2014 American League Wild Card Game

The 2014 American League Wild Card Game was a play-in game during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2014 postseason played between the American League's (AL) two wild card teams, the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals. It was held on September 30, 2014. The Royals won by a score of 9–8 in 12 innings,[1] and advanced to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 2014 American League Division Series.[2]

This was the second postseason meeting between the Athletics and Royals, having first met in the 1981 ALDS (Athletics won 3–0).

The 12-inning contest tied the then record for the longest (by innings) "winner-take-all" game in postseason history, shared with Game 7 of the 1924 World Series.[3][4] This record was subsequently broken by the 2018 National League Wild Card Game .

2014 American League Wild Card Game
2014ALWClogo
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Oakland Athletics 2 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 13 0
Kansas City Royals 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 2 9 15 0
DateSeptember 30, 2014
VenueKauffman Stadium
CityKansas City, Missouri
Managers
UmpiresGerry Davis (crew chief), James Hoye, Dan Iassogna, Bill Miller, Todd Tichenor, Bill Welke, Phil Cuzzi (replay), Tim Timmons (replay)
Attendance40,502
TelevisionTBS
TV announcersErnie Johnson Jr., Ron Darling, Cal Ripken Jr., and Matt Winer
RadioESPN
Radio announcersJon Sciambi and Chris Singleton

The game

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Oakland Athletics 2 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 13 0
Kansas City Royals 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 2 9 15 0
WP: Jason Frasor (1–0)   LP: Dan Otero (0–1)
Home runs:
OAK: Brandon Moss 2 (2)
KC: None

The one-game playoff was touted as a duel between the Royals' James Shields and the Athletics' Jon Lester, but neither starting pitcher would earn a decision in the game. Oakland's Brandon Moss homered early off of Shields with Coco Crisp on base, giving the Athletics a 2–0 advantage; Kansas City halved the lead in the bottom of the first when Billy Butler singled to score Nori Aoki. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer had RBI hits for the Royals in the third inning, vaulting Kansas City to a 3–2 lead. In this third inning, Oakland catcher Geovany Soto left the game with a thumb injury sustained in a play at the plate. Soto had started the game because he would be more adept at controlling the running game of the Royals.[5] This would come back to haunt the Athletics later in the game. The fourth and fifth innings were scoreless, but a big sixth inning gave Oakland a large lead. Sam Fuld singled to lead off the inning, and Shields was relieved by Yordano Ventura after walking Josh Donaldson. Ventura's first batter, Moss, belted a three-run home run to give the Athletics a 5-3 lead. After Ventura was relieved by Kelvin Herrera, Derek Norris and Crisp singled in two additional runs.

Both Oakland and Kansas City batted fruitlessly in the seventh inning, and Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis recorded three straight outs in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, with Kansas City six outs away from having their season ended, the Royals manufactured a productive inning of their own. Alcides Escobar singled, and then stole second base with Nori Aoki at the plate. Lorenzo Cain singled, scoring Escobar. Cain stole second base himself with Eric Hosmer batting; Hosmer was then walked, at which point starting pitcher Jon Lester was relieved by Luke Gregerson. Nerves seemed to get the better of Gregerson, who allowed Billy Butler to single and score Cain, and then allowed Hosmer to score from third base on a wild pitch. After walking Alex Gordon Gregerson struck out the next two batters to preserve the Athletics' lead, but the Royals had crept to within one run.

Closer Greg Holland took the mound for Kansas City and was somewhat shaky, walking three batters, but mustered the three required outs without major damage, and Kansas City took their one-run deficit to the bottom of the ninth.

Oakland's closer, Sean Doolittle, pitched in relief of Gregerson. Pinch-hitter Josh Willingham hit a bloop single and was replaced by pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson. Dyson moved to second base on a successful bunt from Alcides Escobar, and then stole third with Aoki at bat. Aoki hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field for the second out of the inning, but Dyson was able to jog home, tying the game at 7–7 and completing the Royals' four-run comeback. Cain lined out to end the inning for Kansas City.

