On Sunday James Shields went out and pitched seven innings as well as anyone in all of Major League Baseball could have pitched them. He shut out the Toronto Blue Jays on three hits and struck out nine batters in the process. Obviously the Kansas City Royals won the game and everyone is all kinds of happy about it. I think they should be happy but they should also realize that this is exactly what is wrong with the Royals.
Where were those five runs while they were losing the other two games of the series by three runs total? They lost 4 – 2 and 2 – 1 two games in a row only to win one game of the three. Seemingly they are pretty pleased with it and I only see one problem with it. They’re about 9.5 games out of first place and their elimination number is 17. In other words on the first day of September, they can assume they have literally zero chance to win the division.
Here is where I would normally say that the wildcard is their only hope but I’m not sure that is actually a real possibility anymore either. They trail the final wildcard spot by six games which isn’t a done deal but the five to seven teams in front of them might very well make it one. I like a lot of things about this Royals team but it seems they just don’t have enough offense to support their very good pitching staff. Perhaps next season will be different.