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Royals Rumblings - News for August 28, 2015

The Royals have won 15 of their last 20 games. Again.

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for August 28, 2015

Vahe Gregorian writes its not time to panic about Johnny Cueto.

Cueto was brought here to fill the Royals’ most glaring need, and the move elevated them from a fine contender to defend their American League championship to the presumptive favorite. Now he’s a mere 2-3 as a Royal after falling well short of expectations the last two starts — which may or may not be indicative of a pattern. In Boston, for instance, Cueto’s effort was hurt by uncharacteristic lapses in the field. His troubles Wednesday were entirely of his own making, though, symbolized by the emphatic trio of two-run homers. As Yost saw it, there were no particular similarities between what Cueto did in Boston and on Wednesday.

"Just one of those nights," he said, shrugging it off to getting "burned" by getting poor action on those three cutters.

Lee Judge writes its Cueto's off-speed pitches that are getting hit.

A pitcher cannot abandon an important pitch in his arsenal just because it isn’t working at the moment. He has to find spots where he can throw it so he gets the feel back. We sometimes see a pitcher throw a pitch in the dirt and assume it was a bad pitch. Maybe — or maybe he was ahead in the count and decided to bounce his slider, curve, change or cutter just to get the feel for it.

After Wednesday’s game I asked Ned Yost if Cueto should have abandoned the cutter for the night once he realized he didn’t have a good one. Ned said no; Johnny needed to make an adjustment, not junk the pitch. And to be fair, not every off-speed pitch Cueto threw got whacked. Some of them appeared to work as intended, some of them didn’t.

Paulo Orlando is making things happen.

"He’s got life in his bat," Yost said. "If you make a mistake, he’s going to make you pay. He’s a dangerous guy, even though his batting average isn’t .300. And he finds a way to do something. It might be a defensive play in the outfield, it might be a big base hit. He’s been a big contributor."

David Lesky looks at potential playoff opponents for the Royals.

I wrote yesterday how the Royals don’t really have any real weaknesses to exploit. The Blue Jays do have weaknesses, but they make up for it with incredible star power. They can hit and hit and hit and hit, and they’ve gotten better since the trade deadline. Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to start a game is almost unfair. Their pitching has been mostly unreal since acquiring David Price, but I’m not really sure how sustainable that is. R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Marco Estrada have been really solid a lot of the time for the Blue Jays, so there’s every chance that their front four can go on a month long run, but I’m not sold on them. Their bullpen, though, is very solid now, but relying on a 20-year old closer, no matter how good he’s been, is kind of risky. The Blue Jays are going to be the trendy pick, and I think the Royals can beat them, but they’re also the team that I think provides the biggest challenge to them.

John Viril at Kings of Kauffman looks at how the Royals have outperformed their pythagorean expectation.

The KC Royals are 53-3 when ahead going into the sixth inning. According to Posnanski, major league average in that situation is 82% rather than KC’s 94%. That works out to about seven extra wins for the Kansas City Royals this season (I re-did Posnanski’s math myself since the Royals have won three more games after leading going into the sixth since he wrote his article).

This stat alone appears to explain the discrepancy between the Kansas City Royals actual record, and their Pythagorean projection. Now, a sabermetric-inclined skeptic might dismiss this late-inning record as a small sample artifact, except the KC Royals also dominated the late-innings in 2014

Eric Hosmer supports Tom Brady in DeflateGate.

Philly will go ahead and extend protecting netting in its stadium.

Ben Lindbergh at Grantland writes about the website domain name MLB couldn't buy. (h/t Mightie Minx)

Teams still face challenges delivering data to players.

Could Uganda become the next hotspot for baseball prospects?

The Jacksonville Jaguars could play a home game in London every year for the next 15 years.

Here are your Champions League draws.

Usain Bolt was run over by a Segway.

RIP Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins

Jon Bois has his latest episode of "Pretty Good" where a Soviet officer saved the world.

Russia banned Wikipedia because it couldn't censor pages.

How do we stop killers from exploiting social media?

Amazon is developing a TV-series based on the movie Galaxy Quest.

Star Wars has a brief new teaser trailer.

Your song of the day is The Hives with "Hate to Say I Told You So."