Play-off Destiny in Royals hands


If you told me the Royals would go a combined 3-3 in their series with New York and Detroit last week, I would have taken it. It was a stressful 6 game run, but it somehow ended up with the Royals still in first place.

Why stressful?


Greg Holland and his stiff triceps are still on the shelf. The All-Star closer has now been unavailable for six straight games. Triceps are close to shoulders and the Royals keep things close to the vest. Fans are worrying something may be really wrong with Greg Holland.

Fans held their breath for Danny Duffy’s MRI results for his sore shoulder. Kind of good news. No tear, but plenty of inflammation. Duffy has been the second most valuable starter, after Shields, and the thought of finishing off this Central Division crown without him feels exceedingly optimistic. He may just miss a start, but nobody really knows.

The offense.

I won’t write out the stats, but you know they were bleak. Not only did the hitters not hit much, when they did they were  stranded.   The lack of plate discipline and situational awareness was painful.  Nothing too new here, as scoring runs has been the biggest challenge for this team.  That said, many were hoping the bats may heat up for this pennant drive’s final stanza. Not yet.

We last saw Country Breakfast on a milk carton, located inside of a dog-house labeled “Ned’s”.   For some, the thought of finishing off this Central Division crown without Butler’s bat feels exceedingly optimistic. Ned Yost does not share this concern. You have to start asking how toxic Butler’s comments about liking his time at first base have been for this team.  Or you have to ask just how stubborn Yost is, once he establishes a grudge.

The Defense.

The boys made mistakes they just haven’t most of the season. Plenty of chatter from the local media was heard that this shows signs of stress under pressure. We asked ourselves, “Are the guys pressing?”

There is plenty good as well.

The Standings and Schedule.

The Royals are in first place on September 11th, and next play Boston and Chicago. These teams have mailed it in. They are perfect opponents for a team looking to heat up their bats, whether a spot start or two, and rest a closer.

James Shields. He’s kind of the man eh? Many fans, myself included, don’t like the ever-present, fun-loving nature of this club. We want to see some competitive fire and flat-out anger directed towards the competition. Shields had plenty of both for Detroit, while delivering the most dominant and important start by a Royals hurler since 1985.

Kelvin and Wade.

The Royals have unleashed a yet to banned, lethal substance, HDH, on opponents all year. Herrera, Davis, and Holland. It seems this killer concoction is just as lethal without it’s 3rd ingredient. Confidence in those two has never been higher and more warranted. This back-end of the bull-pen is as good as any you will ever see.

As the Tigers, Royals, and Indian win and lose, we’ll be saying things like “this is a must-win”, and “this is the biggest game of the year”. We will be right too.

The Royals play-off destiny lies in their hands as they close out the most exciting, stressful, wonderful season in 29 years.  Ain’t life grand?