As revealed last week in a Secrets of the AL Central post the Royals actually have a better record in one-run games, so perhaps it was no surprise that the boys in blue were able to prevail this afternoon in Minnesota.
The game was tied 2-2 after three innings, and remained that way for what seemed like six hours, as the Royals mixed a couple scoreless innings out of Ducky, then got another five clean innings from the bullpen. It was like April or something, only with Ducky playing the role of beloved former Royal Brett Tomko. All of Trey's admittedly standard and borderline robotic ideas regarding the bullpen (well, except for a lack of interest in platoon splits) come together a lot better with a functional Ron Mahay, who made his first appearance since 9/4 and his second since 8/15, a date now known as my last day of freedom. WIthout Mahay's work in the 6th inning, erasing a two-men on, no-out situation, the Royals don't win today. Perhaps inspired by Mahay's work, the Royals even got good work from onetime intriguing Dayton Moore acquisition John Bale. Ramirez and Soria, well, you know about them. Of course, it was a getaway-day-game, wasn't it?
(After a disastrous season, Bale has strung together 6.1 consecutive scoreless innings, and is now the proud owner of a 5.66 ERA.)
Offensively, I'm not quite capable of either registering excitement or saying something clever. At least we got the Shealy/Butler combo today, along with another start for the Jose Guillen September Stat Padding Drive. So yea, woo-hoo, they won, and the offense managed three runs in ten innings of play. One question, have the Royals drawn a walk against the Twins yet this season?
Nevertheless, I'm happy about this game, because I'm an unabashed White Sox partisan in this year's Central race. With the Angels already a lock for the post-season, there are already too many fundamentalist stories to avoid and I can't bear having the Twins in there as well. (Oh, and by the way, have you heard the Cubs haven't won a WS in exactly 100 years? If only Brett Favre could play baseball too, it might actually improve the discourse.)
Consider for a second the White Sox, at the moment they're down Carlos Quentin, Joe Crede, Paul Konerko and Jose Contreras. Oh, and Andy Sisco. How could I forget about him. Oh, and the voluntarily added Ken Griffey Jr to their team. So I imagine that there were some cheers in the White Sox lockerroom today when they saw Soria slam the door today.