Homegrown hero + bullpen + D = win

Rain would not impact the magical postseason run of the Kansas City Royals, who won another nailbiter to take a 3-0 lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series.

This is the 34th time a team has been up 3-0 in a best-of-seven postseason series. Thirty-two of the previous 33 won, the exception being the 2004 New York Yankees, who lost to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.

Another Royals player comes through late

Billy Butler became the latest Royals player to come through with a big at-bat late in a game. His sacrifice fly against Kevin Gausman plated the run that put the Royals ahead for good.

Most players with go-ahead RBI,
sixth inning or later, single postseason

Six different Royals have had a go-ahead RBI in the sixth inning or later this postseason. Only one team has had more such players come through that late in a game, the 1995 Atlanta Braves, who had nine on their way to winning the World Series.

Five of those six (Butler, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez) are homegrown players. Alcides Escobar is the only one who isn't.

Defense wins, again

Mike Moustakas went over the dugout railing to snag a foul ball hit by Orioles slugger Adam Jones, adding to the long list of Royals defensive wizardry this postseason.

The Royals had a major league-best 40 Web Gems during the regular season, though Moustakas only had two of them. He does have 18 Web Gems over the past three seasons, tied with, among others, Mike Trout for 12th-most in that span. (Moustakas’ teammate Alcides Escobar has the most with 38.)

As does a great bullpen

The Royals bullpen continued its phenomenal work this postseason with four pitchers each retiring the side in order in a scoreless inning of work.

Royals relievers have combined for a 1.11 ERA in 24 1/3 innings in the division series and championship series.

Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland are this generation’s incarnation of the Nasty Boys (the 1990 Cincinnati Reds bullpen of Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers). They’ve now combined for 11 innings of one-run, five-hit ball in the ALCS.

In Game 3, the Royals pitchers allowed only three hits in total. That matched the fewest allowed in a postseason game in Royals history. They allowed three in a 1-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the 1984 ALCS.

Such a tight postseason

The playoffs have been tension-filled and tight throughout. Of the 216 innings of postseason play, the score has been tied or within one run after 144 of them (67 percent).

Thirteen of the 22 games have been decided by one run (59 percent). The highest percentage of one-run games in a postseason in the wild-card era is only 39 percent in 1995.