2015 American League Championship Series

The 2015 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was a best-of-seven playoff contested between the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals for the American League (AL) pennant and the right to play in the 2015 World Series. The series is the 46th in league history. The series was broadcast by Fox and Fox Sports 1 in the United States, with Fox airing Game 1 and Fox Sports 1 airing Games 2–6. Sportsnet, a property of Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications, simulcast Fox and Fox Sports 1's coverage in Canada. Game 1 took place on October 16, and the series ended with the Royals winning Game 6 on October 23.[2]

This was the second ALCS matchup between Kansas City and Toronto; the Royals previously rallied from a 3–1 deficit to defeat the Blue Jays in seven games in the 1985 ALCS.

The Royals would go on to defeat the New York Mets in the World Series in five games, winning their first World Series championship in 30 years.

2015 American League Championship Series
2015ALCSlogo
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Kansas City Royals (4) Ned Yost 95–67, .586, 12 GA
Toronto Blue Jays (2) John Gibbons 93–69, .574, 6 GA
DatesOctober 16–23
MVPAlcides Escobar (Kansas City)
UmpiresJohn Hirschbeck (crew chief), Laz Díaz, Dan Iassogna, Jeff Nelson, Tony Randazzo (Games 1–2), Jim Reynolds (Games 3–6), and Hunter Wendelstedt
ALDS
Broadcast
TelevisionUnited States:
Canada:
TV announcersJoe Buck,[1] Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci, Ken Rosenthal, and Erin Andrews
RadioESPN
Radio announcersDan Shulman and Aaron Boone

Background

The Kansas City Royals finished the season with a 95–67 record, winning the American League Central division title for the first time since that division was created in 1994. Their season win total was the most since winning 97 games in 1980. The Royals defeated the Houston Astros in five games in the American League Division Series (ALDS), advancing to their second straight ALCS and eighth overall.

The Toronto Blue Jays made it to the postseason for the first time since winning the 1993 World Series, finishing the season 93–69 to clinch the American League East title. Playing in their first ALDS in team history, the Blue Jays overcame a 2–0 deficit to defeat the Texas Rangers in five games and move on to the ALCS. It was their first ALCS appearance since 1993, and sixth overall.

The Blue Jays won four of seven games against the Royals in the 2015 regular season.

Summary

Kansas City won the series, 4–2.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 16 Toronto Blue Jays – 0, Kansas City Royals – 5 Kauffman Stadium 3:15 39,753[3] 
2 October 17 Toronto Blue Jays – 3, Kansas City Royals – 6 Kauffman Stadium 3:19 40,357[4] 
3 October 19 Kansas City Royals – 8, Toronto Blue Jays – 11 Rogers Centre 3:13 49,751[5] 
4 October 20 Kansas City Royals – 14, Toronto Blue Jays – 2 Rogers Centre 3:39 49,501[6] 
5 October 21 Kansas City Royals – 1, Toronto Blue Jays – 7 Rogers Centre 2:56 49,325[7] 
6 October 23 Toronto Blue Jays – 3, Kansas City Royals – 4 Kauffman Stadium 3:42 (:45 delay) 40,494[8]

Game summaries

Game 1

October 16, 2015 8:07 p.m. (EDT) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
Kansas City 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 x 5 8 1
WP: Edinson Vólquez (1–0)   LP: Marco Estrada (0–1)
Home runs:
TOR: None
KC: Salvador Pérez (1)
Attendance: 39,753

Kansas City opened the scoring in the third inning off of Marco Estrada when Alex Gordon hit a leadoff double and scored on Alcides Escobar's one-out double, then after a groundout, Escobar scored on Lorenzo Cain's single. Salvador Pérez added a home run in the fourth to give the Royals a 3-0 lead. In the eighth, a hit-by-pitch and single off of LaTroy Hawkins was followed by Eric Hosmer's RBI double and Kendrys Morales's sacrifice fly to make it 5–0 Royals. Meanwhile, Edinson Vólquez pitched six scoreless innings, surrendering only two hits to earn his first postseason win. The Royals' touted bullpen completed the shutout, making this just the sixth time all season that Toronto was held to no runs.[9]

