Have you ever played Bungie’s Destiny video game series? The gameplay is really, really tight. It’s a lot of fun to play. It’s not a perfect game series, by any means. It’s not nearly as rewarding as it should be, it demands a lot of money from its players for purely cosmetic items, and the story is somewhat lackluster.
It’s kind of a good parallel to the way the Royals have played recently, actually.
The Royals had some really good play, recently, and especially tonight. You don’t score 10 runs without playing well. The Royals are, however, paying way too much for these wins. And, like the cosmetics in Destiny, all they do is change the way things look, not how they work. The Royals’ record will be slightly less ugly after tonight’s win but this isn’t going to get them to the playoffs.
The story of the season has already been written, as well. And it isn’t a particularly interesting one. Honestly, there wasn’t even much of a story to this game, either. There were no home runs hit, though the Royals did get seven total extra-base hits. Ian Kennedy certainly wasn’t dominant. So who is your hero? What is the story of this game?
Cam Gallagher had four hits, that’s pretty good. Alex Gordon knocked in five runs on three hits including a pair of doubles. Alcides Escobar had three hits and three RBIs of his own. Even Whit got in on the action with a pair of doubles. Only Ryan O’Hearn and Salvador Perez remained hitless.
Ian Kennedy added six innings of two-run baseball and generally looked vaguely competent. Tim Hill pitched an inning and allowed a run. Glenn Sparkman closed the door with a pair of scoreless innings.
Video games generally succeed on one of two premises. Either they have a really good story and enough gameplay to get you by - something like last night’s amazing ninth-inning, five-run comeback. Or they have really solid gameplay and don’t do anything stupid with the story - like tonight’s win.
The Royals continue to steamroll through September. They are now 9-5, this month, and have actually scored more runs than they allowed. They’ve gone 13-6 since being swept in Tampa Bay, including a six-game winning streak. I’m even starting to question if they might not somehow find a way to be competitive, next year, after all.
The Royals won the series, tonight. They can go for a four-game sweep, tomorrow when Jakob Junis faces off against an apparently-rejuvenated Kyle Gibson. Hopefully, it will include a lot more success from the Royals youngsters.