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Game thread CI - Royals at Yankees

Bobby Witt Jr. returns to the lineup

Bobby Witt Jr. running down the first base line Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images

I always think of the last 62 games as a downward slope of the season. Especially in years where the Royals clearly are non-competitive. After 100 games played, the Royals managed to win only 39. I suppose the good news is that they only have to win 24 more to guarantee that avoid the 100 loss mark thanks to a stretch nearly two months long of playing .500 ball. Either way, this season has been quite the disappointment for everyone involved it will be a blessed relief to reach the off-season where the Royals will continue to do nothing to improve the team, but at least the weather won’t be so darn hot.

Salvador Perez made his return last night, banging a three-run home run in the team’s fourth straight loss. Tonight, Bobby Witt Jr. returns to the lineup as the Designated Hitter forcing Perez to catch his first major league game in over a month. This leaves the Royals’ lineup at essentially full strength - though Nick Pratto gets a day off. One might even say the lineup is at too full strength.

Regardless, Jonathan Heasley will take the mound for the Royals as they search for their first win against the Yankees this season in their sixth try. This will be Heasley’s first start since the All-Star Break, his first in three weeks, actually. Checking out the stats from his last appearance makes it obvious why: he allowed six runs in 1.1 innings to the Guardians back on July 9.

Or, ya know, it’s because he was on the IL.

The Royals will have an uphill battle if they want to win this one as Yankees break-out star Nestor Cortes Jr. will take the mound for New York. Cortes had his last bad start on July 8, but has had two sparkling outings since. Additionally, he pitched against KC once already this year. He went five innings in a win where he allowed two runs, only one earned. He didn’t walk any and only struck out three, but he gave up eight hits.