When scheduled starter Bruce Chen was scratched and replaced with Sugar Ray Marimon, we wondered if Ned Yost was flashing back to September of 2008. Was he having another pennant induced panic attack? With the Royals on the cusp of a championship and club record win total, just how bad did he want to win the Cactus League?
Marimon scuffled, allowing four runs in a little over four innings of work. Then, in the fifth, the Royals electric spring offense sprung into action. Six runs plated, they only needed to survive another shaky Tim Collins outing to clinch the coveted title.
In-N-Outs for everyone!
Brett Hayes was 4-5 with a triple (!) and Miguel Tejada was 3-5 with two runs scored.
(I stand by my assertion that the chain is overrated. It's good. Not great.)
The Royals 23 wins is a franchise record for Spring Training. They have four games remaining in Arizona to pad their total. This was their third Cactus League title, previously winning in 2011* and 2006.
*They had the best winning percentage in 2011, but the Giants had more wins. It's our title.
Of course they followed up their spring success with a 71 win season in '11 and a 62 win season in '06.