Kansas City Royals: The Bridge


The Kansas City Royals are in the middle of a series against the defending champs. In doing so, they get a close look at just how fickle baseball can be.  One year you’re on top of the baseball mountain, the next you’re in last place.

Just like every other team in the league, the Royals are hoping to be at the top of the mountain in October. It’s safe to say that won’t be possible if they can’t win any series’ they have against last place teams.

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In what has been termed a “bridge” year for the Red Sox, they have been mired in the basement of the A.L. East for most of the season. The Royals need to keep them in the basement.

This weekend’s 3-game series and a 4-game series at The K in September are all chances for the Royals to win ballgames against an inferior team. They must take advantage of these opportunities.

In a sense, this could also be considered a “bridge” year for the Royals. They’ve spent the last 8+ years of the Dayton Moore era trying to build a bridge to success. There are times that progress and success seem so close. Other times, it seems as if the best idea is to blow up Moore’s bridge and start building all over again.

We will all know the answer to that dilemma at the end of this season. For now, everything must be done with an eye towards October and that starts this weekend in Boston.

Regardless of what their uniform says, the Red Sox are a last place team that the Royals should beat. Sweeps are great, but fairly rare. Nothing is wrong with simply winning two out of three games at Fenway. In fact, that would have to be seen as a really solid start to the second “half” of the season.

The Red Sox have the American League’s worst offense. They’re last in Runs Scored, last in Total Bases, last in Slugging Percentage, 13th in Average and 13th in OPS (On-Base % plus Slugging %). It’s time for James Shields, Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura to go to work.

The Boston and Kansas City pitching staffs have actually been very similar this year. They both rank in the top four in team ERA of the American League.

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A's slug their way past Kansas City, wins 6-4
A's slug their way past Kansas City, wins 6-4 /

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  • One interesting contrast will be the strikeouts. Boston pitching is 5th in the A.L. in strikeouts. However, the Royals hitters have struck out fewer times than any other team in the American League.

    The Royals couldn’t ask for a better way to start the 2nd half. Getting to face a last place team coming off the All-Star break is a fantastic way to begin what is hopefully a run to October.

    As I said earlier this week, it’s time for the Royals’ hitters to step up and lead the way. It all starts in Boston. Fenway is one of the better hitter’s parks in the American League and the offense has to come out putting some runs on the board.

    Assuming the offense scores some runs, winning two of three against the Sox shouldn’t require some kind of Herculean effort this weekend. A series win in Boston and then it’s off to Chicago to face the other color of Sox.

    For the rest of the way, it’s one series at a time. Win this series at Fenway and go from there. Keep taking them one series at a time and the next thing you know, the Kansas City Royals are crossing that bridge into October.