Kingdom Hearts 2 is a really good game. Just, like, so good you guys. But it isn’t perfect. The biggest flaw with the game is a flaw common to many Japanese Role-Playing Games and especially Square Enix titles taken to a factor of 10. It has a prologue/tutorial that just takes way too freaking long. The first Kingdom Hearts had a longish prologue that took a couple hours to complete. More if you wanted to spend any time with some of the side content available at that point. Kingdom Hearts 2’s prologue, however, can easily take more than five hours. In multiple playthroughs, your humble writer has even seen it take close to ten.
The problem with really long prologues is that even when moderately interesting moments happen they can get lost behind the player’s desire to move forward. Sure, there will be some memorable moments; KH2’s prologue has a few fairly famous memes among its community members. Similarly, I expect last night’s win to stick in minds for a long time. But for the most part, even when things are going well, it’s dull and everyone just wonders why it is taking so long and how much longer until they can get to the part they actually care about.
I say all this because the 2018 Royals are part of the prologue for the next playoff team in Kansas City. Whether that prologue is Square Enix-worthy or not is something we’ll only be able to tell someday in the future. But even if absolutely everything goes right for KC and it ends up being relatively short the fact remains that very little happening right now has enough meaning to be all that interesting. If the Royals were challenging for a playoff spot a game in which a rookie starter without much of a prospect pedigree completely out-dueled Corey Kluber would be very exciting and maybe even a turning or confirmation point for that team. But because this team is already eliminated from the post-season it just doesn’t really matter at all.
Heath Filmyer did manage to go six innings allowing only a single run while striking out three. There were plenty of hard-hit balls but they mostly fell in gloves. In fact, the only run that scored against Fillmyer came when he balked home Yonder Alonso. Corey Kluber did not have a good night. He pitched 5.1 innings and struck out six but also allowed five runs. Tim Hill, Jake Newberry, and Jason Hammel combined for three scoreless innings in relief.
It was a particularly good night for the middle third of the Royals lineup. Lucas Duda, Jorge Bonifacio, and Ryan O’Hearn combined to go 8-for-10 with a walk, a home run (Duda’s), a pair of doubles, and four RBIs. It was actually a pretty good night for the other youngsters as well. Hunter Dozier smoked a few balls and finished the night with an RBI single. Adalberto Mondesi tacked on a couple singles, a stolen base, and a pair of runs scored, too. It’s nice to see the lineup showing flashes of the promise we have all hoped to see. If they could all put up some good numbers together for a couple weeks it would go a long way toward convincing some of us that Dayton Moore isn’t smoking the good stuff when he says he thinks the team will be competitive again in the near future.
The Royals will have a chance to complete a sweep against the division leaders, tomorrow. Jorge Lopez will make his third start in Royal blue. He will be going up against Shane “Not Justin” Bieber.