I don’t have much for you today (which many of you might say ‘what else is new?) after a rugged weekend.
The Royals flat out wilted in the national spotlight on Friday night and gave the Saturday afternoon contest away via bunts, baserunning blunders and the idea that Raul Ibanez was the pinch-hitter you wanted in the bottom of the ninth of what was then the most important game of the year.
Of course, the Royals righted the ship on Sunday – the most important game of the year to date – in a game where, of course, Alcides Escobar got two more hits out of the lead-off spot. Since moving to the top of the order, a move which statistically makes very little sense, the Royals’ shortstop is 13 for 38, with three doubles, a home run and, get this, TWO walks.
Batting behind Escobar in Yost’s new order has been Nori Aoki (only 16 for 34, with 4 walks). Don’t look know, but Aoki has become exactly who Royals’ fans thought they were getting last winter. Aoki now has the best on-base percentage of any Kansas City regular.
Oh yeah, and new number three hitter Lorenzo Cain is now 8 for 26, with a double, home run and three walks since moving to that spot in the order. I don’t know, go figure on all that.
We move onto Cleveland, where the Royals hope to turn a loss into a win and have three outs to do so before playing a real baseball game after that. At minimum, the Royals need to win two in Cleveland and three in Chicago. That won’t get them the division, but it should keep Kansas City in one of the two wild-card spots. They absolutely cannot let the Indians get back into the conversation.
One week to go, seven games (basically). Five wins needed.
Finally, a really great read from our own Aaron Stilley can be found over at The Hardball Times. Aaron compresses the history of baseball into one 24 hour day. Cool and fun. Read it instead of working: America will survive.