Kansas City Royals: Walking off against Greg Holland weird feeling

(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals won a thrilling baseball game on Wednesday night in walk-off fashion and it came against an old friend of Royals Nation.

Greg Holland played a huge role in getting the Kansas City Royals to the World Series in 2014. That season saw him notch 46 saves and post an ERA of 1.44. That, of course, was nothing compared to his 1.21 ERA and 47 saves in 2013. That 2013 season saw the Royals record a winning record for the first time in a decade.

Watching Holland develop into one of the best closers in all of baseball was fun. Holland had been a tenth round draft pick out of Western Carolina in 2007 and went on to be a two-time All-Star for the Kansas City Royals.

When Holland struggled in 2015 and later was placed on the disabled list due to needing surgery, it was a tough pill to swallow for a lot of Royals fans. Fortunately, Wade Davis was even better and the Royals still managed to get back to the World Series and win it all that year.

Holland didn’t throw a single pitch in the playoffs that season, but he meant a lot to this organization and still means a lot to them. That’s why Wednesday night’s game was weird to watch.

As we all know, the Royals had a chance to re-sign Holland this past offseason and the Colorado Rockies ended up landing him on a one-year deal worth 6$ million. As much as Royals fans clamor that they wanted Holland all along, had Dayton Moore struck that kind of deal, fans would have been complaining that six million bucks on a guy coming back from surgery was too much.

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Holland crushed it in Denver in the first half of the season and made it to his third All-Star Game as a result. The former Royal hadn’t blown his first save of the season until the second half and since then, he’s struggled a bit, now blowing four saves.

We all saw Wednesday night’s ending. Holland walked Alex Gordon to begin the inning and then got Whit Merrifield and Lorenzo Cain out. Melky Cabrera then singled, advancing Gordon and keeping the Royals alive.

With two outs, Holland’s old teammate Eric Hosmer stepped up to the plate. Sure, Hosmer could have made things intense and just singled to get the game going, but he decided he was ready to give the Royals a series win. With a 1-1 count, Hosmer crushed the next pitch from Holland for a three-run shot to right to give the Kansas City Royals a 6-4 win and a series victory.

Obviously walk-off wins are fun and they’re even more fun when the team is contending, but it was a little bittersweet watching it come off of Greg Holland. The guy did so much for the Royals and I felt a little bad for him honestly.

At the end of the day, however, he chose to sign with the Rockies and now he helped give the Royals their 64th win of the season. Go Royals!