Thirty-six games under .500 never looked so good. Riding another strong performance by the bullpen, the Royals took two of three from the middling Jays, and set much of the Midwest abuzz with talk of a fiesty team that can conquer all.
Despite the idiocy of having Joe McEwing batting freakin' 2nd and playing first-base the Royals cobbled together enough offense to score 6 runs, bunching hits in the 4th and 5th en route to a glorious victory. Oddly, the famed Water-Tortue Offense was nowhere to be seen, as the Royals produced 2 doubles, a triple and a homer to go with 3 walks 5 singles. Does the fact that the game was won by the good works of Angel Berroa and Joe McEwing mean that it might be a bit of a fluke? Perhaps. Are we complaining? Never.
The best news centers around another solid effort from the Royals' pitching staff. D.J. Carrasco used ground balls (11) and just enough strikeouts (3) towards keeping Toronto off the board, and the team of Affeldt-Burgos-MacDougal combined for a 3.0 IP, 4H, 3BB, 5K, 1ER line that held up for a 6-5 win. Despite missing most of the season, Jeremy Affeldt's now quietly en route to the season we've all thought he could have someday, getting outs (2.55 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 14 Ks in 17 IP) and holding leads. As for MacDougal, I think its fair to say a large portion of Royals' fans had essentially given up on the guy as an asset to a team, including yours truly, but thats exactly what he is right now. MacDougal's worst month this season was June (4.50 ERA), which has been answered by his performance in July, which is highlighted by a 0.00 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and .206 BAA.
Would it be wrong to suggest that Allard should trade MacDougal? Because sadly thats all I can think about right now. The bottom-line is this: he'll never be better than he is right now. You can take that to the bank. Do the Royals really need Mac, and if so, when? For next year's run at a fluky 80 wins? Its all about the individual deal of course, but I hope Allard's calling Chicago, Boston, New York (both) and Baltimore this week.
Don't be afraid to trade me Allard.