Game 2

October 17, 2015 4:07 p.m. (EDT) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 10 0
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1 x 6 8 0
WP: Danny Duffy (1–0)   LP: David Price (0–1)   Sv: Wade Davis (1)
Attendance: 40,357

This game marked the fourth time that the Royals rallied back from a multi-run deficit to win in this post-season.[10] The Blue Jays struck first in the third on back-to-back leadoff doubles by Kevin Pillar and Ryan Goins off of starter Yordano Ventura. They made it 3–0 in the sixth when Edwin Encarnacion followed a leadoff single and walk with an RBI single, then Troy Tulowitzki hit a one-out RBI double. Going into the 7th inning, David Price had a perfect game going, retired 18 consecutive batters. However, Ben Zobrist led off the seventh inning with a pop-up to shallow right field; second baseman Ryan Goins tracked the ball back and waved off charging right fielder José Bautista, but inexplicably ducked out of the way at the last moment and allowed the ball to drop for a single. After Lorenzo Cain singled, Eric Hosmer's single, Kendrys Morales's groundout, and Mike Moustakas's single scored a run each to tie the game. After Salvador Perez struck out, Alex Gordon's RBI double put the Royals up 4–3.[11] Aaron Sanchez relieved Price and allowed an RBI single to Alex Rios. The Royals added another run in the eighth when Moustakas followed back-to-back two-out walks off of Aaron Loup with an RBI single Wade Davis pitched a scoreless ninth despite allowing a leadoff single and walk as the Royals' 6–3 win gave them a 2–0 series lead.[12] This was David Price's seventh consecutive playoff loss, tying him with Randy Johnson for the all-time record. He did record 18 consecutive outs, setting a Blue Jays franchise record.[13]

Game 3

October 19, 2015 8:07 p.m. (EDT) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 4 8 15 0
Toronto 0 3 6 0 1 0 0 1 x 11 11 0
WP: Marcus Stroman (1–0)   LP: Johnny Cueto (0–1)
Home runs:
KC: Kendrys Morales (1)
TOR: Troy Tulowitzki (1), Josh Donaldson (1), Ryan Goins (1)
Attendance: 49,751

Toronto's high powered offense finally came to life in Game 3. After the Royals scored a run in the first off of Marcus Stroman when Alcides Escobar hit a leadoff triple and scored on Ben Zobrist's groundout, Ryan Goins's single with runners on second and third put the Blue Jays up 2–1 in the third. After a walk, Josh Donaldson's RBI single made it 3–1 Blue Jays. The Royals cut the lead to 3–2 in the third when Eric Hosmer hit into a forceout at second with runners on first and third, but the Blue Jays blew the game open in the bottom half. After a leadoff single and walk, Troy Tulowitzki's three-run home run made it 6–2 Blue Jays. Russell Martin then walked and scored on Kevin Pillar's double. Kris Medlen relieved Cueto and after getting two outs, allowed a home run to Josh Donaldson to make it 9–2. In the fifth, Stroman's wild pitch with runners on second and third made it 9–3, then after a walk, Mike Moustakas's RBI single made it 9–4 Blue Jays, who added another run in the bottom of the inning on Ryan Goins's home run. They added another run in the eighth on Jose Bautista's RBI single with two on off of Franklin Morales. In the ninth, Liam Hendriks allowed a leadoff single and subsequent double. After Lorenzo Cain's sacrifice fly and Hosmer's single scored a run each, Roberto Osuna relieved Hendriks and allowed a two-run home run to Kendrys Morales before retiring the next two batters to end the game.

Game 4

October 20, 2015 4:07 p.m. (EDT) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 4 1 0 0 0 0 4 3 2 14 15 0
Toronto 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
WP: Luke Hochevar (1–0)   LP: R.A. Dickey (0–1)
Home runs:
KC: Ben Zobrist (1), Alex Ríos (1)
TOR: None
Attendance: 49,501

