Here we are.
Born to be kings.
Seriously though, the wait is over. The seemingly interminable five days without Royals baseball, the decades of irrelevance, the 29 years between World Series appearances? All over.
The Royals magical postseason resumes this evening, and when it does, they'll be facing the best starting pitcher they've seen since Jon Lester in the Wild Card round in the form of Madison Bumgarner. The Giants' ace has been even better this postseason than he was in the regular season, maintaining a 1.42 ERA and 2.75 FIP in his 31.2 IP spread over four starts.
The Royals will send out James Shields, who has actually pitched quite poorly thus far. Unlike Bumgarner, Shields has been pitching much less effectively than he had in the regular season. His postseason ERA is a woeful 5.63 over his three starts and mere 16.0 IP. His 4.82 FIP does not suggest that he's pitched much better than his ERA shows.
Does Madison Bumgarner shove as he has done thus far this postseason? Does James Shields prove that his co-opted nickname is warranted [finally]? Does none of what either of them do matter and the game go into extras as so many other Royals games have in the postseason only to be decided by whoever breaks first?
Answering any of those questions would seem an exercise in futility given how unpredictable this postseason has been.
May the streak stay alive.