So this is what second place feels like. I don't like it one bit. Give me first place. Give me champagne wishes and caviar dreams.
After two straight losses, the Royals not only dropped out of first place, but now sit a half game behind the Angels and Yankees for a Wild Card spot. They'll look to right the ship tonight against Mariners pitcher Chris Young, a reclamation project who has been extremely BABIP lucky this year. Young was a decent young pitcher way back when George W. Bush was beginning the second term of his administration. He suffered from injuries however, and has not made 30 starts in a season since 2007.
Now 35 years old, he was signed as a minor league free agent with the Mariners and made their rotation. Although he has a shiny 3.40 ERA, he has only struck out 4.6 hitters per nine innings with an awful 3.7 walks per nine innings. His .217 BABIP seems unsustainable. Still, he has been relatively effective this year, giving up more than four runs just once in a start this year, and going at least five innings in eleven of his thirteen starts.
Jason Vargas goes for the Royals against his old club. Vargas beat the Mariners back on May 9 with seven shutout innings. Vargas has gone seven innings or more in his last three starts, and has won his last three decisions. Although the Mariners starting lineup is very lefty-heavy, the club only hits slightly worse against southpaws with a line of .243/.295/.345 compared to .236/.300/.384 against righties. Basically, they're pretty bad against everyone.
Its time to stop the mini-losing streak now before it becomes infected with the losing attitude of past Royals clubs. This. Ends. Now.