Pretty much everything that could go wrong in the Royals Wild Card scenario on Thursday did. Just a horrible evening.
-- The White Sox turtled up for the Indians. Remember, Cleveland has five more games against Chicago. Not helpful.
-- The Yankees held on for a win against the Orioles.
-- The Rays and Wil Myers vanquished the Red Sox on an eighth inning tie-breaking double.
Yep. Not good.
Now for your Wild Card standings:
Santiago has command issues as you would assume from a 4.3 BB/9. His 3.44 ERA is more than a full run lower than his 4.54 xFIP. As a team, Cleveland has walked 498 times this year (through games Wednesday) which is the fourth most in the AL. I'm not optimistic about this one.
This is an afternoon game, so knock off work early.
After dropping three of four against the Yankees and falling into a tie with the Royals, the Orioles look to rebound against the last place Jays. Bud Norris is shelved with elbow discomfort so Hammel returns to the rotation for the Orioles. Hammel missed the last month plus with elbow problems of his own. After a successful 2012 season, he's returned to the Hammel we've known with a depressed strikeout rate and more than his share of home runs allowed.
Speaking of home runs, Redmond has allowed 10 in 57 innings. Although he does have 59 whiffs.
The Royals skip Danny Duffy's turn in the rotation in favor of Bruce F'n Chen, depriving America of another Duffy/Verlander tilt. The Royals bullpen heaves a sigh of relief.
Apparently, these teams are rivals. OK.
Kuroda breezed through July but has struggled down the stretch. After holding opponents to a line of .225/268/.360 in the first half, they're hitting .272/.307/.421 against him after the break. Lackey has had a rough couple of starts as well, making you wonder how much is left in the tank. This has the makings of another 10-8, five hour masterpiece.
Over the last month, no team can top the A's 19 wins. Meanwhile, the Rangers are coming off a sweep at the hands of the Pirates and have won just twice in September.
Thank you, Mr. Schedule-Maker.