KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A baseball pennant race is made up with a number of things, intangible things.
The problem for fans is they often let those intangible things overcome their loyalty to the team that they follow. There can be positives and negatives to that.
Wednesday night, the Royals lost 5-1 to the Cleveland Indians in part due to the subpar performance of LHP Danny Duffy.
After the game Manager Ned Yost said Duffy lacked command of the strike zone, and Duffy said he cost his team a chance to win. Yost added that pitching hasn’t been the only problem lately. The Royals offense has been almost comatose in Cleveland (Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales a combined 2 for 21, with both hits being harmless singles).
About 3 hours after the Royals lost, the second place Minnesota Twins lost too, in extra innings to the Detroit Tigers. That means the Royals magic number is now down to 8.
Any combination Royals wins and Twins loses, totaling 8 over the last 17 games, and the Royals clinch a playoff spot.
Is there concern for the Royals poor play lately (9 loses in their last 12 games)? YES. But as fans, there is nothing we can do about it, except…. support the team, and trust the team.
It’s not easy to trust sometimes, I know. Especially when they play poorly over an extended period of time, and don’t seem to play with the same amount of high execution, concentration and performance that they have up until now.
As far as trust goes: I find it easier to trust that the margin of error that the Royals have built themselves over the first 5 months of the season will help them get through this rough patch.
If you want evidence, just consider last night. The Royals lost, and so did the Twins. The nightly results started with concern, and ended with trust. Trust that the Royals will eventually clinch – it’s just taking a little longer than expected.