Brandon Finnegan, who 3 months earlier had pitched for TCU in the College World Series, began a strong inning of work in the tenth, replacing Greg Holland and recording three outs in quick succession. The Royals advanced Eric Hosmer to third base with two outs in the bottom of the tenth, but Salvador Pérez grounded out, putting a Royals victory on hold.

Finnegan again pitched well in the top of the eleventh, allowing only one hit and striking out Brandon Moss, who had already hit two home runs. Kansas City's offense produced in the bottom of the eleventh a situation identical to that of the tenth; the winning run stood 90 feet away with two outs, but Jayson Nix struck out to end the inning. Finnegan began the twelfth inning by walking Josh Reddick, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jed Lowrie. Finnegan was then relieved by Jason Frasor. Pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo of Oakland took a wild pitch from Frasor, allowing Reddick to go to third base. Callaspo then hit a line drive to left field, scoring Reddick. The new pitcher Frasor quickly stopped the bleeding by retiring Derek Norris and Nick Punto, but the Athletics had retaken the lead, 8–7.

Lorenzo Cain failed to get the bottom of the twelfth off to a promising start for Kansas City when he grounded out. The Oakland Athletics were two outs away from advancing to the ALDS. However, Hosmer nursed a lengthy at-bat into a deep hit off the left field wall that was poorly fielded, allowing him to reach third base. Christian Colon then managed an infield single to tie the game again, scoring Hosmer. Oakland pitcher Dan Otero was replaced by Fernando Abad, who threw to only one batter, Gordon, who popped out. Abad was then relieved by Jason Hammel. Christian Colon, still on first base, stole second (the 7th steal of the game for the Royals) with Pérez at the plate, after a pitchout was dropped by Derek Norris. Pérez (who was 0-for-5 at this point) then singled down the line to left field, which narrowly missed the outstretched glove of Josh Donaldson, scoring Colon and ending the marathon game with a Royals victory and a ticket to the ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Aftermath

Kansas City would run the table on their way to the AL pennant, sweeping Los Angeles in three games of a five game series and the Baltimore Orioles in four games of a seven game series before losing in seven games to the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 World Series. This victory would be the first of four extra-inning victories for the Royals in the 2014 Postseason.

After the game, many Royals fans considered it "The Best Game Ever" in their franchise history because of the incredible 4-run comeback by Kansas City. Making it sweeter for Royals fans was their bitter feelings towards the Athletics, who played in Kansas City from 1955-67 before owner Charles O. Finley moved the franchise to California. It was the Royals' first playoff game in 29 years.

References

  1. ^ Nightengale, Bob (October 1, 2014). "Amazing! Royals advance to ALDS on 12th-inning walk-off". USA Today. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  2. ^ "2014 MLB Postseason Schedule". MLB.com. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  3. ^ Schoenfield, David (October 1, 2014). "How the A's lost the wild-card game". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  4. ^ Kaegel, Dick (October 1, 2014). "Fit for a King: Royals rally, win in 12". MLB.com. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Padilla, Doug (September 30, 2014). "A's Geovany Soto out for thumb injury". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 1, 2014.

External links

1985 World Series

The 1985 World Series began on October 19 and ended on October 27. The American League champions Kansas City Royals played the National League champions St. Louis Cardinals, with the Royals upsetting the heavily favored Cardinals in seven games. The Series was popularly known as the "Show-Me Series" or the "I-70 Showdown Series," as both cities are in the state of Missouri and are connected by Interstate 70.

The Cardinals won the National League East division by three games over the New York Mets, then defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to two in the National League Championship Series. The Royals won the American League West division by one game over the California Angels, then defeated the Toronto Blue Jays four games to three in the American League Championship Series.