The Royals got to Toronto starter R.A. Dickey early in Game 4, with a two-run home run from the second batter of the game, Ben Zobrist. After a walk, stole base, and single, a passed ball scored another run for the Royals, then after a groundout, Mike Moustakas's sacrifice fly made it 4–0. Alex Rios's home run made it 5–0 next inning and Dickey was pulled from the game after allowing a walk and hit-by-pitch. Kansas City put up 5 total runs in the first 2 innings to chase Dickey from the game. Liam Hendricks entered in as the long reliever for the Blue Jays and pitched 4.1 scoreless innings from the second to the sixth and finished with 13 outs from 12 batters faced, breaking the playoff record for more-outs-than-batters-faced performances. Jim Lindsey previously held the mark with eight outs from seven batters faced in 1930, while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals.[14]

Royals starter Chris Young, who had split time in the starting rotation and the bullpen, pitched 4 2/3 innings. The Blue Jays scored their only runs of the game in the third on Josh Donaldson's ground-rule double with runners on first and second followed by Jose Bautista's sacrifice fly. Kansas City's bullpen then shut the Blue Jays down for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the Royals' offense exploded, adding nine runs in the final three innings.[15]

In the seventh, after LaTroy Hawkins allowed a walk and two singles to load the bases with no outs, Alcides Escobar hit a sacrifice fly off of Ryan Tepera, who then threw a wild pitch to let another run score. After Ben Zobrist walked, Lorenzo Cain's RBI single and Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly scored a run each. Next inning, the Royals loaded the bases off of Tepera when Escobar hit another sacrifice fly, then a single reloaded the bases before Cain's two-run single made it 12–2 Royals.

In an effort to save his bullpen and to the amusement of some fans and players, Toronto manager John Gibbons elected to bring utility infielder Cliff Pennington to pitch the top of the ninth with two on and two outs.[16] This marked the first time that a position player pitched in a playoff game. Pennington allowed a single to load the bases before Escobar's two-run single capped the game's scoring at 14–2 Royals. Franklin Morales pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth to give the Royals a 3–1 series lead.

Game 5

October 21, 2015 4:07 p.m. (EDT) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 0
Toronto 0 1 0 0 0 4 1 1 x 7 8 0
WP: Marco Estrada (1–1)   LP: Edinson Vólquez (1–1)
Home runs:
KC: Salvador Pérez (2)
TOR: Chris Colabello (1)
Attendance: 49,325

Game 5 appeared to be a pitchers' duel early on. Toronto starter Marco Estrada and Kansas City starter Edinson Vólquez dominated early on, with the first run of the game on Chris Colabello's home run in the second. Things began to unwind for Volquez in the bottom of the sixth as he walked two batters and hit a third to load the bases. Volquez then walked Edwin Encarnación to force in a run. With Troy Tulowitzki coming to the plate, Royals manager Ned Yost opted to pull Volquez in favor of Kelvin Herrera; however, Tulowitzki promptly lined a bases-clearing double off the center-field wall to make the score 5-0. That proved to be more than enough for Estrada, who only surrendered a home run from Salvador Pérez with two outs in the eighth in his 7 and 2/3 innings of work. The Blue Jays added to their lead off of Danny Duffy, who allowed back-to-back two-out doubles in the seventh to Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, then a one-out single to Tulowitzki in the eighth and RBI double to Kevin Pillar. Roberto Osuna pitched a perfect ninth to keep Toronto's season alive and send the series back to Kansas City.[17]

This would be the final postseason game played with sliding pits instead of a traditional full dirt infield, as the Blue Jays would install a new dirt infield at Rogers Centre prior to the start of the 2016 season.[18]

Game 6

October 23, 2015 8:07 p.m. (EDT) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 7 0
Kansas City 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 x 4 9 0
WP: Wade Davis (1–0)   LP: Roberto Osuna (0–1)
Home runs:
TOR: José Bautista 2 (2)
KC: Ben Zobrist (2), Mike Moustakas (1)
Attendance: 40,494

Ben Zobrist opened the scoring two batters into the bottom of the 1st with a home run to left field off of David Price. Mike Moustakas added another home run for Kansas City in the 2nd inning, but this one was not without controversy. It was a liner right at the right-center field wall, where a fan reached out and caught the ball at the top corner of the wall. The ball was initially ruled a home run, but Toronto wanted the play reviewed. The Fox commentary crew of Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, and Tom Verducci seemed confident that the ruling would be overturned, but the ruling of a home run stood with the play being too close to overturn. Buck, Reynolds, and Verducci would later call it a good call by the reviewing crew upon viewing further replays and upon fully understanding the configuration of the outfield wall, but debated the call several times throughout the broadcast.

