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It's the last day of baseball: Cleveland at Kansas City

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Unless there are Royals, it doesn't count.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Today is the last time the Kansas City Royals will play baseball in 2016. Legend says that it used to happen all the time that other teams would keep playing baseball after the Royals had been forced to stop. Plenty of Royals fans have never experienced life this way. Others have grown so accustomed to new order that a return to the old still seems strange. Regardless of your feelings about this change back to the old the Royals season will end today.

In a way it's kind of baffling that this game is even being played. The Royals, as previously noted, are not going to the playoffs. Cleveland has already clinched the division. What is there to be gained from playing another game of baseball. I still can't give you a reason for the Racists, but the Royals do have a small something to play for. A winning record. At 81-80 they've already guaranteed they won't be lose more than they win, this season; but they have a chance to have four straight winning seasons for the first time since they had six straight winning seasons from 1975 - 1980.

The Royals send Ian Kennedy to the bump. If you don't know what Ian has done for the Royals, it's been a bit above average. Unfortunately, against Cleveland he's been less than stellar. He has a 5.76 ERA and has allowed eight home runs - the most allowed to any team by Kennedy this season. He was also exceptionally mediocre in the month of September. He had four quality starts out of five, but never pitched into the seventh and only twice gave up fewer than three runs.

The Royals offense will have to contend with Josh Tomlin. Tomlin had a rough August and was even temporarily demoted to the bullpen, but since returning to the rotation he has allowed only a singled earned run in each of his last three starts, including one against the Royals two weeks ago. He's not been pitching deep into games but the Cleveland bullpen no longer appears as weak as it once did now that Andrew Miller lurks within it, ready to emerge and crush the hopes of any opponents who dare try to score late in the game.

Lineups

Worthwhile baseball games may stop being played after today, but never fear, Royals Review won't be going anywhere. I still need to write a recap after this game, at least.