The Kansas City Royals despite their troubles over the last 2 decades or so are still a proud franchise and for the 1st time they are making those letters “KC” on their hats mean something again.
As I'm typing this they sit two and a half games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the last wild card spot. For some teams its just another playoff spot but for the Royals its a chance to return to prominence. Every series they play from here on out will be the biggest most important games they have played in decades. So it goes without saying that every game they play is a must win from here on out.
The roster has a nice solid young nucleus with players such as Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer at the forefront leading the charge for the Royals. Leading a charge that saw the Royals go 26-18 in a 44 game stretch. They are going to need those guys to keep playing at a high level for this ballclub to punch a ticket to the postseason for the first time since the Reagan administration. I think Royals GM Dayton Moore said it best “The truth of the matter is that if we want Eric Hosmer,Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Salvidor Perez and Alcides Escobar to turn into the players that we envision, we've got to start playing meaningful games. For those guys to grow as players, there needs to be focus on the team and not them individually.
While the foundation of the Royals comes in the form of young guys the backbone comes in the form of veteran pitchers like Ervin Santana and James Shields. These are guys that have been there and done that and are a huge reason for the revival in Kansas City. With the help of those to the Royals have become one of the better pitching staffs in all of baseball ranking 6th in ERA (3.52) and 4th in quality starts (86). Pitching wins championships but in this case pitching needs to earn the Royals and its long suffering fans playoff tickets.
So this is defiantly uncharted territory for the Royals with them being in contention for a playoff spot this late in the season. Its important that they continue to play fundamentally sound baseball and give themselves a chance to win every night because once they reach the postseason anything can happen.