How would the team respond?
It was the question bandied about amongst those that cover the team. Following their drop to the symbolically unclean record of 18-11, amidst injuries, suspensions, and bereavements, there was some wonder as to how Kansas City would show up on a day game following a night game that they lost 6-5 on a ninth inning error.
In 2009, 18-11 was a death sentence. The Royals collapsed in epic fashion, going on a 5-20 stretch that effectively removed them from any wide-eyed idealistic inklings of challenging for a division that they were leading the month before. 18-11 was death.
Escobar didn't care. As he gathered his teammates around the water cooler, amidst the glower of a midday sun.
"There is only one god, and his name is Death." His teammates sat, blank stoicism on their faces. Escobar rose to his feet. "And there is only one thing we say to Death."
Escobar strode to the plate to lead off the game and proved his conviction.
On the first pitch of the game, Escobar drove the ball deep into the heart of the enemy for a home run.
Seeing the truth of Hercules in his thought and deed, Jeremy Guthrie mounted the hill and proceeded to work, mystifying the enemy with arcane magicks. He went 7.1 innings, yielding eight hits and a walk while striking out three, allowing only two runners to cross the plate.
Luke Hochevar, in just his second game since returning from Tommy John surgery, was emboldened by the performance of his fellow bannermen, shutting down the Tigers for two outs following Guthrie's departure.
Gregor of House Holland closed out the contest, reclaiming the Central Throne for Kansas City, at least for a day.
Tomorrow on ESPN, Chris Young (2-0, 1.06 ERA) faces off against Shane Greene (3-2, 5.56 ERA) to continue determining the fate of MidWesteros.