At the Kansas City Star, Pete Grathoff turned back the clock a year to Game Four of the 2015 ALDS:
One year ago today, Kansas City awoke to a Monday that promised another sunny mid-70s afternoon.
That meant little for a fanbase preparing for work and already fretting about the Royals’ 2-1 series deficit against the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series.
Before the clock struck midnight on Oct. 12, 2015, euphoria and tragedy would mark the day.
First came the unbelievable Royals comeback in Game 4 of the ALDS. Hours later the unimaginable: Two Kansas City firefighters died when a burning building on Independence Avenue collapsed on them.
At BP KC, David Lesky reviews the Royals’ pitching in 2016, concluding:
It’s kind of funny. I’m still not sure if I’m more or less worried about the 2017 pitching staff than I was when I began this exercise. On one hand, their DRA was basically identical to the 2015 staff that was a champion, in case you forgot. On the other hand, the ERA rose by nearly half a run while their FIP jumped by 0.37. I think it’s safe to say that jump was due to the environment where home runs are king again, but I think I’m actually fairly encouraged for next year in looking at this. I’m making the assumption (yes, I know what happens when you assume) that the defense is better next season and the pitching staff doesn’t take so long to find its roles. Even if the DRA remains roughly the same for a third straight year, I think the pitching staff gets better in 2017. I hope.
Lee Judge presents the first ever Rusty Kuntz quiz.
John Sickels jumps back to 2006 and the best pitching prospects in the game then, featuring Luke Hochevar and Edinson Volquez, amongst others.
FanGraphs’ August Fagerstrom looks at how the Dodgers’ bullpen has colored the perception of Clayton Kershaw as a postseason crumbler.
Jeff Sullivan marvels at Javier Baez’s big week.
There’s still hope that the Padres ditch drab convention and go back to their brown-and-gold retro look highlighted at last year’s All-Star Game.
One more reason to dislike Tom Brady for those in search of reasons.
The climate change battle of the week is happening in Rwanda.
The song of the day is “What It Means” by Drive-By Truckers: