Since the article I posted last (week), the Royals have played six games. The remaining two games of a series in Oakland, the other half of the I-70 series at Busch, and game one of a three game stint vs. the Diamondbacks at the K.
In that span the Royals have managed to perform like a turtle in molasses, chalking up one win in those six games…and yes you guessed it…five losses.
In that previous article I stated that the Royals had twenty-four games remaining until the all-star break…that they would need to go at least go 15 – 9 during that stretch to reach .500
Well ladies and gents…eighteen games now remain.
As it stands today, just six games later, we have a completely different story unfolding- a Minnesota Twins type of story… A story that would be all over ESPN- a story the Royals can’t imagine in a realistic world…an almost unachievable trend of victory.
Winning fourteen games while only losing four to get back to even on the season.
There is no longer a need to break down every series leading up to the break. It would be a waste of time trying to pinpoint how the Royals could reach this feat. What is more of a realism is playing a Florida Marlins caliber of baseball. What the Twins have eclipsed in June is remarkable…simply stunning. The consequence of their success equals the very reason Kansas City is left a victim of dystrophy in the cellar.
Can the Royals pull off a Twins type of maneuver in the next few weeks?
I’m a Royals fan. You’re a Royals fan…Optimism can no longer slay the plague. THIS. WON’T. HAPPEN.
It certainly doesn’t get any easier tonight as the ball club has to go up against Ian Kennedy, who at his current pace is one of the National Leagues best. With a 7-2 record and a 2.98 ERA, Kennedy is a major component to the Arizona’s success.
The Diamondbacks led by Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Kelly Johnson go up against a familiar foe in Jeff Francis, when he spent his time Colorado as a division rival. Although Francis isn’t the shiniest shoe on the showroom floor, his numbers against Arizona are actually pretty acceptable. In his last ten starts against the D-Backs, Francis is 7-6 with a 4.84 ERA.
Yeah the ERA could be lower, but for whatever reason, he statistically does just enough to at least win half of his games against this team. All of us in Kansas City can’t focus too hard on that statistic. We aren’t that naive. Kauffman stadium keeps a lot of otherwise proclaimed homeruns inside the park. That benefits Francis, but the fact that the team is once again soft on offense, makes you bite your nails and grit your teeth a little more. In KC, statistical analysis has never been harder when it comes to predicting the outcome of a ball game.
Mike Moustakas needs to get this crowd on their feet tonight. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but Alex Gordon and Billy Butler are still the nickel and dime. Time won’t change a how you play or how you’re perceived. The clock is on Moustakas and Hosmer to really wake up and smell the coffee. It’s go time fellas! They are young and should be scattering the ball around the field AT WILL!
Tonight we finally see the team’s first double-digit homerun hitter. I believe Alex Gordon will once again connect early to reach number ten. A shallow number in comparison to the league, but he’s halfway to twenty- a homerun number that makes you a star in this town. Kennedy will get his, and at least carve the Royals for five innings. But with that said, I think it’s going to be a lot closer of a game than last night. I like the pitching matchup, and I like that fact that we are at home. It’s time to get on board and take advantage of that Wednesday night Kauffman pride.
I can only hope to find Chris Getz at the bottom of the lineup instead of batting in front of Escobar. That play just makes more sense. Escobar is playing better right now with the bat and is a more logical fit directly behind the catcher. Getz should only be placed in lineup situations as insurance for if all else fails. Right now he is being used in somewhat of a reliability role and that’s just not him. If he’s going to play at all, stick him at the end…and that’s not a bash on Getz either, he just fits the nine slot way better than eight.
Either way, decisions will be made.
As the season progresses a lot of perceptions of players change. Some are beginning to think we have the best shortstop in the game just because he found a rhythm. Gordon is a little more fancied the better he plays. The Hosmer and Moustakas waves have calmed. Soria is once against labeled a threat.
No matter how much you crave news headlines, and storybook endings, the Royals still have to win for anyone to ever open the ears and acknowledge what’s going on over here. Any super star rookie third baseman or firehouse lefty will be soon forgotten if we don’t win and that player is associated with a losing organization. Sports media loves winners. American loves winners. Winners are remembered. Losers are bypassed.
The game is only hours away. I predict the Royals to win, and get back on a short winning streak of two or three games.