Kansas City Royals Are Back In AL Playoff Hunt
The Kansas City Royals have put themselves back in the American League playoff picture by winning 11 of their last 13 games. They now trail the Baltimore Orioles by 5.5 games for the second AL wild card with 40 games to play.
Don’t look now, but the KC Royals are back in contention. Left for dead with a 51-58 record on August 5, Kansas City has roared back behind outstanding starting pitching (2.86 ERA since August 6), the return of their shut down pen (0.92 ERA since August 6), and a re-awakened offense (5.24 runs per game since August 6).
By the way, this all began with the appearance of the original Rally Mantis on Saturday, August 6. Even though the team’s pet praying mantis expired in Minnesota after inhabiting the Kansas City Royals dugout for a week, the team found a new insect buddy and have continued to win. Enter Rally Mantis II, who joined the club by alighting on top of the team’s dugout in Detroit.
Yes, the KC Royals are still 9.0 games behind the Cleveland Indians and trail the Detroit Tigers by 2.0 games in the AL Central. However, they have closed to within 5.5 games of the Baltimore Orioles for the AL’s second wild card.
And, now, the Kansas City Royals only have to overtake four teams instead of five for the wild card because they have pulled even with the Astros at 62-60. KC sits only a 1/2 game behind the Yankees at 62-59. They’re two games behind Detroit at 64-58 and need to make up 3.5 games to catch the Seattle Mariners at 65-56.
Making the playoffs isn’t impossible. Heck, the 2009 Twins overcame a 7.0 game lead on Sept. 7 by the Detroit Tigers to win the AL Central. The 1964 St. Louis Cardinals overcame a 6.5 game lead by the Phillies to win the NL Pennant with 12 games to play.
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But, most important of all, the Kansas City Royals have their swagger back. They’re carrying themselves like the defending World Champions. This is the club that overcame four-run deficits in the eighth inning to survive elimination games against the A’s (2014) and Astros (2015). This is the team that pulled off seven multi-run comebacks in the 2015 post-season.
The KC Royals now believe anything is possible. Rookie reliever Matt Strahm told the Kansas City Star after KC’s 5-4 extra inning victory over Minnesota on Friday:
"“Everyone’s doing their part,” Royals reliever Matt Strahm said. “Team chemistry is huge right now. We’re just rolling.”"
Given the Kansas City Royals proven ability to overcome seemingly impossible odds, you can’t count them out. Not anymore. This is a team that seems to find a higher level when pushed into a corner.
Next: Royals Report:: KC Endures 3-Hour Rain Delay In 6th Straight Win
Look out American League. The KC Royals are back!