Tonight the Royals begin their first of two consecutive West Coast series--this one in Seattle, where the Battle for Grass Creek will rage on--and three straight series against the American League West.
The Royals will turn to a starting pitcher who was not in the Opening Day rotation for the third time in four games, looking to Joe Blanton to dispense with the Mariners. Any way you slice it, the Mariners possess one of the worst offenses in the league, with power being their only means of competing.
Unfortunately for the Royals, they will have to face Felix Hernandez, who excepting a particularly horrible start against Houston two starts ago, has looked every bit the Felix Hernandez of yore.
These are tonight's lineups:
For those who need a refresher, here is a map of the disputed territory as it lay in 2007:
And here is a detailed history of the Battle for Grass Creek.
It is safe to say the whirlwind success of the Royals this past postseason combined with the unholy alliance Jack Zduriencik (spelled correctly on first attempt by the author) made with the sabermetric devil to get his job in the first place only to fail to adhere to these principles striking a particularly Faustian bargain that has begun to bear its consequences this season has made Grass Creek ripe for the Royals' taking. Inroads to complete victory can be made tonight with a win over the Mariners' ace.
Grass Creek must belong to the Royals.