On August 31st the Royals were 57-79. Another 100-loss season was improbable but definitely possible. Another 90-loss season seemed certain. Since then, of course, the Royals have gone 17-7, the team's best monthly stretch, at the moment, since probably August of 1989 when they went 21-8. (Either May 1993, when the Royals went 16-7, August of 1991 (18-11) or April of 2003 (16-7) are runners up.)
Considering the context, last night was the best start of HIram's career, and the kind of shutdown performance that I'd previously thought only Greinke was capable of delivering, amongst members of this staff. Slight to today's starter, Gil Meche? No, not really. That's just not what Gil is. You're never going to tune in to a Meche start and after three innings start wondering if he might throw a no-hitter tonight, or think he might strike out 12 guys. (Although actually Gil has struck out 10 twice this season.) What Meche has been is healthy, steady and consistent. After a rough April, his monthly ERAs have been: 3.65, 3.13, 3.05, .3.49, 3.96. Looking at his game log, he's really only had two bad starts since May.
Facing an arch-Twins pitcher type in Glen Perkins (4.50 ERA), the Royals have a perfect opportunity to continue their brilliant September and make the Twins nervous.* All they have to do is keep winning.
*Perkins was a first round pick in 2004. Seems like a non-impact player to me.