Toronto got on the board in the fourth when José Bautista blasted a home run off the Royals Hall of Fame sign in left field. The Blue Jays would threaten again in the fifth when starter Yordano Ventura gave up consecutive walks to lead off the inning. However, he settled down and induced two pop-outs, which then brought up eventual AL MVP Josh Donaldson. Donaldson hit a hard line-drive towards 3rd base, but Moustakas was able to come up with a spectacular diving catch to end the inning.[19]

In the bottom of the seventh, Moustakas reached base on a broken bat blooper to center-field. Salvador Pérez next hit a deep fly ball to left field. Left fielder Ben Revere then one-upped Moustakas' earlier catch with a leaping catch at the top of the left-field wall. Revere then tried to double up Moustakas at 1st, but Moustakas got back in time to leave it at one out. Ryan Goins then kept the good defense going by making a sliding stop on a hard Alex Gordon grounder to get Gordon out at 1st, to make it two outs, but Moustakas reached 2nd on the play. At this point David Price was taken out of the game in favor of right hander Aaron Sanchez to face Alex Ríos. On a 1-2 pitch, Rios hammered a ball to left field for a single that drove in Moustakas to give Kansas City a 3-1 lead.[20]

In the top of the eight, Kansas City manager Ned Yost brought in Ryan Madson to get the Royals through the inning after Kelvin Herrera kept Toronto scoreless for the last 1 and 2/3 innings. Yost would say after the game he put in Madson because of the impending rain: he didn't want to bring in closer Wade Davis early in case there was a lengthy rain delay which could prevent him from pitching the 9th.[21] Revere hit a high chopper to Alcides Escobar and beat the throw to 1st base for a lead-off infield single. Up next was Josh Donaldson, but he remained hitless on the night when Madson got him to strike out for the first out. adson faced Bautista next who promptly blasted a two-run home run down the left-field line to tie the game at 3. Madson then walked Edwin Encarnación, forcing Yost to pull Madson from the game in favor of Wade Davis. Davis induced a pop-out from Chris Colabello, before throwing a wild pitch against Troy Tulowitzki which allowed Encarnacion to advance to 2nd. It was only Davis' second wild pitch of the season. Facing a 3-2 count against Tulowitzki, the rain started to fall in Kansas City. Davis got Tulowitzki to swing and miss for a strike out to end the inning, but Yost's fears came true as the grounds crew brought out the tarp for a rain delay, meaning Davis would have a lengthy wait between pitching appearances if he was even able to return depending on the length of the delay.[22]

After a 45-minute rain delay, Toronto manager John Gibbons sent out closer Roberto Osuna to pitch the bottom of the eighth. Lorenzo Cain worked an 8-pitch walk to get on base. Eric Hosmer was up next and worked a 2-2 count before driving a ball to the right field corner for a hit, and Cain ran on contact. Bautista fielded the ball and threw to second while Cain was flying around the base. As soon as Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele saw Bautista throw to 2nd, he waved Cain home. By the time the throw reached second base, Cain was already well past third and by the time Tulowitzki's throw to home reached catcher Russell Martin, Cain was sliding past home for the go-ahead run. It was the second time of the 2015 post-season that Cain had scored from first base on a single from Hosmer.[23] On the play, Cain went from 1st to home in under 10.5 seconds.[24]

Davis came back in to pitch the top of the ninth after having waited just over an hour between in-game pitches. Martin greeted Davis with his first hit of the series on a single to center-field. Dalton Pompey then came in to run for Martin and promptly stole 2nd base to put the tying run in scoring position. Then on a 2-2 pitch into the dirt to Kevin Pillar, Pompey stole third and Perez could not scoop up the ball to even make a throw. That put a runner on third with no outs and a 3-2 count to Pillar. After a foul ball, Davis missed on a pitch inside to walk Pillar to put runners on the corners with no outs. Dioner Navarro came in to pinch-hit for Goins with Toronto needing a catcher to replace Martin. On a 1-1 pitch, Davis got a called strike that was high and outside. The Toronto dugout not only started complaining about that, but they believed Davis should've been called for a quick pitch balk, which would have brought the tying run home. Instead it was a 1-2 count and Davis got Navarro to swing and miss for the first out. However, Pillar stole 2nd on the pitch to leave the Royals without a double-play chance and thus putting two runners in scoring position. That brought up Revere who worked a 2-1 count when Davis threw a called strike to make it a 2-2 count. On the next pitch, Revere swung and missed for the second strikeout of the inning, bringing up Donaldson with two runners in scoring position in a 4-3 game. On a 2-1 pitch Donaldson grounded out to 3rd for the final out to clinch back-to-back AL Pennants for the Kansas City Royals.[25]

