Tonight, the Kansas City Royals travel to Jacobs Field--must not kowtow to corporate overlords--to take on the baseball team who plays its games in Cleveland and has a racist caricature as a mascot.
In this four-game tilt, the Royals' pitching staff not named Johnny Cueto will attempt to right the ship against the second-most unlucky team in baseball. In terms of third-order winning percentage, Cleveland should be leading the Central by roughly five games at an 80-61 mark.
Fortunately for Kansas City and unfortunately for Cleveland, the cookie did not simply crumble in an disadvantageous manner for Cleveland. In fact, it proved not to be a cookie at all, disappearing into the ether as soon as the prospect of being eaten was introduced to the equation and flying directly into the salivating maw of the opportunistic Royals, who have vastly outperformed their production for a second straight year thanks to a superb defense and a rock-solid bullpen.
Things have not been entirely rosy for the Royals, however. In their past nine games, they have won just twice. The deadline acquisition of legitimate ace Johnny Cueto teased with early stellar performances bringing to mind memories of another ace who won a Cy Young in this city and may win another this year but followed with five consecutive abysmal starts.
Were it not for the huge lead the Royals banked in the race for the American League Central heading into September, the alarm bells would be howling in a deafening manner.
As it stands, the Royals have a double-digit lead in the Cental, so getting into the playoffs is not the issue (probably). Rather the hard-charging Blue Jays and the jockeying for playoff positioning are at stake.
The Royals will field this starting lineup this evening:
Edinson Volquez and those Royals will have to face off against Carlos Carrasco and these Clevelanders:
As BHWick pointed out on Twitter, the Royals have not enjoyed a lot of success against Carrasco.
Royals vs Carrasco: Gordon 2-23 Zobrist 3-10 Cain 4-16 Hosmer 5-15 Kendrys 2-5 Mous 2-13 Sal 3-16 Rios 1-12 Escobar 5-18— Brandon H. (@BHIndepMO) September 14, 2015
Carrasco has a 5.09 K/BB and a sub-3.00 FIP, xFIP, and SIERA. This could be a long night.
Given the standard Eastern Time Zone starting time, one has to wonder if the citizens of Halifax will get their Highlanders after all. Perhaps Cleveland ownership no longer cares about the team's likely future home in Nova Scotia, but it does not seem the best way to endear yourselves to the open-armed Haligonians to suddenly turn your attention away from them.