The Cardinals were seeking to win their NL-leading 10th World Series title, while the Royals were seeking their first World Series title. The Royals were completing one of the most successful decades by any expansion team, with six division titles and two pennants from 1976 to 1985. This was the first World Series in which all games were played at night. Also, this was the first World Series to feature television commentator Tim McCarver, who called the games for ABC with Al Michaels and Jim Palmer. (Howard Cosell was originally scheduled to be in the booth with Michaels and Palmer, but was removed from his assignment just prior to Game 1 because of the controversy surrounding his book I Never Played the Game.) McCarver would go on to call a record 24 World Series telecasts for various networks.

This was the second Missouri-only World Series, with the first being the 1944 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns (the Browns later moving and becoming the Baltimore Orioles). The 1985 World Series marked the 5th time in World Series history that a team came back from a three games to one deficit to win a championship. Bret Saberhagen's victories in Games 3 and 7, with him allowing only a single run on both starts, earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player award.

This was the last World Series in which the designated hitter was not used in an American League baseball park. From 1976 to 1985, in even-numbered years, the DH would be used in all games. In odd-numbered years, like this World Series, the pitchers from both were required to bat for themselves throughout the series. Beginning with the next World Series, the DH rule would be used only in games played at the American League representative's park. The Royals became World Series champions for the first time in their history; they would return to the Series in 2014, in which they played the 2014 World Series against the San Francisco Giants but lost in seven games. A year later in the 2015 World Series, the Royals would win their 2nd title against the New York Mets.

AL Kansas City Royals (4) vs. NL St. Louis Cardinals (3)

2014 Oakland Athletics season

The 2014 Oakland Athletics season was the 46th for the franchise at O.co Coliseum, as well as the 114th in club history. The Athletics entered the season hoping to win a third consecutive American League West championship; to that end, the team made a number of key signings and trades during the 2013-14 MLB offseason. Notably, Athletics traded outfielder Michael Choice for left fielder Craig Gentry and pitcher Josh Lindblom; they also traded the promising but oft-injured Brett Anderson for reliever Drew Pomeranz. Additional trades brought in relievers Fernando Abad (acquired for John Wooten), Luke Gregerson (acquired for Seth Smith), and Jim Johnson (acquired for Jemile Weeks and David Freitas). In free agency, the Athletics signed former All-Star starting pitcher Scott Kazmir to a two-year deal. These moves, among others, sought to bolster the depth of team's starting pitching and bullpen.

Shortly before the season opener, the Athletics were dealt a huge blow when starting pitchers Jarrod Parker and A. J. Griffin were ruled out for the season. The team responded by promoting reliever Jesse Chavez (and, eventually, Drew Pomeranz) to the starting rotation. Despite this setback, the team raced out to an impressive start; by the All-Star Break, the Athletics had compiled a league-best record of 59-36. Unexpectedly strong performances by starting pitchers Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez, and Drew Pomeranz enabled much of this surge; the Athletics' red-hot hitters (particularly sluggers Josh Donaldson, Yoenis Céspedes, and Brandon Moss) also played a major role.

Despite their fantastic first-half performance, the Athletics remained locked in a tight battle for first place in the American League West. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, like the Athletics, had also raced out to an impressive start; at the All-Star Break, the Angels owned the league's second-best record (and, at 57-37, only trailed the Athletics by 1.5 games). In part because of this, the Athletics traded noted prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, along with starting pitcher Dan Straily, to the Chicago Cubs for two starters (ace Jeff Samardzija and veteran Jason Hammel) on July 4th.

The Athletics continued to play well throughout July. Still, they failed to gain significant ground on the Angels. On July 31, with a scant 2.5 game lead over Los Angeles, the Athletics stunned the league by trading Yoenis Céspedes for all-star starter Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes. In the week immediately following the trade, things went well for the team; by August 9th, they had upped their lead over the Angels to four games. From that point forward, however, the As were met with disaster. An historic collapse, defined largely by ineffective hitting and a spate of narrow losses, saw Oakland tumble in the American League standings; all told, the team won just 16 of its final 46 games. The Athletics only managed to clinch an AL Wild-Card berth on the final day of the regular season. The team finished some ten games behind the Angels, who clinched the league's best record with an impressive 98-64 finish.