Alcides Escobar, who batted .478 in the series with 2 doubles and a triple, was named 2015 ALCS MVP.[26]

Composite line score

2015 ALCS (4–2): Kansas City Royals beat Toronto Blue Jays

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto Blue Jays 0 4 9 1 1 6 1 4 0 26 46 1
Kansas City Royals 6 2 3 1 2 0 10 8 6 38 59 1
Total attendance: 269,181   Average attendance: 44,864

References

  1. ^ Grathoff, Pete (October 15, 2015). "Joe Buck will call the Royals-Blue Jays ALCS". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  2. ^ Newman, Mark (September 24, 2015). "2015 Postseason Schedule". mlb.com. MLB Advanced Media, LP. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Boxscore: Toronto vs. Kansas City, Game 1". MLB.com. October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  4. ^ "Boxscore: Toronto vs. Kansas City, Game 2". MLB.com. October 17, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Boxscore: Kansas City vs. Toronto, Game 3". MLB.com. October 18, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  6. ^ "Boxscore: Kansas City vs. Toronto, Game 4". MLB.com. October 18, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  7. ^ "Boxscore: Kansas City vs. Toronto, Game 5". MLB.com. October 18, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  8. ^ "Boxscore: Kansas City vs. Toronto, Game 6". MLB.com. October 21, 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  9. ^ Official MLB Collector's Edition 2015 World Series Champions Kansas City Royals. United States of America: Fenn/McClelland & Stewart. 2015. p. 46.
  10. ^ Chisholm, Gregor; Flanagan, Jeffrey (October 17, 2015). "KC pops Price's bubble in 7th for 2-0 lead". mlb.com. Kansas City, Missouri: MLB Advanced Media, LP. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  11. ^ Official MLB Collector's Edition 2015 World Series Champions Kansas City Royals. United States of America: Fenn/McClelland & Stewart. 2015. p. 48.
  12. ^ Corcoran, Cliff (October 17, 2015). "Royals come from behind to defeat Blue Jays in Game 2 of ALCS". Sports Illustrated. Kansas City, Missouri: Time Inc. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "Five-run rally against David Price sparks Royals to 2-0 advantage". ESPN News Services. Kansas City, Missouri: ESPN Internet Ventures. Associated Press. October 17, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  14. ^ "Liam Hendriks breaks longstanding MLB playoffs record with impressive pitching performance for Toronto". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  15. ^ Official MLB Collector's Edition 2015 World Series Champions Kansas City Royals. United States of America: Fenn/McClelland & Stewart. 2015. p. 54.
  16. ^ "Jays' Pennington becomes first position player to pitch in playoffs". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  17. ^ Official MLB Collector's Edition 2015 World Series Champions Kansas City Royals. United States of America: Fenn/McClelland & Stewart. 2015. p. 58.
  18. ^ "Blue Jays to install dirt infield for 2016 season". Sportsnet. 3 February 2016.
  19. ^ "2015 World Series Collector's Edition: 8-Disc Collection". Official MLB DVD.
  20. ^ "2015 World Series Collector's Edition: 8-Disc Collection". Major League Baseball. Official MLB DVD.
  21. ^ Lee, Jane. "Weather may have led Yost to turn to Madson". MLB.com.
  22. ^ "2015 World Series Collector's Edition: 8-Disc Collection". Major League Baseball. Official MLB DVD.
  23. ^ Official MLB Collector's Edition 2015 World Series Champions Kansas City Royals. United States of America: Fenn/McClelland & Stewart. 2015. p. 60.
  24. ^ 2015 World Series Collector's Edition Sleevestats. United States of America: Major League Baseball, Inc. 2015. p. 11.
  25. ^ "2015 World Series Collector's Edition: 8-Disc Collection". Major League Baseball. Official MLB DVD.
  26. ^ Gonzalez, Alden. "Escobar takes home ALCS MVP honors". mlb.com.

