Will the real KC Royals please stand up? Through the first five games, there have been two different Royals teams – the dominant team that battered the Jays into submission, and the team that barely produced a whimper on offense. Which team will show up tonight?
Let’s look first at the Royals’ starter Yordano Ventura. Ventura, who had just been granted a $23 million contract, had to leave his first game of the year with a thumb cramp. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave tonight’s with a brain cramp. There is a report, probably unfounded, that Jays tried to trade for the A’s Brett Lawrie, the object of Ventura’s affection, effection, and suspension. (Ace is also a friend of Adam Eaton).
Of course everyone remembers his 1.48 ERA in the World Series last year. This year over the regular season, Ventura was 13 and 8, 4.08 ERA, 156 Ks and 58 walks in 163 innings. In the post-season this year, he was 0 and 1 vs. Houston with a 7.71 ERA in 2 games.
Against Toronto, in Game 3, in 5 and 1/3 innings he gave up three earned runs on 8 hits, with 6 k’s and 2 walks. In the sixth he gave up an RBI with a single by Encarnacion and a double by Tulowitzki. Later the Royals would get 5 in the 7th and 1 in the 8th to gain a six to 3 victory.
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In an interview with Channel 5, he said, “Whatever God wants to happen tomorrow is going to happen. I’ll be ready. I’m focused on my stuff and how I’m feeling tomorrow and what I’m going to be able to feature tomorrow. I’m not too focused on what they bring to the table. I’m concerned about how I’m going to feel.”
“I’m going to give everything tomorrow to help this club win and get to the World Series,” he said.
David Price is on a roll, but not necessarily a good one. The definition of “snake-bitten” in the Webster Dictionary is “David Price.” He has lost seven straight games in the playoffs, and writer Scott Stinson of Toronto says that Price just could not get the playoff monkey off his back. After six innings of one hit ball, Price was victimized by a leadoff dunker by Ben Zobrist, one that Jose Bautista let fall as his teammate took a tumble. Then the skies opened and Price again felt the wrath of baseball. All that great work proved to be of little worth.
After being traded from the Tigers to the Jays at the trade deadline, Price was supposed to be the Jays’ pitching savior. So far it has all turned to dust.
But Game 6 may answer the question. Will the next game for the KC Royals be against the Mets or will the next game be Game 7 against Toronto? It may depend on which of the two aces show up.