The Athletics met the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 American League Wild Card Game. The Athletics held a 7-3 lead over the Royals through seven innings; a furious Royals rally, however, saw the Royals tie the game by scoring three runs in the eighth inning and one run in the ninth. In the 12th inning, the Athletics' took an 8-7 lead on an Alberto Callaspo line drive; the Royals, however, would again rally for a 9-8 walk-off victory (their first playoff win in 29 years). The Athletics did not reach the postseason again until the 2018 season.

2015 ESPY Awards

The 2015 ESPY Awards was the annual ESPY Awards held annually with 32 awards in total being handed out, honoring the best in sports. They were presented on July 15, 2015 and hosted by actor and comedian Joel McHale from the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. For the first time in its 23-year history, the ceremony was broadcast on ABC.

Best Game ESPY Award

The Best Game ESPY Award is an annual award honoring the achievements of a team who has performed the best play in the world of sports. It was first awarded as part of the ESPY Awards in 2002. The Best Game ESPY Award trophy, designed by sculptor Lawrence Nowlan, is awarded to the team on the single regular season or playoff game contested professionally under the auspices of one of the four major North American leagues or collegiately under the auspices of the National Collegiate Athletic Association adjudged, in view of its quality, competitiveness, excitement, and significance, to be the best. Since 2004, the winner has been chosen by online voting through choices selected by the ESPN Select Nominating Committee. Before that, determination of the winners was made by an panel of experts. Through the 2001 iteration of the ESPY Awards, ceremonies were conducted in February of each year to honor achievements over the previous calendar year; awards presented thereafter are conferred in July and reflect performance from the June previous.The inaugural winner of the Best Game ESPY Award in 2002 was the seventh game of the 2001 World Series which decided that year's baseball title in favour of the expansion team Arizona Diamondbacks over the New York Yankees. The following year's recipient of the accolade went to Ohio State University Buckeyes in their 2003 Fiesta Bowl victory over the University of Miami Hurricanes. College football games have won the award three times and earned another two nominations after American football which has the most wins of any other sport with eight awards and six nominations while basketball and ice hockey games each have one victory each. The 2018 winner of the Best Game ESPY Award is the 2018 Winter Olympics women's ice hockey gold medal game in which the United States team won against Canada's squad in a 3–2 shootout victory to claim their first gold medal in women's ice hockey since the 1998 Winter Games.

Brandon Moss

Brandon Douglas Moss (born September 16, 1983) is an American professional designated hitter who is a free agent. He previously played for the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, and Kansas City Royals as a first baseman or outfielder.

Moss was a prospect for the Red Sox organization, where he made his MLB debut in 2007. During the 2008 season, he was sent to the Pirates as part of a trade to acquire Jason Bay. Moss struggled in Pittsburgh, and he played for the Phillies in 2011. Moss joined the Athletics in 2012, where he became a strong contributor. He was named to appear in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. After the 2014 season, the Athletics traded him to the Indians. Moss was then traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015.

Christian Colón

Christian Anthony Colón (born May 14, 1989) is a Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop and second baseman in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals and Miami Marlins.

Dan Otero

Daniel Anthony Otero (born February 19, 1985) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics.

Extra innings

Extra innings is the extension of a baseball or softball game in order to break a tie.

Ordinarily, a baseball game consists of nine innings (in softball and high school baseball games there are typically seven innings; in Little League Baseball, six), each of which is divided into halves: the visiting team bats first, after which the home team takes its turn at bat. However, if the score remains tied at the end of the regulation number of complete innings, the rules provide that "play shall continue until (1) the visiting team has scored more total runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning; or (2) the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning." (Since the home team bats second, condition (2) implies that the visiting team will not have the opportunity to score more runs before the end of the inning).

The rules of the game, including the batting order, availability of substitute players and pitchers, etc., remain intact in extra innings. Managers must display caution to avoid exhausting all their substitute players during regular innings, in case the game reaches extensive extra innings. The rules call for a forfeiture if a team is unable to field a full team of nine players.

