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Royals Rumblings - News for September 21, 2015

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All your base are belong to Kendrys Morales.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for September 21, 2015

Kendrys Morales talks about his record-setting day on Sunday.

Morales barreled into third base for his second triple of the season and his third since 2009. He scored soon after on a wild pitch. Two innings later, he delivered in a more conventional fashion, bashing his third home run of the day, which allowed him to set a team record with 15 total bases in one game.

"He’s had good games in his career," said catching coach Pedro Grifol, who translated for Morales. "But this is No. 1."

Vahe Gregorian writes that what matters for the Royals is October, not September.

The simple truth is that how teams play in September, and where they finish in the overall standings, is only a negligible indicator of who will reach or win the World Series. Since the advent of the wild-card in the 1995 playoffs, only 15 of the 40 teams with the best records in their leagues reached the World Series. For that matter, only four of 20 teams that had the best regular-season record in baseball in that span have won the World Series (that doesn’t include the 2013 Cardinals, who shared that distinction with the World Series champion Red Sox). Meanwhile, 12 wild-card teams have navigated their way to the World Series — and six have won it.

Ned is not panicking yet.

Yost admitted he disliked the team’s results in recent days, but remained optimistic about their chances in October. "If we’re going to go through a quiet period with our bats," Yost said, "I would rather do it now, thantwo weeks from now."

Royals fans are starting to panic.

"It really doesn’t matter how the regular season finishes out. It’s a new season after that. Anything can happen. That’s the beauty of the game." Royals fan Tom Henry gets that. Then again, he’s 26 and he hadn’t seen a favorite team play for a championship until watching the Royals do it last year. After the 2013 NFL season, when the Chiefs were up 28 points over the Indianapolis Colts in a playoff game, "I still felt like we were going to lose that one," Henry said. "And we did."

Ryan Zapalac, who studies sports fan behavior, sympathizes. With uneasy Royals rooters, "do you think part of it are the memories of 2003?" asked Zapalac, an associate professor at Sam Houston State University. "In 2003, the Royals had that strong push toward the playoffs before it all fell apart," he noted. Until recent seasons, "that was the one good year that many probably remember."

Lee Judge defends pitching coach Dave Eiland.

Eiland is considered a top-notch pitching coach. The Royals "pathetic" ERA was third-best in the American League at the time I received this email, still in the top four pitching staffs this morning. I get to spend some time talking to Dave so I can give you some examples of what he’s doing to assist the Royals pitchers:

  • With Luke Hochevar Eiland wanted him to throw fewer types of pitches because Luke had too many pitches that were similar in velocity. Luke went to the pen, reduced his pitch arsenal and has achieved better results.
  • In Jeremy Guthrie’s case, Dave added a small inward turn to Jeremy’s delivery; that allowed Guthrie more time to get the ball to the proper release point and pitch downhill.
  • Edinson Volquez was taking too big a step back to start his delivery out of the full windup. Dave shortened that step back and that allowed Edinson to keep his motion going north-south — toward home plate.
  • Kris Medlen’s fix was staying tall; Dave wanted Kris to stay back a bit more instead of driving too soon toward the dish. Staying tall added depth to Medlen’s off-speed stuff and got his fastball on a downhill angle.
  • Johnny Cueto’s front shoulder was flying open and Johnny was cutting off his pitches and spinning off the ball. Eiland spotted the problem, Johnny was working on it and in his last start Cueto’s work and Eiland’s advice seemed to pay off

David Lesky at Pine Tar Press talks about how he'd handle Greg Holland's struggles.

ls are best with Wade Davis and Greg Holland both at their best. So for now, I wouldn’t do anything. I’d give Holland the last three weeks of the season to see if maybe he can continue to be a dominant closer without his best stuff. I know that’s not popular, but I’d give him the remainder of the season to keep his job, similar to what the Royals are doing with Rios.

The thing is that you can always flip he and Davis. It’s not like Holland is going to need time to get acclimated to the eighth inning or Davis the ninth. Why not see if you can keep things in current order while maintaining effectiveness?

Sam Mellinger has a neat piece about Satchel Paige, who pitched his last Major League game 50 years ago in Kansas City - at age 59.

The Brewers will hire 30-year old Astros Assistant General Manager David Stearns to run their team.

Ken Rosenthal asks if the current Wild Card setup is fair.

Paul Casella of Sports on Earth looks at the best September performances of the Wild Card era.

Is it time to change the rules to avoid slides like the one that ended the season of Pittsburgh's Jung-Ho Kang?

2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers are set.

Bills fans fail in their attempt to break Arrowhead's noise record.

You aren't good enough to win money on daily fantasy football.

A stock car racer unexpectedly dies while taking a victory lap.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has written a new book about Mycroft Holmes.

Texas produced so much wind power, for several hours its power plant was actually paying people to take electricity off its hands.

What was learned from the Ig-Nobel Awards, honoring the silliest in science.

Here are your 2015 Emmy Award winners.

Your song of the day is Johnny Cash with "Tennessee Stud."