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Royals Rumblings - News for September 8, 2021

Side view of a large sheepdog with curly, light-colored fur that hangs down over its eyes. Its mouth is open and tongue is out, and it is standing on a grass berm at a baseball field.
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

So here’s a fun fact!

Attendance at yesterday’s Royals game at Baltimore: 4,981
Attendance at yesterday’s Storm Chasers game at Saint Paul: 5,113

[Upon editorial review, the above fact was not found to be fun. Royals Review regrets the error.]

One truly lovely thing to come out of that game came from the Baltimore broadcast team:

Jake Mintz wrote about Whit Merrifield’s games played streak for Fox Sports:

Merrifield has played in every Royals game since he took a full day off on June 24, 2018, a game that featured a Lucas Duda home run off former Astro Gerrit Cole in an 11-3 Houston win. Merrifield says he remembers nothing about that day.

What Merrifield does, however, remember are the moments during this run when he’s had to play through something significant. “In Cincy last year, I was playing in center field and dove for a ball, landed on my shoulder,” he recalled. “And I couldn’t throw for a week. I really couldn’t throw further than, like, 30 feet, but my swing wasn’t affected. And earlier this year in Oakland, I fouled a ball off the top of my back foot, and it got me good. It hurt so bad it woke me up in the middle of the night.”

Both times, Merrifield, says he went to the training staff and worked out the injury to the point that he felt good enough to play. “That time I hurt my shoulder, I told them I could swing, but I can’t make a throw to a base if I need to,” he said, “and they told me they still wanted me out there if I could be out there.”

In the Into the Fountains Substack, Craig Brown wrote about Andrew Benintendi’s game on Monday:

I’m not sure we’ve seen a game this year where Benintendi turned on not one, but two elevated fastballs for base hits. It’s a little late in the year and as dedicated followers of Royals baseball we know all about September paper tigers, but hopefully Benintendi can use a productive final month of the season as a building block to 2022. It remains to be seen whether or not it will actually happen. He’s hitting just .222/.253/.378 in 191 plate appearances since his return from his fractured rib in early July.

David Lesky wrote about Benintendi as well, but then also posited this about Kris Bubic, at Inside the Crown:

I’ve said so many times now that I’m beginning to believe that higher velocity is the key to unlocking his best. If he’s able to figure out how to sit 92-95 and maintain that throughout a game, I think he has a chance to be in the conversation with any Royals pitching prospect. But if he sits 88-91, he’s definitely more of a back-end guy and maybe a swing starter.

I really liked a lot of his fastballs in this game. He averaged 91.3 MPH, so his velocity was above his season average, but I feel like he was a little too hesitant to throw harder. Again, I don’t know if that’s because he just doesn’t have it or because he wants to save some bullets, but I believe that throwing harder allows him to make some mistakes with his changeup.

Old friend alert: the White Sox signed former Royals reliever Kevin “no, not that one” McCarthy.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole left yesterday’s game with left hamstring tightness.

The Braves signed pitcher Charlie Morton to a one-year, $20 million extension.

Albert Pujols homered in his return to St. Louis.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson declares that Jacob DeGrom’s UCL is “perfectly intact,” which has real Poltergeist “This house! IS CLEAN!” vibes to it if you ask me.

Wander Franco of the Rays has extended his on-base streak to 37 games.

More Storm Chasers content real quick: Ryan McBroom describing how good it feels to hit a home run is actually kind of great!

A close reading of the opening paragraph of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. In the mood for more Shirley Jackson? LeVar Burton read The Story We Used to Tell in an episode of LeVar Burton Reads.

Steve from Blue’s Clues is back with a message for grown-up us.

I did not expect to get emotional about any of that, but here we are!

More Nickelodeon! This is old to the Internet, but new to me: the Krabby Patty from SpongeBob does not contain any meat. The rest of the formula remains a secret.

SOTD: Let’s do a sad ballad. Gotta drag you down to keep your week off-balance. Panic! at the Disco - Dying in LA