With a win tonight the Royals could accomplish something that seemed like it might be difficult only a week ago - they could guarantee that they will not reach the 100-loss mark this season.
Of course, even if they lose today they need only win one of the other ten remaining games this season to reach the same goal. But I have to watch today, so they might as well get that task done and over with.
Kris Bubic will take the mound today. The lefty has had two straight starts allowing five runs. For a two-month period during June and July he looked like a competent back-end starter. But before and after that period he’s looked like a guy who will never succeed at the big-league level. For those who are entirely ready to give up on him, I can point only to his reasonably successful 2020 and 2021 campaigns as well as the fact that he was a very-well regarded prospect when he was promoted even among non-Royals scouts. Everything he needs to be successful is there, he and the Royals (or some other team if they give up on him) just need to figure out how to make it all consistently come together.
The Mariners will counter with right-hander Logan Gilbert. The 25-year-old feels like what we hoped would happen for the Royals. He debuted last season and was reasonably good but has been excellent for the Mariners this season. He has gone six straight starts without allowing more than two runs. Maybe he’s due? He hasn’t started against KC this year but he went up against them twice last season and walked away with a 4.91 ERA after allowing six runs in eleven innings. He’s done an excellent job limiting walks and home runs so if the Royals hope to get to him, it will probably entail a rerun of the “Keep the Line Moving” days.