Game 53: Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals rode the singles train north of the border to begin investigations into the "home run" tonight.

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Last night, I watched the second episode of Game of Thrones House of Cards. If you haven't seen House of Cards on Netflix, I'll give a description. Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, appears to be a functioning psychotic sociopath who really enjoys talking when no one is around. He also likes barbecue early in the morning, but the show takes place in Washington, D.C., so the barbecue is probably bad. Underwood is a congressman who....I'm getting word that this is supposed to be a game thread for the opening game of the Royals vs. Blue Jays series. I guess if you're interested in that, here's some stuff.

After getting thumped by George Springer, the Royals visit noted thumpers, the Toronto Blue Jays, in their thumping-friendly dome. The Blue Jays are on a 9 game winning streak and are leading the normally competitive AL East. Former Royal Melky Cabrera is hitting home runs for the Blue Jays. Brett Lawrie, a common comparison to Mike Moustakas as a "failed" prospect, has a 91 wRC+ and is hitting home runs. Colby Rasmus, a guy who is striking out literally one-third of the time, has a 105 wRC+ and is hitting home runs. Juan Francisco, a guy who is striking out even more than Rasmus, has a 161 wRC+ and is hitting home runs.

I think you get the idea. The Blue Jays hit lots of home runs, and I didn't even mention Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion. Also, the Jays are 7th in walk rate and 8th in strikeout rate in the good way. It's like baseball players are entirely capable of hitting for power AND making contact at the same time. It's also like the Jays have figured out that players can still strike out a bunch and contribute positively to the offense by mashing the ball when the players do make contact. The Royals don't like home runs, so Brett Hayes has probably been kicked off the team for hitting a home run yesterday. The Royals venture to Canada to investigate this phenomenon. The team has tabbed Dale Sveum to replace lead home run investigator Pedro Grifol, citing something something something it doesn't even matter. The fan base has exploded.

James Shields, leader of pitchers but not of hitters, faces R.A. Dickey, whose ERA exactly matches his FIP at 3.95. Dickey is having a decent rebound season, like most of the rest of the Blue Jays. Here's the lineup for the evening. Get moderately excited for baseball. Excited like how a wet paper bag is exciting.

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