When you start the playoffs 8-0 and finish in Game 7 of the World Series, you produce a lot of memorable moments along the way. Jeffrey Flanagan picks the 10 best from a stellar 2014 postseason that Kansas City Royals fans will long remember.
No. 10: ALCS Game 4, Oct. 15 at Kauffman Stadium -- Royals 2, Orioles 1
Defense and pitching stole the show as Jason Vargas and the bullpen held down the Orioles and the Royals captured their first American League pennant since 1985. Lorenzo Cain made several great grabs and Alex Gordon took everyone's breath away by crashing into the left-field wall while making a catch.
Getty ImagesJamie Squire
No. 9: World Series Game 2, Oct. 22 at Kauffman Stadium -- Royals 7, Giants 2
The Royals erupted for five runs in the sixth inning to settle the issue and even the World Series at a game apiece. Omar Infante's two-run homer into the left-field bullpen capped the inning, which led to some words between the two sides as Giants reliever Hunter Strickland mouthed off to baserunner Sal Perez. That cleared the benches momentarily.
No. 8: ALCS Game 2, Oct. 11 at Baltimore -- Royals 6, Orioles 4
The Royals battled and scraped and clawed. And then with the score tied 4-4 in the ninth, they went ahead when Alcides Escobar reached out and stroked a ground-ball double down the right-field line to score Omar Infante. The Royals would come back to KC up 2-0 in the series.
No. 7: ALDS Game 1, Oct. 2 at Anaheim -- Royals 3, Angels 2
Mike Moustakas, who ultimately became Mr. October, blasted a go-ahead homer in the top of the 11th inning, and Greg Holland closed it out as the Royals stunned the Angels, presumed to be the best team in the American League.
APMark J. Terrill
No. 6: ALDS Game 2, Oct. 3 at Anaheim -- Royals 4, Angels 1
Incredibly, Kansas City's extra-inning magic continued as it became the first team ever to win its first three postseason games in a season in extra innings. This time, Eric Hosmer unleashed a rocket to right field that completely silenced Angels fans, a two-run shot that helped put the Royals up two games to none.
No. 5: World Series Game 6, Oct. 28 at Kauffman Stadium -- Royals 10, Giants 0
The Royals exploded for seven runs in the second inning and later Mike Moustakas belted his franchise-record fifth homer of the postseason. But it was rookie Yordano Ventura who stole the show as he fired seven shutout innings and showed plenty of flair on the mound in the process. Quite a party.
APDavid J. Phillip
No. 4: ALCS Game 1, Oct. 10 at Baltimore -- Royals 8, Orioles 6
Alex Gordon stunned the Baltimore faithful on a rainy Friday night and blasted a solo homer in the 10th inning to give the Royals the lead. Mike Moustakas added a two-run shot in the inning and the Royals took the opening game in the ALCS.
Getty ImagesPatrick Smith
No. 3: ALDS Game 3, Oct. 5 at Kauffman Stadium -- Royals 8, Angels 3
The Royals put this one away early and Royals fans finally got a breather after three straight white-knuckle affairs. And that set the stage for one of the most fun moments of the playoffs when Billy Butler, who wasn't being held at first base, took off and stole second base. Butler then turned to the dugout and did the Jarrod Dyson "varoom-varoom" motorcycle dance as the stadium howled.
John Rieger-USA TODAY SportsJohn Rieger
No. 2: ALCS Game 3, Oct. 14 at Kauffman Stadium -- Royals 2, Orioles 1
There wasn't much offense to remember, but who will forget the sensational play by third baseman Mike Moustakas? He reached over the railing at the third-base dugout suite, lunged and fell onto several fans as he stretched out and made a spectacular catch. It was a "did-I-just-really-see-that" moment that will be talked about for years.
No. 1: AL Wild Card Game, Sept. 30 at Kauffman Stadium -- Royals 9, A's 8
The Game for the Ages. No Royals fan will forget the incredible rally forged by the home team, trailing 7-3 in the eighth inning. The Royals tied it up, forced extra innings, fell behind again, then won it on Sal Perez's single down the left-field line. And the magic of the postseason was launched.