baltimore chop by Christian Colon, who importantly reached first base. Colon stole second after a pair of pitching changes, and the aforementioned Perez single sent the Kauffman crowd into a frenzy... but MLB.com initially missed the memo.
Now, when this guy makes good on his promise, what do you think they'll name the puppy?
— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 1, 2014