With Toronto's win over Minnesota less than an hour earlier, the Royals knew before the game was over that a loss would bring them into a tie with the Jays for the eighth pick in the 2013 draft. With the odd-man out getting knocked down two spots in the draft order to the tenth overall pick, losing was the only option, and lose they did.
Led by Bruce Chen, the Royals spotted the division-clinching Tigers six runs, thanks in large part to the defense behind him, who made sure four of those runs were unearned, misplaying balls with an aptitude that would make their mothers proud. Feeling as though the then 2 - 0 lead for the Tigers might not be enough, David Lough made an error in center field that kept the Tigers at the plate in their five-run sixth and allowed them to tack on four more runs. Just like Luke Hochevar the day prior, Valid Dough was tonight's hero, going above and beyond the call of duty in an attempt to catch the Blue Jays en route to the hallowed eighth pick of the draft.
Alex Gordon went dong hanging tonight, but there wasn't a picture to affix to this article, so you get the one above. This, of course, happened after Yost took the handcuffs off, green-lighting the offense to attack with an oppositional lead firmly in place.
Granted, all of this draft pick jockeying will be for nought when the world ends in the offseason, but we can pretend these games matter, right? That these losses mean something? That they serve a greater purpose?
Because if they don't, then holy hell is this a depressing part of the season. If the malaise of September Royals Fandom was how it all ended--if the wretched play and Jeff Francoeur and comical ineptitude and Jeff Francoeur were all we were left with--if the 10,000 fans sprinkled across the otherwise barren stadium, many of them Tigers fans, was the last image that was burned into our retinas, then our communal existence is that of the sadomasochistic subject of an endless 8mm torture porn film on a loop--an endless, grainy, outdated life that only the most depraved get pleasure out of watching while normals peak in periodically with pity but without offering help.
But that eighth pick in the draft would taste pretty nice, right? If it doesn't happen, then even our conciliatory coping mechanism hates us.