Game 60, it almost seems momentous.
Through 59 games the Royals mostly struggled, posting a 21-38 record, good for dead last in the American League. To our continual annoyance, a team that many assumed would at least be competent -- especially at the plate -- has resorted to its old monkeyshines.
The Oscar Wilde School of Hitting, KC's AL Offensive Ranks
Bring Back the Runelvys-Affeldt Era, KC's Pitching Ranks
SV %: 9th
Wild Pitches: 2nd
You get the idea. Lest you accuse me of cherry-picking those stats, I invite you to stroll through ESPN's sortable stats page and see for yourself.
Once again, we're blessed to watch, night after night, a team who fails in every aspect of the game.
Of course, all of that will change, beginning tonight, behind Brian Bannister (1-3, 3.89 ERA). Coming off his best outing of the season (or as I called it, his life) Bannister is now 5th on the team in terms of Pitching VORP, clocking in at a VORP of 5.7. Meche leads the team with a 19.7 VORP, and is as such the only Royal sniffing the top of the AL Leaderboard (Mecher is 10th, wedged between Pettitte and Bedard).
And in breaking news, Bannister will have Joey Gathright at his side.
The Indians counter with former Royal and noted whiner Paul Byrd (6-1, 3.57 ERA). Byrd destroyed our national innocence when he left the Royals after the 2002 season and further annihilated whatever strands of sanctity Arod and Bonds hadn't already sullied, by then bouncing from Atlanta to Anaheim to Cleveland.
I'll actually be at tonight's game, with pretty good seats (7th row) behind the Royals dugout. If you see a white dude wearing a Royals hat, its probably me. I will be emulating "Courage", the Greatest Fan in the World. (More pics of dude here.)