Two-inning save no sweat for calm, cool Davis
KC closer wiggles out of jam in ninth by inducing DP
NEW YORK -- Wade Davis wasn't letting anyone know his eighth- and ninth-inning domination Saturday night was anything special.
His Royals teammates did elaborate hand slaps and body bumps to celebrate their 5-3 comeback victory over the Mets at Citi Field in World Series Game 4 to move to one win from their first title since 1985. Of the 42 previous teams that have been up 3-1 in a best-of-seven World Series, all but seven have won it. Game 5 is Sunday (8 p.m. ET game time on FOX).
Davis just stood and watched, then gave handshakes -- not even high-fives, which were still kind of new when the last time the Royals had a two-inning Series save (Dan Quisenberry in Game 4 in 1980). Davis went for the handshakes, which are more old-fashioned than 1950s crewcuts or 1890s handlebar mustaches.
Davis stays cool so others can get excited.
After not pitching more than one inning in a game all season, Davis has gone beyond one frame three times in seven postseason outings. The result is 8 2/3 scoreless innings.
"I don't think it changes much," Davis said. "It's the World Series; you have a lot more adrenaline to wind up and go out there and give everything you've got. A couple more outs really doesn't change anything."
Outs without runs are Davis' postseason norm. Saturday lowered his career postseason ERA -- in one start for the Rays in the 2010 American League Division Series plus 20 relief outings -- to 0.89.
"We knew that we were in for a grind when they went to their bullpen early, because they've got some guys coming out of that bullpen that just are lights-out," Mets captain David Wright said. "And then you get the ball to Wade Davis for two innings and you know you're going to have your hands full."
After the Royals took the lead with a three-run, eighth-inning rally, Davis easily vanquished the Mets in the eighth. Daniel Murphy's single past a stumbling third baseman Mike Moustakas and Yoenis Cespedes' solid hit to right with one out in the ninth brought a rise from the Citi Field crowd, but not from the Royals. Catcher Salvador Perez came to the mound, but not for some inspirational speeches from a Hollywood movie.
"We were just changing the sign -- I didn't say anything about … he knows what he's doing," Perez said.
It's not as if Davis -- who became closer when Greg Holland was shut down with elbow soreness and underwent Tommy John surgery -- needed scene-setting. In the 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays that wrapped up the American League Championship Series, Davis faced a bases-loaded, no-out situation and touched off a celebration with two strikeouts and a groundout.
"Confident," Moustakas said. "Exciting. One of the best closers in baseball. And goes out there, he'd throwing 98, 99 [mph] and 94- and 95-mph cutters. And he's got a breaking ball that's devastating. It's fun to watch him go to work."
To escape Saturday, Davis pulled out his cutter, a pitch he hasn't thrown much, for left-handed-hitting Lucas Duda. Davis forced a jam shot to Moustakas that ended in a double play as Cespedes was caught too far off first base.
"I hadn't thrown a whole lot of cutters, so I kind of stored that in the back, in case I got in that situation," Davis said. "Fortunately I had a lefty [Duda] up, where the cutter works a little bit better, and got a little jam line drive, and got lucky on that.
"I don't think you get too excited in that situation. You really just try to settle down and stay calm."