August 9, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Jeffress (41) and catcher Salvador Perez (13) celebrate after a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
Or does it?
The Royals have 51 games left to play. Given that they have won three in a row, the idea of watching this team play another fifty games is, for right now, is more appealing than it was just a week ago. We, of course, have all seen our share of successful Septembers and know that often means absolutely nothing.
An 18-8 September back in 2008 led to nowhere and may have done more damage to The Process than helped. We all know that Spring Training stats indicate very little, but often September numbers must be viewed with an equally skeptical eye.
This year, should the Royals finish out on a high note, they will have earned it and those late season results may actually mean something. Of the 51 games remaining, 35 are against teams with records above .500: all of whom have their eyes on a post-season berth.
Kansas City has six games left to play against a 49-62 Minnesota team and six more with a fading Cleveland Indians squad. The only other games against a losing team are four games AT Boston, who are 55-58. I am not sure if the Red Sox have officially given up or not, but I would not characterize four road games with the Sox in mid-August as easy.
The rest of the schedule consists of three at Baltimore (bet you knew that already) before returning home to play three against a surprising Oakland team. The A's are locked in battle with the Orioles, Chicago, Detroit, Tampa and LA for the two wild card spots (and the Central Division title as well). Those six teams are within one and one-half games of one another in the standings. Your Kansas City Royals will spent the remainder of 2012 playing that group - all of whom figure to be interested and unlikely to trot out a AAA lineup at any point.
Specifically, the Royals have 10 games with the Tigers and 9 more with the White Sox. The Angels come to Kansas City for a three game set, while the Royals visit Tampa for another three contests. The other four games left this year? Oh, just four home contests with the Texas Rangers.
What the Royals do against Cleveland and Minnesota won't tell us much about this team, but should they manage to play as they have the past three days against the rest of their remaining schedule might be a small indication of what we can expect from the 2013 version of this club.