/Sports of The Times: It Turns Out the Royals Are Not the Cubs

Sports of The Times: It Turns Out the Royals Are Not the Cubs


Johnny Cueto, right, celebrated with Salvador Perez after Cueto pitched a two-hit complete game Wednesday night.

Christopher Smith for The New York Times

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Terry Collins stood there in the dugout in this 1970’s throwback of a stadium and thought through his fifth-inning predicament. His string bean ace, Jacob deGrom, was on the mound, tossing in the mid-90’s, with off-speed stuff that darted here and there like a drunken firefly.

DeGrom had just begun the fifth inning by walking the leadoff man; against this relentless Kansas City Royals team that’s like sticking your finger in a wood chipper. Still, all postseason long, this kid pitcher had pulled off Houdini escape acts.

“We’ve been sitting here raving the last two series that he’s gotten himself out of trouble,” Collins said afterward. “I just thought it was time we could ride Jake and see if we could get him out of that inning.”

Here’s what happened: Single,…

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