Josh Willingham

Joshua David Willingham (born February 17, 1979) is a former American professional baseball left fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member team of the American League (AL) Central division. The team was founded as an expansion franchise in 1969, and has participated in four World Series, winning in 1985 and 2015, and losing in 1980 and 2014.

The name Royals pays homage to the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, rodeo, and championship barbeque competition held annually in Kansas City since 1899 as well as the identical names of two former negro league baseball teams that played in the first half of the 20th century (one a semi-pro team based in Kansas City in the 1910s and 1920s that toured the Midwest and a California Winter League team based in Los Angeles in the 1940s that was managed by Chet Brewer and included Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson on its roster). The Los Angeles team had personnel connections to the Monarchs but could not use the Monarchs name. The name also fits into something of a theme for other professional sports franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, the former Kansas City Kings of the NBA, and the former Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League.

In 1968, the team held a name-the-team contest that received more than 17,000 entries. Sanford Porte, a bridge engineer from the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas was named the winner for his “Royals” entry. His reason had nothing to do with royalty. “Kansas City’s new baseball team should be called the Royals because of Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income, Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant,” Porte wrote. The team's board voted 6-1 on the name, with the only opposition coming from team owner Ewing Kauffman, who eventually changed his vote and said the name had grown on him.Entering the American League in 1969 along with the Seattle Pilots, the club was founded by Kansas City businessman Ewing Kauffman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics (Kansas City's previous major league team that played from 1955 to 1967) moved to Oakland, California in 1968. Since April 10, 1973, the Royals have played at Kauffman Stadium, formerly known as Royals Stadium.

The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs seven times from 1976 to 1985, winning one World Series championship and another AL pennant, led by stars such as Amos Otis, Hal McRae, John Mayberry, George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive throughout the early 1990s, but then had only one winning season from 1995 to 2012. For 28 consecutive seasons (1986–2013), the Royals did not qualify to play in the MLB postseason, one of the longest postseason droughts during baseball's current wild-card era. The team broke this streak in 2014 by securing the franchise's first wild card berth and advancing to the World Series. The Royals followed this up by winning the team's first Central Division title in 2015 and defeating the New York Mets for their first World Series title in 30 years.

Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium (), often called "The K", is a baseball park located in Kansas City, Missouri, that is home to the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB). It is part of the Truman Sports Complex together with the adjacent Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. The ballpark is named for Ewing Kauffman, the founder and first owner of the Royals. It opened in 1973 as Royals Stadium and was named for Kauffman on July 2, 1993. The ballpark's listed seating capacity since 2009 is 37,903.

Kauffman Stadium was built specifically for baseball during an era when building multisport "cookie-cutter" stadiums was commonplace. It is often held up along with Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as one of the best examples of modernist stadium design. It is currently the only ballpark in the American League to be named after a person and is also one of ten stadiums in Major League Baseball that does not have a corporate-sponsored name. The stadium is the sixth-oldest stadium in Major League Baseball and has hosted the 1973 and the 2012 MLB All-Star Games, along with Royals home games during the 1980, 1985, 2014, and 2015 World Series. Between 2007 and 2009, Kauffman Stadium underwent a $250 million renovation, which included updates and upgrades in fan amenities, a new Royals hall of fame area, and other updates throughout the facility.

Major League Baseball on TBS

Major League Baseball on TBS (also sometimes referred to as Sunday MLB on TBS during the regular season) is a presentation of regular season and postseason Major League Baseball game telecasts that air on the American pay television network TBS. The games are produced by Turner Sports.

Todd Tichenor

Todd Frederick Tichenor (born December 15, 1976) is an American professional baseball umpire. He became a Major League Baseball reserve umpire in 2007 and was promoted to the full-time MLB staff in 2012. He wore number 97 until the 2014 season, when he switched to number 13 (formerly worn by Derryl Cousins).

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