The Orioles must have been stunned watching Johnny Cueto in Game 2 of the World Series. Cueto threw a complete game two-hitter.
That wasn’t the same Cueto the Orioles saw in two late season starts. They had their way with him, scoring 14 runs on 19 hits and hitting seven home runs in 11 1/3 innings—arguably his two worst outings of the year.
It was that Cueto that the Kansas City Royals wanted so badly.
Now, the Royals have a 2-0 lead. Not since the Yankees fell behind 2-0 in 1996 has a team recovered from that kind of a deficit.
If you want to know the difference between Kansas City and the Orioles, well, there are many.
Their lineups are incredibly different. While the Orioles hit lots of home runs, the Royals’ lineup is more of a contact one.
Only two players on Kansas City, Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales struck out more than 100 times. Hosmer’s 108 led the Royals, but would have been fourth on the Orioles behind Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Jimmy Paredes. Adam Jones, who missed 24 games had 104 while Davis’ had 208.
Much has been made about the Orioles’ poor on-base percentage. It was .307. The Royals’ on-base percentage was much better, .322.
That must have been because Kansas City is more disciplined and has many more walks. No.
The Royals were last in the American League in walks while the Orioles were 13th.
Kansas City built its team around their ballpark. The two most exciting plays of its postseason came because of speed. Lorenzo Cain’s pennant winning dash from first on a single and Alcides Escobar’s inside-the-park home run in Game 1 couldn’t have been duplicated by the Orioles.
While Machado stole 20 bases, he doesn’t have the pure speed that several Royals’ do. Cain, Escobar and Jarrod Dyson combined for 71 steals this season. No other Oriole stole more than five bases.
NOTE: Oliver Drake was named the minor league’s top reliever by MiLB.com.
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