A few feet from the back of the Citi Field pitcher's mound on which he had scuffed his father's initials before Game 5 of the World Series, Edinson Volquez stood early Monday morning trying to absorb and process the previous five days of his life.
Four days before, he had attended the funeral of his father, Daniel. And now he stood at the pinnacle of a career that his father nurtured.
"It's painful," he said in one breath, mustering a smile in the next. "But at the same time, we won the World Series, and we've got to enjoy the moment."
Volquez gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in six innings to the Mets in Sunday's Game 5 of the World Series. That buoyed the Royals for the ninth-inning comeback to tie the score, which in turn set up the five-run, 12th-inning haymaker that enabled them to win 7-2 for their second championship.
It was all surreal to Volquez, but he also felt accompanied not just by the teammates who loved him up but by the gaze of his father.
"You feel a lot of energy coming from the dirt, from the grass, all the way to your head," he said. "And [telling] you to … just do your best for the team."
Ready for his chance
With one swing, Christian Colon earned his World Series ring. The Royals backup delivered in his first appearance of this postseason, lining a pinch-hit single that broke a 12th-inning tie in Game 5.
"I played this at-bat over and over in my mind," Colon said. "I took a lot of swings in the cage behind to stay loose during the game."
The 26-year-old hadn't played at all since Oct. 4 in the regular-season finale.
"We were all pretty confident because Christian Colon understands how to play his role," said Royals Hall of Famer George Brett, now a team executive. "Didn't overswing. He knew what he had to do."
Colon was highly touted when the Royals made him the overall fourth pick in 2010 draft. He made his big-league debut last year and provided a big hit last postseason, too: In the AL wild-card victory over Oakland, he hit a tying single — also in the 12th inning — stole second and scored on a single by Salvador Perez for a 9-8 victory.
• The Royals' four key players that became free agents after the final out of Game 5 are pitchers Johnny Cueto and Chris Young, outfielder Alex Rios and second baseman Ben Zobrist — all of whom joined the team this year, and contributed significantly to their championship. But Gold Glove left fielder Alex Gordon, drafted No. 2 overall by Kansas City a decade ago, is expected to decline his 2016 player option of $12.5 million and become a free agent as well.
• The World Series' Game 5 had its highest television rating since 2009. The game averaged a 10.0 rating and 17 share and 17.2 million viewers on Fox. The World Series once again trailed a regular-season NFL game, though. The "Sunday Night Football" matchup between the unbeaten Broncos and Packers averaged 23.0 million viewers on NBC.