Leftridge: Most Important Series of Royals’ Season Started…Last Night

blue october 2

 Editor’s note: This post was written last night but went unpublished owing to a communication miscue.

This is it.

This is everything.

No series this season has been more fraught with tangible implications than the upcoming five game show-down with the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers.

Forget October, THIS is the postseason. And as someone who was still watching Sesame Street and occasionally crapping his pants the last time the Royals played games this meaningful, I’m beyond excited.

The next five games will explicitly shape the remainder of the Royals season. A five game road trip against the preseason favorite to win the division (and possibly the World Series) will seal the fate of this scrappy squad once and for all.

And boy, is that a terrifying proposition.

Not because the Royals can’t hang—their beat down of the Boston Red Sox proved they can—but because they just lost two out of three to the lowly Miami Marlins.

getzBecause the suddenly sufficient Mike Moustakas is walking around with a booted hoof. Because sparkplug elder statesman Miguel Tejada is done for the year. Because Tim Collins still can’t seem to figure it out and Kelvin Herrera is, and forever will be, the Number One Cause of Nervous Diarrhea. Because Bruce Chen isn’t this good. Because the roster now has Chris Getz and Elliot Johnson vying for the “Most Embarrassing Player to Have on Your Team Award” on a nightly basis. Because Jamey Carroll and Emilio Bonifacio don’t really solve anything.

Injuries, ineffectiveness and inertia are all unavoidable parts of a 162 game season, and unfortunately, it seems like everything is hitting Kansas City at once. Truly great teams overcome these obstacles; it’s actually part of what makes baseball great. Mediocre teams—or even merely decent ones, really—let speed bumps wreck their suspension, though.

It’s the latter part of this equation that worries me.

So they’ll head into battle banged up and struggling. If they’re truly as strong as their post-All Star record suggests, they’ll be fine. If they were simply riding an unbelievable wave of luck, though, Detroit could be a horrific slaughterhouse of epic proportions.

I see it like this: If the Royals sweep the series, I’m immediately setting aside money for a playoff game or two. If they take four of five, I’ll still probably start looking into getting some days off in October, just in case. If they take three, I’ll be happy, but remain firmly entrenched in reality. If they take two, I’ll shrug, give a dismissive, “well, what are you gonna do?” and begin thinking about offseason second base acquisitions. If they win one, I’ll carry on, reminding myself as I do every baseball season (usually in May, but whatever) that there’s more to life than sports. If they get swept, well… I guess I wouldn’t be shocked, necessarily, but I highly doubt they’ll get SWEPT, right?

I mean, haha, they’re better than that, aren’t they? Even with Getz at second and Carroll at third and Johnson coming in to pinch bunt in the top of the 9th, down by eight runs and with nobody on?

blue octoberOh dear God, they could TOTALLY get swept.

The series kicks off tonight at 6:10 pm CT with Jeremy Guthrie (12-8, 4.10 ERA) and a struggling offense taking on Anibal Sanchez (10-7, *gulp* 2.58 ERA) and his wrecking crew. (Forgive me for pointing out the impossibly good Miguel Cabrera’s six homers and 14 RBIs over the last eight days.) 

And just like that, I’ve managed to talk myself out of believing. Such is the life of a lifelong Royals’ fan.

I’ll still watch, though. Hopefully, you will too.

So… play ball?

I guess?

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2 Responses to Leftridge: Most Important Series of Royals’ Season Started…Last Night

  1. admin says:

    Just wanted to reiterate that I screwed up on getting this posted last night.

    It’s a great read though – as are most of Brandon’s efforts – and for what it’s worth, I’m feeling his pain.

  2. CG says:

    The Royals had a great run. Nationally overshadowed by four other teams with great runs who matter. I think this pitching is the best I’ve ever seen from a KC club to this point. Including the Brett era. But the offense is the worst, no power, no timely batter except maybe now Hosmer, maybe. He is on fire. Without him about six wins go bye bye as of late, including the two they won last night. Even with that minor miracle last night, its uphill. As you pointed out, the few bats we had are injured, the replacements bat around .210 or so with no power at all, and fielding at 3rd is now an issue as is the outfield. However they have been an incredible group this mid summer. I give them major credit.

    They have the heart of a contender and young line up to move forward if these guys step up one day, Hosmer, Cain,Moose, Perez and Butler…maybe. Next year will Chen be this good, will he be a Royal? Santana? In one more after Big Game James? See what I mean. Lots of issues.

    With last nights shocker, winning two, I have to say WOW.

    Now about those Chiefs…’oh boy’ poor Alex Smith, nowhere to go with the ball but Charles and I mean nowhere, well the tight end for five yards or so…is Bowe in town?

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