External links

2015 American League Division Series

The 2015 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams in the 2015 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and a fourth team—the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff— played in two series. Fox Sports 1 carried the majority of games in the United States, while Sportsnet primarily simulcast Fox Sports 1's coverage in Canada. MLB Network had exclusive coverage of Game 3 of the Kansas City Royals–Houston Astros series in both the United States and Canada, and Game 2 of the Toronto Blue Jays–Texas Rangers series in the U.S. only (Sportsnet, co-owned with the Blue Jays by Rogers Communications, simulcast MLB Network's coverage for the latter). The ALDS began on October 8 and ran until October 14. The Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals had home field advantage in this round of the playoffs. With the New York Yankees being eliminated by the Astros in the AL Wild Card Game, this is the first time in ALDS history that all four ALDS teams were expansion teams.

These matchups were:

(1) Kansas City Royals (Central Division champion) vs (5) Houston Astros (Wild Card winner)

(2) Toronto Blue Jays (East Division champion) vs (3) Texas Rangers (West Division champion)The higher seeded team in each series hosted Games 1, 2, and 5, and the lower seeded team hosted Games 3 and 4.

This was the first ALDS appearance for both the Astros and Blue Jays. Toronto's last postseason berth came in 1993, the final season of the two-round playoff format. Houston, on the other hand, made its first playoff appearance as an American League team; the franchise's preceding postseason berth came in 2005 while a member of the National League. The Blue Jays and the Rangers, and the Astros and the Royals, met for the first time in postseason play.

2015 World Series

The 2015 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2015 season. The 111th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion New York Mets and the American League (AL) champion Kansas City Royals. The series was played between October 27 and November 1, with the Royals winning the series 4 games to 1. It was the first time since the 2010 World Series that the World Series extended into November. The Royals became the first team since the Oakland Athletics in the 1989 World Series to win the World Series after losing in the previous year. It was the first World Series to feature only expansion teams and the first since the 2007 World Series to not feature the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, or San Francisco Giants as the NL champions.

The Royals had home field advantage for the first two games of the series because of the AL's 6–3 victory in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was the 13th World Series in which home field advantage was awarded to the league that won the All-Star Game, a practice that was discontinued after the 2016 season. The series was played in a 2–3–2 format: the Royals hosted Games 1 and 2, and the Mets hosted Games 3, 4, and 5 (there was no Game 6 or 7, which the Royals would have hosted).

The Royals won Game 1 in extra innings. The Royals also won Game 2 with a complete game by Johnny Cueto, who allowed only one unearned run and two hits. With the series shifting to New York, the Mets won Game 3 with home runs by David Wright and Curtis Granderson. The Royals came from behind to win Game 4 after an error by Daniel Murphy led to a blown save by Jeurys Familia. Game 5 also went into extra innings, where bench player Christian Colón drove in the go-ahead run for the Royals, who clinched the series. Salvador Pérez was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.

2015 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 2015 throughout the world.

2016 American League Championship Series

The 2016 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the Toronto Blue Jays against the Cleveland Indians for the American League (AL) pennant and the right to play in the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs. As division champions, the Indians had home-field advantage for the series over the Blue Jays, who were a wild-card team. The Indians defeated the Blue Jays four games to one.

The series was the 47th in league history. TBS televised all games in the United States, with Sportsnet, a property of Toronto Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications, airing all games in Canada using the TBS feed.The Indians would go on to lose to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series in seven games, after taking a 3–1 series lead.

Alex Ríos

Alexis Israel Ríos (born February 18, 1981) is an American former professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Kansas City Royals. A World Series champion with the Royals in 2015 over the New York Mets, Rios is also a two-time MLB All-Star selection. In 2013, he hit for the cycle and achieved six hits in one game. In 2007, he was a Fielding Bible Award winner for right fielders. He is a three-time World Baseball Classic participant with Puerto Rico.

