September 29: Kansas City 3, Anaheim 1
The Royals needed just one win in their three-game series against last-place Anaheim to claim the Expansion Division, and they took care of business in the opening game. Starter Jose Rosado was sterling for seven innings, allowing just five baserunners and one run on a Lance Parrish solo jack.
Both catchers went ya-ya in the game. Darrell Porter’s second inning dinger plated two runs thanks to Hal McRae’s single ahead of it. The Royals tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning on consecutive singles by Willie Wilson, John Mayberry, and George Brett.
Wade Davis and Greg Holland followed Rosado with one shutout inning apiece. Holland closed it with a strikeout of Jim Fregosi, and the Royals stormed the field for a jubilant celebration before moving into the visiting clubhouse to revel some more. They will face Boston in the league championship series beginning October 4th.
R H BB KC 020 000 100 - 3 9 2 ANA 001 000 000 - 1 6 1 HR: D. Porter (13), L. Parrish (2) starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Rosado 7.0 1 1 1 1 9 J. Lackey 6.1 3 3 1 2 7 KC 85-75, ANA 65-95
September 30: Anaheim 4, Kansas City 2
Ned Yost gave a lot of his regulars a well-deserved day off in this one. Kevin Appier still made a short tune-up start, and is line to start championship game two with a normal four days of rest.
Danny Tartabull was one of the regulars to see action, and walked, singled, and donged to push his team-leading homer total to 26.
Troy Glaus belted his 28th dinger of the year, a three-run job against Appier that provided the winning margin.
R H BB KC 000 010 010 - 2 7 4 ANA 000 301 00x - 4 6 3 HR: D. Tartabull (26), T. Glaus (28) starters IP R ER HR BB SO K. Appier 4.0 3 3 1 2 4 F. Tanana 7.0 2 2 1 4 4 KC 85-76, ANA 66-95
October 1: Kansas City 2, Anaheim 1
The regular KC lineup was back at it for the regular season finale and clawed their way to two runs.
Starting pitcher Mark Gubicza has mostly gotten roughed up this season and doesn’t figure to make a start in the championship series since KC can cut their rotation down to four (likely Bret Saberhagen, Appier, Rosado, and Danny Jackson). In this game, Gubicza looked like a guy that wanted to impress team brass enough to at least be on the post-season roster. He shoved in a complete game. A George Brett error helped Anaheim to an unearned run that was the only thing keeping Gubicza from a shutout.
Bizarrely, first-place Kansas City finished 20 games ahead of last-place Anaheim despite the teams having nearly identical runs scored and allowed for the season: KC scored 688 and allowed 764 while Anaheim scored 675 and allowed 761. (The Pythagorean expected record for KC is 73-89, just two games better than Anaheim’s 71-91.)
R H BB KC 010 000 010 - 2 8 5 ANA 000 000 010 - 1 5 3 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO M. Gubicza 9.0 1 0 0 3 9 A. Messersmith 6.0 1 1 0 3 3 KC 86-76, ANA 66-96