It may seem as though tonight is just another night in which Dayton Moore's Kansas City Royals show their unwavering determination to win 78 games. Some would argue that any team sending Bruce Chen to the mound after the All-Star Break in 2013 must have fallen on hard times (at best) or is not a contender (at worst). Anyone believing that drivel simply is not close enough to the dirt.
Bruce Chen is a Sino-Panamanian marvel, the likes of which no one has ever seen. Some might look at his pedestrian fastball and repertoire of junk and presumptuously and pejoratively label him a "crafty lefty." What those cynics fail to realize is that Bruce Chen is Loki reincarnate. While many simply write his penchant for joking around off as nothing more than a little bit of color added to the Royals patchwork quilt of middling hurlers and free swingers, Bruce Chen is much more than that. If one questions how a person could make the leap from Bruce Chen: Crafty Lefty to Bruce Chen: God of Mischief, look no further than his uncanny ability to allow inherited runners to score while almost entirely limiting the damage done to his own ERA. Chen sports a sterling 2.04 ERA, yet somehow he has allowed 10 of 13 inherited runners to cross the plate, wreaking havoc on his teammates' ERA while keeping his own down. Moreover, these pitchers he's mischievously screwing over were theoretically his competition for the fifth spot in the rotation should it have come open. In his wake, the Jokester left his internal competition up-turned and gasping for air.
Oh, Chen, you trickster.