Austin Romine

Austin Allen Romine (born November 22, 1988) is an American professional baseball catcher for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He participated in the All-Star Futures Game in 2010, and made his MLB debut in 2011. He is the brother of Andrew Romine.

Chris Colabello

Christopher Adrian Colabello (born October 24, 1983) is an American former professional baseball first baseman and outfielder. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays, after playing seven seasons in independent baseball.

Chris Young (pitcher)

Christopher Ryan Young (born May 25, 1979) is an American former professional baseball pitcher who is currently MLB Vice President of On-Field Operations. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut on August 24, 2004, with the Texas Rangers and also has Major League experience with the San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, and Kansas City Royals. He had previously excelled in basketball and baseball at Highland Park High School in University Park, Texas, and Princeton University.

Young helped Highland Park reach the Class 4A Region II basketball final in 1997 and the Class 4A Texas state basketball final in 1998. He tossed a no-hitter in 1997 while compiling a 6–0 record, helping Highland Park reach the Class 4A Texas state baseball final. During his senior year, he was District Most Valuable Player in basketball, and led his baseball team to the state championship, while pitching in two no-hitters. That year, he was a first-team All-State selection in basketball and baseball. After a high school career as an athlete and scholar, Young excelled in both baseball and basketball for Princeton University and became the Ivy League's first male two-sport Rookie of the Year.

Selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the June 2000 draft, he had brief professional experiences in the Pirates, Montreal Expos, and Texas Rangers minor league systems before debuting with the Rangers in August 2004. Young's professional baseball career took off in the 2006 season, when he was the major league leader in opponent batting average, hits per nine innings and road earned run average (ERA) and was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for June. Additionally, he extended his streak of consecutive undefeated games started as a visiting pitcher to 24, and secured the only Padres win in the team's 3–1 series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 National League Division Series. In 2007, he defended his opponent batting average and hits per nine innings titles, but instead of winning the road ERA title he won the home ERA title.

He is 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m), which makes him, along with former pitchers Eric Hillman, Randy Johnson, Andrew Brackman and Andrew Sisco, the second tallest player in baseball history, next to relief pitcher Jon Rauch (who is 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 m) and Young's teammate on the 2012 New York Mets). He was elected to the 2007 MLB All-Star Game as a first-time All-Star via the All-Star Final Vote.

Cliff Pennington (baseball)

Clifton Randolph Pennington (born June 15, 1984) is an American professional baseball infielder in the Oakland Athletics organization. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels, and Cincinnati Reds.

Fox Major League Baseball

Fox Major League Baseball (shortened to Fox MLB and also known as Major League Baseball on Fox, MLB on Fox, or MLB on FS1) is a presentation of Major League Baseball (MLB) games produced by Fox Sports, the sports division of the Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox), since June 1, 1996. The broadcaster has aired the World Series in 1996, 1998 and every edition since 2000, and the All-Star Game in 1997, 1999, and every year since 2001. It has also aired the National League Championship Series and American League Championship Series in alternate years from 1996 to 2000, both series from 2001 to 2006, and again in alternate years since 2007, with the NLCS in even years and the ALCS in odd years. Under its current contract with MLB, Fox Sports will continue to carry MLB telecasts through at least the 2021 season, with national broadcasts on Fox and cable sports network Fox Sports 1.

Fox Sports 1

Fox Sports 1 (FS1) is an American pay television channel that is owned by the Fox Sports Media Group, a unit of Fox Corporation. FS1 replaced the motorsports network Speed on August 17, 2013, at the same time that its companion channel Fox Sports 2 replaced Fuel TV. Both FS1 and FS2 absorbed most of the sports programming from its predecessors, as well as content from Fox Soccer, which was replaced by the entertainment-based channel FXX on September 2, 2013.

FS1 airs an array of live sporting events, including Major League Baseball, college sports (most notably Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 football, and Big East basketball), soccer matches (including Major League Soccer, Liga MX, Bundesliga, and Copa Libertadores), United States Golf Association championship events, UFC mixed martial arts, and a variety of motorsports events such as NASCAR, IMSA, Formula E, ARCA, and the NHRA. FS1 also features daily sports news, analysis and discussion programming as well as sports-related reality and documentary programs.

