The Royals lost a pitching duel this afternoon, just a day after winning a pitching duel.  Those two games were preceeded by nine games in which Kansas City basically bashed their way through opposing teams.  Baseball’s fun when you score seven runs or more in seven of nine games.  It’s easy, even, when you are on a roll like that.

Now, my friends, is when the real games begin.

Three runs scored in two games is going to make the hands grip the bat a little tighter.  Maybe that guy hitting behind me isn’t going to drive in the baserunner if I don’t.  Maybe I can’t give up three runs and win.  Maybe…

The Royals lost a game and are still in first place, that’s cool.  They will return home for a nine game homestand that will likely see the biggest crowds since opening day.  THIS is why we watch baseball.   While a ton of past Royals’ roster may not have realized, THIS is why you play baseball, too.

Friday night will be a test as the Royals face Hisashi Iwakuma, who I think might be the most underrated good pitcher in the game right now.   No Royal has faced him more than seven times:  you can decide if that is good or bad.  On Saturday, they face Chris Young, who no Royals has faced more than six times.  Young, you’ll remember, had his best start of the year in early May against Kansas City.   The series will conclude with the Mariners sending Roenis Elias to the hill.  The Royals roughed Elias up for five runs in five innings in May and since then he has been touched for four runs in more in four of seven starts.  Beware, however, as in those seven starts, Elias also has a complete game shutout and another outing in which he allowed just three hits and a run over seven innings.

You want to be a division winner?  You take two of three from the Mariners in your home ballpark.

A couple of other notes:

  • Last week, I suggested that Ben Zobrist should be a potential trade target for the Royals.  This week, national media rumors suggest that the Royals are indeed looking at Zobrist.  Not sure why Dayton Moore hasn’t called me, but then he never calls.
  • Hunter Dozier was promoted to AA this week.  He plays third base (pushing Cheslor Cuthbert to first in the Naturals’ lineup).  Makes you wonder what might happen next spring if Mike Moustakas and the Mendoza line remain close friends all season.
  • Soren Petro on WHB has been beating the ‘trade for David Price’ drum lately.  At first, I paid little attention, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t make some sense.  The market for an impact bat acquisition seems a little thin, so perhaps making the starting rotation that much better might be an option to adding a bat that may or may not make this team better in 2014.  The price for Price (chuckle) might be too extreme, but the Royals would be getting him for this season and next.  Here’s what I know, if you could trade prospects for David Price, Kansas City would absolutely be better THIS year.  I’ve pretty much become a THIS year kind of guy.