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Royals Rumblings - News for October 30, 2015

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If the Royals can make it here, they are champs anywhere.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for October 30, 2015

Jeff Passan writes about Johnny Cueto's redemption in Game Two.

Cueto was finishing this damn thing, Madson said, because "that's what everybody wanted."

He did it for the Royals that hung with him during those lean times and for country mate and Game 1 starter Edinson Volquez, back in the Dominican Republic mourning the loss of his father, and most of all for himself. And not just because free agency beckons and Cueto wanted to remind the world there is a reason he came into this season with a presumed $150 million price tag. If it were easy to find your name alongside that of Maddux, surely others would embrace the opportunity. Pitching is grueling, a series of mental landmines and physical exigencies, and pitching well takes even more.

"That's exactly what I expected from him," said Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who might've been the only one. "He showed up once again. Hopefully, we don't have to use him anymore."

Jayson Stark says the Royals look like an unstoppable force.

And let's make sure the population of Queens understands something right now, before panic sweeps the streets and subway platforms: This isn't about what the Mets are doing wrong. It's about what the Royals are doing right, what they've been doing right for two years now.

"They did exactly what people said," was how Mets manager Terry Collins described the lineup his sensational pitching staff hasn't been able to shut down. "They put the ball in play."

And they put it in play no matter who's standing 60 feet away from them. Before he arrived in Kansas City, for instance, Harvey was getting the opposition to swing and miss on 37.2 percent of the pitches he threw in this postseason. It was 17.9 percent Tuesday. And deGrom's miss percentage against the Dodgers and Cubs was 36.5 percent. On Wednesday, he threw 94 pitches and got exactly three swings and misses -- the fewest in his career. That comes to a 6 percent whiff rate. Six.

Tom Ley at Deadspin writes about how the Royals simply do not miss pitches.

Jeff Sullivan gives credit to the Royals, but also says the Mets weren't making good pitches.

Sam Miller at Baseball Prospectus looks at Alcides Escobar's failed bunt attempt that led to an RBI single.

Seven times in the regular season this year Escobar attempted but failed to get down a bunt in a sacrifice situation. Sometimes he fouled the pitch off, sometimes he bunted and missed, sometimes he did both in the same at-bat, but in those seven tries Escobar chose bunt, failed in the attempt, and found himself where he did on Wednesday night, in a precarious hit-away situation against his will and against his strength. In those seven outcomes, he singled four times, doubled once, grounded out and struck out. The dude went 5-for-7 with .39 WPA.

There is nothing to this, but I certainly won’t stop you from believing. Sometimes it’s important to remember that Alcides Escobar is one of the very worst hitters in baseball, and sometimes it’s just fun to remember it.

Joe Posnanski tries to explain the Royals' success.

It could be luck, of course, though I do believe "The Color of Money" line that luck, itself, is an art. It could be the oft-repeated quote that baseball managing is just not that important in the grand scheme of things — good managers lose and bad managers win based on talent. It could be that each individual managerial decision is just not as significant as talk radio callers and columnists believe. It could also be that a con artist named Applegate came to Yost and made him a deal.

Then again, it could be that there is something Yost instills in his players, something more consequential than the small percentage decisions he must make during a game. People still refer to the Kansas City Royals as plucky or spunky or gutsy or some similar word which makes them sound a bit too much like the cast from "Newsies." Those words really don’t have the regal tone befitting a two-time American League Championship team, and every now and again you will hear people gripe that those word choices show a lack of respect for what the Royals have done.

But, you know, those words are probably right. Yes, the Royals are a terrific team with the best record in the American League this year. Yes, their best players — Cain, Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Wade Davis, on and on — are no longer underappreciated gems but instead national stars. Yes, Kansas City might be the most passionate baseball town in America now.

Grant Brisbee writes about how Royals fans are on the verge of what seemed to be the impossible.

Since I was a kid, a line from the brilliant SNL skit George F. Will's Sports Machine has stuck in my head like a catchy song. It's where Dana Carvey's Will nonsensically describes the space between the infield and outfield as embodying "the exhilarating tension between being and becoming." The description was nonsensically florid on purpose, meaningless high-brow gobbledygook, and I've always loved it as a well-delivered punchline.

Except that's the Royals right now. They're the exhilarating tension between being and becoming, stuck between the impossible they've already accomplished and the possible that's always out of reach. And everyone feels it. It's why the miscues lead to groans and the successes lead to rapture. They're between two places, they've turned me into a fake George Will, and I don't care.

Television ratings for Game Two continued to be strong.

John Sickels assesses Royals top prospect Raul Mondesi.

For me, Mondesi continues to hover in the B+/B range. His upside is enormous and he's been pushed very aggressively, but the risk that he'll never be more than a mediocre hitter seems pretty high to me. That said, even if he's just a mediocre hitter his glove and speed contributions could make him a regular for a decade or longer.

Will Leitch at Sports on Earth says not to overthink things with the Royals.

Joel Sherman at the NY Post writes that the Cubs, Red Sox, and Astros are expected to pursue Alex Gordon this winter.

Some Royals fans are making sure kids have a good time at the ballpark.

Comedian and Mets fan Jim Breuer has respect for the Royals hitters, whom he calls "savages."

Women's health magazine wants to know who has bigger penises, Royals fans or Mets fans?

Blue Jays fans says goodbye to departing General Manager Alex Anthropolous.

The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks win their second consecutive Japanese League title.

Derek Jeter is engaged to 25-year old model Hannah Davis.

Rolling Stone magazine profiles Sean Forman, the genius behind Baseball-Reference.com

The NFL is getting kind of stupid fining players raising awareness for diseases.

Two sports fans met in the comments section of an ESPN message board and now they're getting married. So comment below!

China ends its "one-child policy."

What happens when actors leave high-school TV shows?

Breaking down the best horror movie monsters.

Your song of the day is KISS with "New York Groove."