The Kansas City Royals just suffered a blowout loss at the hands of the Oakland Athletics, yet morale in KC remains remarkably high. The Royals are still a first-place team despite this loss, and at this point, KC’s offense will be absolutely thrilled to face any starter not named Jon Lester.
Kansas City’s confidence recently shot to an all-time high for good reason, and that shouldn’t be shaken by losing to one of baseball’s best starters. They certainly shouldn’t feel guilty when they managed to score three times in seven innings against him. KC started the worst player in their rotation (no offense to the still-solid Jeremy Guthrie) against the greatest Royals killer among all starters in MLB history.
Guthrie struggled with his command, Bruce Chen failed to keep it close as he worked through four innings of garbage time, and KC lost by a lot. That’s not a heartbreaker – it’s a speed bump on the road to the playoffs.
To make the loss even more palatable, Edison Volquez‘ spectacular play helped to keep the Detroit Tigers‘ losing streak alive. Not only did Detroit fail to reclaim first place, but the Mariners now have them tied for the second Wild Card spot. This thrilling and welcomed stress now felt by the Royals’ fanbase continues on Wednesday, when the third of four games in this pivotal series begins.
This club’s reaction to a winning streak-ending blowout loss should be very telling, and it could largely determine if they can or cannot keep their mojo at such an extraordinarily high level.