Three months ago, Brandon Finnegan was on the mound for TCU in the College World Series. Last night, Finnegan pitched 2 1/3 crucial innings in the Kansas City Royals’ first playoff game since 1985.
The Royals won the wild card playoff against the Oakland Athletics in 12 innings by a score of 9-8, thanks in part to Finnegan’s sparkling relief effort.
The rookie left-hander struck out three batters in two scoreless 10th and 11th innings. He was charged with one earned run after the runner he left on second base in the 12th inning went on to score after he exited the game.
In his post-game interview, Finnegan likened the MLB postseason experience to his College World Series involvement this summer.
“It took me back to the College World Series, the big stadium, the big crowd. That’s all I could think of,” Finnegan said.
Ned Yost, the Royals’ manager, said Finnegan was fantastic and hoped he could’ve received the win for his extra-innings work.
“[He was] phenomenal, he came in and was banging strikes, kept us in the game and I was hoping he would get his first big league win in a game of this caliber,” Yost said.
Former TCU catcher Kyle Bacak and others praised Finnegan through social media Tuesday night.
Finnegan’s postseason doesn’t stop here. After winning the one-game playoff against the A’s, the Royals begin a five-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.