Royals strongly believe in power of comebacks
KC looking for Game 4 win to launch another deep run
KANSAS CITY -- It has been well documented what the Royals' crazy American League Wild Card Game win over the A's last year did for the team, the organization and the whole city.
Energized by the improbable comeback, the Royals set sail deep into the postseason, becoming the first team to win its first eight playoff games in a season. The Royals advanced all the way to Game 7 of the World Series. An entire fanbase awoke as the Royals set television and attendance records this season.
Most of that was triggered by one game, a Wild Card triumph that has become legend in these parts.
Monday's incredible five-run rally in the eighth to beat the Astros in Game 4 of the best-of-five AL Division Series perhaps could send the Royals on a similar trajectory. And it just may have been the emotional and psychological boost this year's version needed after a flat September.
Granted, the Royals won their last five regular-season games, but the massive AL Central lead in September left them playing uninspired baseball for the most part, and they had their only losing month of the season (11-17).
The wake-up call may have come on Monday in Houston, a 9-6 win for the Royals that set up a decisive Game 5 on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) at Kauffman Stadium.
"It definitely -- if we weren't awake by then, it definitely woke us up," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "And hopefully we can come out [Wednesday] and just play our best brand of baseball, and hopefully that takes on to the next round."
Closer Wade Davis can foresee a carryover effect, just like last year.
"I hope so," Davis said. "From where I was sitting in the bullpen, it looked like our bats woke up and got pretty competitive. If that keeps happening, it's going to be pretty hard for teams to beat us."
When such rallies become probable and not impossible, Davis said the whole team gains confidence.
"If you think your team is going to always come back," Davis said, "you're going to pitch better."
Still, manager Ned Yost isn't so sure his troops need that kind of one-game magic to inspire them anymore.
"I don't think we need extra confidence, so a win's kind of a win," Yost said. "Our guys are … if you could have been in our locker room yesterday before the game, it was like we were playing Game 7 of Spring Training. They were loose, they were laughing, they were having fun. And all you could hear was the looseness. The TV crews came in, and they asked me, 'How do your players feel?' I said: 'You tell me. Listen to what's going on out there.'
"So they have got a ton of confidence, and I think more than anything else that game … it's just an improbable comeback that they knew they could do. So, for the extra confidence, I don't think that's going to help us none because our confidence level is already real high."
Third baseman Mike Moustakas, the man who charged up the troops in the dugout before the eighth inning by declaring that they weren't going to go out this way, tended to agree with his skipper.
"This group always plays with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence," Moustakas said. "Still, I will say that the way we came back [Monday], that can only help us going forward.
"We've always known we've had it in us. But it was good to show it again."