The network is based primarily from the Fox Sports division's headquarters in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, California, though the network also has significant broadcast operations in New York City, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina (the latter of which had served as Speed's home base). As of January 2016, Fox Sports 1 is available to approximately 84,486,000 pay television households (72.583% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.

Joe Buck

Joseph Francis Buck (born April 25, 1969) is an American sportscaster and the son of sportscaster Jack Buck. He has won numerous Sports Emmy Awards for his work with Fox Sports, including his roles as lead play-by-play announcer for the network's National Football League and Major League Baseball coverage, and is a three-time recipient of the National Sportscaster of the Year award. Since 1996, he has served as the play-by-play announcer for the World Series, each year, with the exceptions of 1997 and 1999. Since 2015, he's hosted Undeniable with Joe Buck on Audience Network.

Liam Hendriks

Liam Johnson Hendriks (born 10 February 1989) is an Australian professional baseball pitcher for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played for the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Marco Estrada (baseball)

Marco René Estrada (born July 5, 1983) is a Mexican-American professional baseball pitcher for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Toronto Blue Jays, and was an All-Star in 2016.

Pitcher

In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.

Traditionally, the pitcher also bats. Starting in 1973 with the American League and spreading to further leagues throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the hitting duties of the pitcher have generally been given over to the position of designated hitter, a cause of some controversy. The National League in Major League Baseball and the Japanese Central League are among the remaining leagues that have not adopted the designated hitter position.

Relief pitcher

In baseball and softball, a relief pitcher or reliever is a pitcher who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed due to injury, ineffectiveness, fatigue, ejection, or for other strategic reasons, such as inclement weather delays or pinch hitter substitutions. Relief pitchers are further divided informally into various roles, such as closers, setup men, middle relief pitchers, left/right-handed specialists, and long relievers. Whereas starting pitchers usually rest several days before pitching in a game again due to the number of pitches thrown, relief pitchers are expected to be more flexible and typically pitch more games but with fewer innings pitched. A team's staff of relievers is normally referred to metonymically as a team's bullpen, which refers to the area where the relievers sit during games, and where they warm-up prior to entering the game.

Ryan Goins

Ryan Matthew Goins (born February 13, 1988) is an American professional baseball second baseman and shortstop in the Chicago White Sox organization. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals.

Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Trevor Tulowitzki (born October 10, 1984), nicknamed "Tulo", is an American professional baseball shortstop for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays.

After playing college baseball for California State University, Long Beach, the Rockies selected Tulowitzki with the seventh overall selection of the 2005 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut the following year. Tulowitzki is a five-time MLB All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. The Rockies traded Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays in 2015. He missed most of the 2017 season and all of the 2018 season with injuries, and the Blue Jays released him after the 2018 season.

Tulowitzki's arm, range and instincts at shortstop are highly regarded. Furthermore, his size, ability and leadership skills have garnered him comparisons to Cal Ripken, Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. In spite of his talent, he has gained a reputation for being an injury-prone player, having played at least 140 games in a season only three times and missing at least 30 games in each of the last six seasons due to various ailments.

World Series

The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.Prior to 1969, the team with the best regular season win-loss record in each league automatically advanced to the World Series; since then each league has conducted a championship series (ALCS and NLCS) preceding the World Series to determine which teams will advance. As of 2018, the World Series has been contested 114 times, with the AL winning 66 and the NL winning 48.

The 2018 World Series took place between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox from October 23–28, with the Red Sox winning in five games to earn their ninth title. This was the first World Series meeting between these two teams since 1916. Having previously lost to the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series, the Dodgers became the 11th team to lose the World Series in consecutive seasons.In the American League, the New York Yankees have played in 40 World Series and won 27, the Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics have played in 14 and won 9, and the Boston Red Sox have played in 13 and won 9, including the first World Series. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have appeared in 19 and won 11, the New York/San Francisco Giants have played in 19 and won 8, the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have appeared in 20 and won 6, and the Cincinnati Reds have appeared in 9 and won 5.

As of 2018, no team has won consecutive World Series championships since the New York Yankees in 1998, 1999, and 2000—the longest such drought in Major League Baseball history.

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