The Royals celebrate their 9-8 win over the Athletics in the 12th inning of their American League Wild Card game. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Well, for A’s fans, it was fun while it lasted. And thanks to several improbable comebacks by the Royals, it lasted 12 ridiculous innings.

For Kansas City fans, the length of Tuesday’s game, the first of the MLB playoffs, was nothing compared to the 29-year wait to see their squad in the postseason again. That wait may have been painful, but the Royals’ 9-8 win will bring joyous memories for decades to come.

Thanks to the wild-card playoff format introduced by MLB in 2012, one team in each league enjoys just a single game in the postseason spotlight. For the American League, Oakland got the quick hook, despite having leads of 2-1 (after two innings), 7-3 (after six), 7-6 (after eight) and 8-7 (going into the bottom of the 12th).

Salvador Perez’s walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th sent the crowd at Kauffman Stadium into ecstasy. But perhaps the winning karma can be traced all the way back to the pregame re-appearance of these two Royals super-fans, who were feline something special about to happen.

In fact, it was raining cats


dogs in Kansas City, or at least one well-deserved puppy:

It was such a long game that TBS thought some viewers might have forgotten where baseball teams traditionally position their fielders. Or what was the network thinking? Those bubbles might have been put to more educational use if they had offered the players’ names, but that’s apparently why someone at TBS is paid the big bucks.

On Wednesday, it is the National League’s turn to stage a one-game series, and as if there weren’t enough pressure on the Giants and Pirates simply to win, now they will be expected to produce something with at least a fraction of Tuesday night’s drama. Good luck with that.

Here is the rest of MLB playoff schedule:

Wild-card game

Wednesday: San Francisco (Bumgarner, 18-10) at Pittsburgh (Volquez, 13-7), 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

National League Division Series

Best-of-five; x-if necessary; all times EDT; remaining game times to be announced

Washington vs. San Francisco-Pittsburgh winner

Friday: San Francisco-Pittsburgh winner at Washington, 12:07 p.m. or 3:07 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

Saturday: San Francisco-Pittsburgh winner at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1 or MLB Network)

Monday: Washington at San Francisco-Pittsburgh winner (FS1 or MLBN)

x-Tuesday, Oct. 7: Washington at San Francisco-Pittsburgh winner (FS1)

x-Thursday, Oct. 9: San Francisco-Pittsburgh winner at Washington (FS1)

St. Louis vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday: St. Louis (Wainwright 20-9) at Los Angeles (Kershaw 21-3), 6:37 p.m. (FS1)

Saturday: St. Louis at Los Angeles, 9:37 p.m. (FS1 or MLBN)

Monday: Los Angeles at St. Louis (FS1 or MLBN)

x-Tuesday, Oct. 7: Los Angeles at St. Louis (FS1)

x-Thursday Oct. 9: St. Louis at Los Angeles (FS1)

American League Division Series

Baltimore vs. Detroit

Thursday: Detroit (Scherzer 18-5) at Baltimore (Tillman 13-6), 5:37 p.m. or 6:07 p.m. (TBS)

Friday: Detroit (Verlander 15-12) at Baltimore, 12:07 p.m. or 3:07 p.m. (TBS)

Sunday: Baltimore at Detroit (Price 15-12), 3:45 p.m. (TBS)

x-Monday, Oct. 6: Baltimore at Detroit (Porcello 15-13) (TBS)

x-Wednesday, Oct. 8: Detroit at Baltimore (TBS)

Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City 

Thursday: Kansas City at Los Angeles (Weaver 18-9), 9:07 p.m. (TBS)

Friday: Kansas City at Los Angeles, 9:37 p.m.(TBS)

Sunday: Los Angeles at Kansas City, 7:37 p.m. (TBS)

x-Monday, Oct. 6: Los Angeles at Kansas City (TBS)

x-Wednesday, Oct. 8: Kansas City at Los Angeles (TBS)

League Championship Series

Best-of-seven; x-if necessary

National League

Saturday, Oct. 11: (Fox)

Sunday, Oct. 12: (FS1)

Tuesday, Oct. 14: (FS1)

Wednesday, Oct. 15: (FS1)

x-Thursday, Oct. 16: (FS1)

x-Saturday, Oct. 18: (Fox)

x-Sunday, Oct. 19: (FS1)

American League

Friday, Oct. 10: (TBS)

Saturday, Oct. 11: (TBS)

Monday, Oct. 13: (TBS)

Tuesday, Oct. 14: (TBS)

x-Wednesday, Oct. 15: (TBS)

x-Friday, Oct. 17: (TBS)

x-Saturday, Oct. 18: (TBS)

World Series

Best-of-seven; x-if necessary

Tuesday, Oct. 21: at American League (Fox)

Wednesday, Oct. 22: at AL (Fox)

Friday, Oct. 24: at National League (Fox)

Saturday, Oct. 25: at NL (Fox)

x-Sunday, Oct. 26: at NL (Fox)

x-Tuesday, Oct. 28: at AL (Fox)

x-Wednesday, Oct. 29: at AL (Fox)