Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2009 ALDS: Royals vs Orioles, Game 5

Mon Oct 12, 2009, 6:15pm: After a humbling 9-0 loss in a rainy Game 2 in KC, and then a 3-2 heartbreaker in the first game in Baltimore where the combination of Sheets-Martinez was not enough to eek one out, the Royals came back to collect 16 hits and win 8-1 on the back of Billingsley on Saturday night at Camden Yards, to force a decisive Game 5 back home tonight.

Starting tonight it will be Zack Greinke, the Royals All-Star, and Rich Hill, the Game 1 loser for the Orioles. Greinke hopes to have enough to lead KC on to the next round, after his unfortunate playoff debut in Game 2, where he was forced to leave the game in the 3rd inning after a long rain delay. Should Greinke and the Royals emerge victorious tonight, they would face the best-in-baseball Cleveland Indians in the ALCS, who clinched their Division Series win over the A's on Saturday.

Needless to say, fans here are tuned in and turned on for the sold out finale tonight at the K. Thousands of powder-blue "It's Our Time" t-shirts fill the stands tonight, which has become the Royals rallying cry since the pennant race started heating up more than a month ago.

7:40pm: Orioles are off to a quick 1-0 lead here in the second as Adam Jones takes Greinke deep.

8:55pm: Greinke has retired 7 straight here in the 7th... with 7 strikeouts. It must be his lucky night! The score is still tied 2-2, but there is a hopeful buzz in the crowd.

9:20pm: A leadoff single by Teahen and an error have 2 on with 1 out here in the bottom of the 8th. There's action in the Orioles bullpen. Here's the 3-2 from Hill to Crisp - struck him out swinging. A long 10-pitch at bat looks to chase the Orioles starter from the game, as the manager is making his slow walk out to the mound.

9:32pm: The righty Chris Ray comes on to face Callaspo. He'll bat from the left side. Here's the 1-1.... liner through the gap on the left side and it will roll all the way to the wall!...... 2 runs are in and the Royals go up 4-2!!

9:37pm: Alex Gordon to bat now. He's having a great series - the Royals missed him in September, but he came back from the DL just in time to make the start of this 5 game set, and has made a big impact so far against Baltimore. Royals fans are on their feet, looking for some insurance. Here's the pitch... it's a blooper, just over the head of the Orioles 1st baseman. Callaspo will score, and the Royals will take a 5-2 lead into the 9th inning!

9:55pm: Motte will come on to face the Orioles 4-5-6 hitters here in the 9th inning. Here's the pitch... and it's ball 4 to Adam Jones. A leadoff walk for Motte.

9:59pm: Motte against Wieters.... he struck him out! There was no catching up to that 95mph fastball.

10:03pm: Next up, Scott Moore, the Orioles third baseman, who is 0-3 today. The Royals fans are on their feet and urging Motte on. Here's the pitch... grounder to Aviles at short... it could be two! Two second for one, and Youkilis squeezes it at first and pumps his fist! The Royals are going to the ALCS!

Fireworks are popping, as the team rushes the field...jumping and dancing in the infield. A Division Series to remember here in KC!

There they are, your 2009 Division Series champions, the Kansas City Royals!

Player of the game: Alex Gordon, Series MVP: Alex Gordon (1HR, 6RBI, .368/.429/.632)