The bad news: with just 72 homers, the Royals have the worst power numbers in baseball and are 40 jacks behind the American League average per team. The good news: with three homers today, the Royals have 14 in their 13 games, a stretch that’s seen them go 12-2.
It’s been eight straight series since the Royals last lost one - that was back to the end of July - when the Red Sox swept them. They’re game and a half lead is bigger than their wildcard card edge which is just one game over Seattle. In other words, KC can’t afford a skid right now as all the contenders are starting to play well.
Jason Vargas gets the start in Minnesota tonight and then there are two games in Colorado where the pitchers will hit. I asked the question earlier this week, now that that they’re playing a string of bottom feeders: are the Royals mature enough to go win games against team’s they should beat? So far so good.
A couple of notes from Sunday’s win at Minnesota: the Royals hit for the cycle in the seventh inning - Alcides Escobar with the single, Josh Willingham doubles, a triple from Alex Gordon and a homer from Salvador Perez.
Manager Ned Yost took some heat for using Kelvin Herrera in the ninth yesterday - but why not? Greg Holland admitted on Saturday that he was fatigued and the Royals were up by six. Besides, if Holland was injured, isn’t Herrera with his 100 mile per hour heat the most logical candidate to replace him at closer?
I kind of liked Randy Moss on Fox during the Chiefs exhibition with Carolina. He was insightful, candid and likeable. Yes, I’m sure it was Randy Moss.
Chiefs: Exhibit 2
Far too many penalties, even in an exhibition game. Alex Smith had decent numbers but couldn’t put any points on the board, only 6. Dwayne Bowe with five catches for 62 yards was decent, that he had no drops was nice and, ok, unusual. Tony Kelce looks like a good target at tight end, at least he was for Aaron Murray who was pretty solid save for a pick. We keep hearing so much about Tyler Bray at quarterback, but he’s the only one of the roster who hasn’t played in either of the first two exhibitions.
K-State in the AP
Kansas State will start the season as the nation’s 20th ranked team according to the Associated Press; they’re 21 in the coach’s poll. It’s less than two weeks from the opener against Stephen F. Austin and most of the returns out of camp have been pretty good. Of course, getting information out of a Bill Snyder camp is a little like walking into Ft. Knox expecting to leave with a gold brick.
The best thing to this point is Snyder’s revenge on defensive end Ryan Mueller who he doused with a bucket of ice water last weekend as part of the ALS Challenge that’s sweeping the country. Snyder was not overly amused when Mueller dumped Gatorade on him after KSU’s win over Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. He seemed to get great delight in the payback.
I know Woody Austin doesn’t want to go full time on to the Champions Tour, preferring to play against the games best on the PGA. But with a second place finish in New York yesterday, Austin has won over $348,000 in just two starts with the 50+ crowd. That contrasts with $293,000 earned over 22 events on the big tour - I’m just sayin’.
Woody’s closing 65 yesterday landed him one shot out of a playoff with Bernhard Langer, who won for the fifth time this season.
Previewing the Big 12
I’ll be previewing the Big 12 all week long on Sports Daily this week, tune in to KFH Radio—1240 AM 98.7 FM, Monday through Friday at 9:00am.