The KC Royals hopes to repeat as champions suffered another blow when Lorenzo Cain pulled up lame while trying to beat out an infield hit in Tuesday night’s 8-4 loss to the Cardinals.
Are too many obstacles piling up for the Kansas City Royals to overcome?
At this point, no one knows the extent of Cain’s injury. After the game, frustrated KC Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters inquiring about Lorenzo Cain’s health:
"“You guys want to know what I don’t know,” Yost said. “Nobody knows. Doc will look at him tomorrow. I wish I had an answer but I don’t.”"
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Lorenzo Cain could perhaps miss a mere few games, much like catcher Salvador Perez after a scary collision with rookie third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert ended up being far less severe than it appeared. On the other hand, no one expected Mike Moustakas to miss the rest of the 2016 season after slamming into Alex Gordon while attempting to field a pop foul on May 22 .
In fact, early reports were far more concerned with Gordon’s hand than with Moustakas’ knee.
Alex Gordon faithfully recited the next man up cliché to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:
"“We don’t know what’s wrong with Cain yet,” Gordon said. “We’re hoping the best. If he goes down, we got a guy that can step in with Dyson. Obviously, Cain is one of a kind. We’ve seen [Dyson] step in before and do the job. Hopefully [the injury] is nothing.”"
Players need to believe such things to get through the grind of what is a mentally tough slog. As I have noted before, studies have shown how confidence and belief can make the ball appear larger to softball players. Yet, I can’t help but wonder when the challenges become too much. There’s a reason why no World Series champion has repeated since the 2000 New York Yankees: repeating is VERY difficult.
Not only are the KC Royals opponents gunning for the defending champion, most teams need to catch some luck in order to win a title. It’s highly unlikely to catch that kind of good fortune two years in a row.
In the Kansas City Royals case, they seem more injury prone in 2016 than during their AL pennant winning seasons in 2014 and 2015. Perhaps their luck is running out, or the KC Royals are simply getting just a bit older and less resistant to injury.
I’m hoping for good news on Wednesday, but I can’t silence an increasingly worried whisper that a 2016 repeat just isn’t in the stars.