Phil Rogers joined MLB.com in 2013, and has covered Major League Baseball since 1984.
|Though fans may always wonder if Alex Gordon could have scored in the ninth inning of Game 7, in the end, the difference is that one team had Madison Bumgarner and the other didn't, not that third-base coach Mike Jirschele didn't bet the season on one throw of the dice.
More» Royals proud of season despite WS loss|
|Kansas City's three shutdown relievers -- all of whom have better stuff than most closers -- could work four innings in tonight's Game 7, maybe even more. That's a huge edge for the Royals, even if the Giants do use Madison Bumgarner out of their bullpen, but hardly the only one. Here are nine more.
More» Yost discusses bullpen being set|
|While the Royals have never experienced as much urgency to win a game as they will tonight, when a win over the Giants gets them to the deciding game of the World Series and a loss sends them home, they can draw on a wealth of experience from playoff series in the Minor Leagues.
More» Hosmer ties the game with RBI infield hit|
|James Shields' performance this October wasn't the kind any pitcher dreams about, but the right-hander, whose time in Kansas City may soon be over, accomplished what he was acquired to do.
More» Shields holds Giants to two runs over six|
|If the Giants go on to win their third World Series since 2010, Kansas City fans will look back at how the Series turned after Jason Vargas lost track of the count when he batted with the bases loaded in the four-run third inning during Game 4 on Saturday night.
More» Vargas holds Giants to three runs|
|Joe Maddon became baseball's most intriguing free agent on Friday, when he surprised the Rays by exercising an opt-out clause in his managerial contract. No one knows where his career is headed, but the loudest whispers are about Chicago, where Theo Epstein was infamously spotted at a Starbucks three years ago, when the Cubs were recruiting Maddon to run their baseball operations.
More»Chastain on Maddon opting out of contract with Rays|
|The Royals' remarkable fielding combines with a deep pitching staff to give them the ability to win low-scoring games. Kansas City is probably better constructed to compete in the National League and it showed with a 3-2 win over the Giants in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night.
More» Gordon drives in Escobar with a double|
|With the World Series shifting to National League rules in San Francisco, Royals pitchers will have a chance to dig their spikes into the batter's box and take some swings over the next three games.
More» Yost discusses run production, Guthrie|
|Billy Butler doesn't want to go anywhere. He loves being a Royal and would be one forever if it were up to him. Unfortunately, it's not up to him, so he is doing everything he can to bring joy to Royals fans for as long as possible.
More» Yost discusses Butler's value as a hitter|
|Yordano Ventura, the 23-year-old with the triple-digit fastball, is perfectly positioned to do what No. 1 starter James Shields could not as the Royals' rookie right-hander gets the ball for Game 2 of the World Series against the Giants tonight.
More» Ventura on maintaining focus, Game 2 nod|
|Like the Royals, who are meeting the Giants in the World Series, the 1959 so-called "Go-Go Sox" were built around speed and defense. They had finished 10 games above .500 the year before, exactly like the Royals, and found a winning formula that included a deep starting rotation and the best bullpen in their league.
More» Royals defense remains strong in Game 4|
|The Royals and Giants, who will meet in the World Series, are proof that it's possible to get on a roll once you survive the Wild Card Game.
More» Bumgarner discusses Giants winning NLCS|
|The Royals haven't run out of ways to astonish the baseball world, as evidenced by Jeremy Guthrie's gutty start and Mike Moustakas' otherworldly defense in a Game 3 victory that has Kansas City one win from a trip to the World Series.
More» Moustakas lays out to rob Pearce|
|They might have been the least appreciated of the 10 postseason teams, but the Royals head toward Tuesday night's Game 3 of the AL Championship Series at 7 p.m. CT on TBS on one of the best runs in the era of expanded playoffs.
More»Blue-hot Royals postseason win streak snapped at 11|
|It never gets routine. But watch the Royals' late-inning relievers hang up enough zeros and it will start to seem routine, writes columnist Phil Rogers.
More» Holland fans Pearce for 2-0 series lead|
|GM Dayton Moore made several moves that helped the Royals ascend to the 2014 ALCS, but two stand above the rest -- trading Cy Young winner Zack Greinke for a package that included Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, and trading top prospect Wil Myers for a package that included tonight's Game 1 starter, James Shields.
More»Game 1 starter Shields sets the tone for Royals|
|If this was 1982 or '83, it would have made perfect sense for the Royals to meet the Orioles in the American League Championship Series. That they're back again is only part of why the ALCS should be so much fun.
More»Royals and O's bullpens could be key factors in ALCS|
|Terrance Gore has turned into the Herb Washington of his generation, a basestealing specialist who epitomizes the speed and maneuverability of the Royals, baseball's hottest team.
More» Gore steals second base in the 8th inning|
|Every time Ned Yost was asked how his Royals would approach the Angels, he had the same basic answer: Count on pitching and defense, then manufacture some runs. He wasn't playing possum, either. This was truth as he knew it. After all, the Royals are the first AL team to reach the postseason after finishing last in home runs since the 1959 White Sox. Turns out they were saving their strength.
More» Hosmer on two-run homer, sweep of Angels|
|Thirty years ago, Royals manager Ned Yost saved a fan's life at Arlington Stadium, or at least he claimed to be a life-saver. It was an early lesson that taught him sometimes, you can defuse public pressure if you're willing to adjust.
More» Yost on Royals' confidence heading home|