Are the Royals really a .500 team?

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The Royals are starting to give everyone in the Fandom that old familiar feeling in their guts when the 7th inning hits.  It's that feeling like something is about to happen.  After some late inning magic against the A.L. East leading Boston Red Sox, and then again against the ever dangerous Toronto B.J.s, the Royals are again becoming Kings of the Comeback. 

Going into Wednesday's game the Red Sox were perfect for the season when leading in the 7th inning or later.  Their Bullpen had the second best ERA in the league, and yet somehow the team with the fewest walks IN ALL OF BASEBALL, took three straight walks off of them to lead off the 8th inning. 

Then with Salvador Perez up, Boston Reliever Robbie Scott tried his best to walk 4 straight batters.  But Salvy was having none of it.  He knew he was using a "magic stick" given to teammate Drew Butera from none other than Miguel Cabrera.  After a battle that included few strikes, but many foul balls, Salvy smacked his first ever Grand Slam to give the Royals a 6-4 lead. 

Only way to top a game like that? Have the Royals walk off in a come-from behind two run double against the surging Toronto B.J.s.  With two outs, and one strike left to Brandon Moss, the Royals started the most unlikely of comebacks. 

How unlikely?  It was the first time all year the Royals have come from behind in the 9th to win, but even more amazing, they won for only the second time in 5 years, when trailing by more than 2 runs in the Ninth.

 After outs to Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, with a Salvy double sandwiched between, The Royals were down to 1 strike on their part time DH, and .178 hitting Brandon Moss.  Down by 3, Moss drew a walk, to put the tying run at the plate.  Though I often complain about his under performance this year.  An at bat like that can not only turn a season, it shows a possible change in philosophy this new offense has.

 Follow that with two sub .200 hitters, getting singles (the odds of that can't be good, but I'm not willing to do that math), and up steps your leadoff hitter Whit Merrifield with Esky representing the tying run on third, and Gordo representing the winning run at first.  Those who don't believe in Royal Magic need to now stop and really dig into this part of the game. Toronto has one of the most dominate, automatic young closers in the game.  Roberto Osuna already has 19 saves this season, and 75 in under 2 1/2 seasons.  The kids is dominate, and a large reason for the B.J.'s success. 

But on this night he was seated in the dugout right next to Manager John Gibbons.  Later we would come to find out he was having a spell with some mental illness.  Claiming to be off, and not feeling like himself.  So instead of their all world closer, Toronto had to keep Aaron Loup in to face two hit Whit.  In true storybook fashion, Whit got a double and scored Gordon all the way from first.  This was only the 20th time in franchise history a non-homerun ended a game the Royals were losing when the player hit it. 

So if you are starting to get that magical feeling back in your stomach, it may be the Helmet full of Nachos you ate in the third inning, or it just might be that little bit of Royals Magic creeping back into the ball park.  But stay level headed (for now) as of today the Royals Project to be 82-82, which is exactly what they were last year. Only time will tell if this season turns out to be another 2014 or instead a repeat of 2016. 

 

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Author: Walker

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