All of the Royals' Postseason Come-From-Behind Wins, Ranked from Least to Most Miraculous

Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals celebrate winning their first World Series title since 1985. USA Today Sports via Reuters

Last night, the Royals won the World Series. They did it in only five games, aided by some brutal miscues by their opponents, the New York Mets. It's impossible to point to a single player, or even a handful of individual players, responsible for the Royals' success. There were no big-hitting all stars in their lineup, there were no power-pitching Cy Young–caliber aces in their rotation. They won by hitting timely singles, dominating the final three innings of games and, most of all, by taking advantage of mistakes. They were relentless, and every time they found themselves down in a game, they always found a way to come back. Sometimes the comebacks were understandable, sometimes they were borderline miraculous. In a whopping eight of their 11 wins this postseason, the Royals were forced to overcome a deficit. We've ranked them all from least to most improbable.

8. World Series, Game 2
Runs Made Up: 1

After a brutal extra-innings loss in Game 1, the Mets opened up the scoring in Game 2 with a fourth-inning RBI single from Lucas Duda. But that was it. The Royals scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to go up by three and never looked back, winning the game 7-1 behind a complete game from Johnny Cueto.

7. American League Division Series, Game 5
Runs Made Up: 2

After orchestrating a miraculous comeback in Game 4, the Royals quickly fell behind once again in the fifth and final game of the ALDS against the Astros. They cut the lead to one with a fourth-inning RBI single from Eric Hosmer, and then took the lead for good by adding three more runs in the fifth.

6. World Series, Game 4
Runs Made Up: 2

In the penultimate game, the Royals found themselves down 2-0 early. An Alex Gordon RBI single in the fifth cut the lead to one, but when the Mets answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame, it looked like the home team might be ready to even the series at two games apiece. But it wasn't to be. The Royals scored another run in the sixth and then took the lead for good with a three-run eighth inning. Luke Hochevar, Ryan Madson and Wade Davis combined to throw four shutout innings to close the game for the Royals.

5. American League Division Series, Game 2
Runs Made Up: 3

No big innings in this 5-4 win for the Royals. They could scratch out one and two runs at a time just as easily, which is how they came back from an early 3-0 deficit against the Astros. Down 3-2 after three innings, the Royals dominated the end of the game, two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to even the series at one game apiece.

4. American League Championship Series, Game 2
Runs Made Up: 3

No team frustrated their opponents more than the Royals. Every time a team seemed to be gaining momentum, the Royals came right back and snuff it out. After winning Game 1 of the ALCS against the favored Toronto Blue Jays, the Royals fell behind 3-0 going into the seventh inning. It looked as if the Blue Jays were going to steal a game in Kansas City before bringing the series back to Toronto, but KC turned in a backbreaking five-run seventh inning, and then added one more in the eighth for good measure.

3. World Series, Game 1
Runs Made Up: 2

This might have been the most exciting five-game World Series in baseball history, and a large reason for that was the 14-inning epic that kicked it off. The most iconic moment with the Royals came while they were down one in the bottom of the ninth, when Alex Gordon took Mets closer Jeurys Familia deep to center field to tie the game. What followed was a four-inning slog that ended when Eric Hosmer drove in the winning run with a walk-off sacrifice fly to right field.

2. World Series, Game 5
Runs Made Up: 2

The World Series started and ended with the Royals tying the Mets in the ninth inning before going on to win the game in extras. In Game 1, it only took a solo home run against Familia to bring the Royals even. In Game 5, they needed two ninth inning runs, and they got them in the most Royals way possible. After Mets manager Terry Collins elected to leave starting pitcher Matt Harvey in the game instead of turning to Familia, Harvey promptly gave up a walk to Lorenzo Cain, who promptly stole second base. Eric Hosmer then doubled in Cain to cut the lead to one. Enter Familia. Third baseman Mike Moustakas grounded out, moving Hosmer to third. Then came one of the most memorable plays of the series: With one out, eventual World Series MVP Salvador Perez grounded the ball to third. Mets third baseman David Wright checked on Hosmer before rifling the ball to first, but Hosmer bolted for home as soon as Wright released the ball. He looked to be out by a mile, but first baseman Lucas Duda's throw was wide left, and Hosmer slid in to score the tying run. Three innings later, the Royals would be World Series champions.

1. American League Division Series, Game 4
Runs Made Up: 4

The Royals were done. Facing elimination against the Astros, the eventual World Series champions found themselves down four runs with only two innings to play. So certain was their demise that Texas governor Greg Abbott tweeted his congratulations to the Houston franchise.

Greg Abbott
@GovAbbott

The tweet was quickly deleted, though, as the Royals put up five runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a one-run lead. They added another two in the top of the ninth to force a fifth game.

And this is why the MLB postseason is so maddening, unpredictable and incredible. A team that we now consider to be the clear-cut best in the game, who dominated the regular season and only needed five games to win the World Series, came dangerously close to exiting the playoffs in the first round. Baseball is a fickle game, but by the same token, its whims always seem to wind up making sense. The Royals won because they were the best team. That much is clear. They also won because of a miracle come-from-behind win that probably shouldn't have happened. But it did. And now, looking back, it seems inevitable.