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Game 96 Open Thread- Royals (42-53) at Tigers (57-37)

Enjoying a Diet Coke mixed with OK Champagne Kola here on St. Martin this Saturday morning...

Through 95 games, the Royals have 42 wins, something not seen in these parts since the magical/fluky season of 2003.

Royal Record Through 95 Games:

2007: 42-53
2006: 33-62
2005: 34-61
2004: 35-60
2003: 52-42
2002: 41-54
2001: 37-58
2000: 45-50

Its interesting to see the 2000 and 2002 Royals with similar records to the '07 edition, albeit also slightly scary. The 2000 team featured Dye, Damon, Sweeney and a young Beltran, as well as the good seasons of Mark Quinn and Joe Randa, finishing 5th in the AL in runs scored. The pitching staff (Suppan, Suzuki, Stein, etc.) was more mediocre, finishing 10th in the league in runs allowed. All in all, the '00 Royals ended up 77-85, still the second best mark in recent memory.

The '02 Royals had jettisoned Damon and Dye, but enjoyed a vintage season from Sweeney, as well as a strong campaign from Raul Ibanez. Despite the decent record through 95 games (although skewed in part by a 9-game winning streak from game 89 to 98), the '02 Royals cratered down the stretch, falling all the way to 62-100. That team finished 11th in runs scored and 13th in runs allowed.

So while the 2000 team played slightly above .500 baseball to finish the season, the 2002 squad went on to become the first Royal team to lose 100 games. The 2003 aberration was essentially a different team than the 2000-era group that had modestly peaked at 77 wins. The '03 Royals finished 4th in the AL in runs scored, 12th in runs allowed. Although this is somewhat misleading considering a) the K played as a huge hitters park that year and b) the runs scored/allowed total was 836 to 867, hardly a total bespeaking a 4th/12th ranking split. Of course, the core -- if you will -- of that mediocre team barely survived 2004, much less having an relevance today.

To my mind's eye, this current team reminds me of the promise (false promise mostly, it turned out) of the 2000 team, which featured an exciting lineup and some interesting pitchers. We'll see what the future holds...

The pitching matchup is Jorge de la Rosa versus Justin Verlander, but you already knew that.



- The new Royals-Tigers-Chiefs blog, RTC Talk, is worth checking out.
- Tigers blog Bless You Boys on last night's win, err, loss. Detroit Free Press story here. To my knowledge, Mitch Albom did not actually write this story days before, then file it last night. I can't confirm that however.