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No time to rest for the tired and weary. After an emotional, and jaw dropping game for the Royals on Tuesday night, they will fly to Anaheim to meet the top seeded Los Angeles Angels in the LDS Round.
You have to realize that Mike Scioscia is running the gauntlet on the running prowess of Kansas City even as we speak,
There will be no 2 – 3 or extra jackrabbit’s for the Royals squad, who were definitely aided by a lax Roster enforcement for Wild Card play, and also by the early game injury to Geovany Soto.
Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger will have to be ready for the speed demon club, that features several guys who can swipe bags on a whim.
If there is one thing going for Kansas City right now it is rhythm of repetition having played on Tuesday, while the Halo’s have been licking their chops in Orange County all week at the beach.
The Angels clinched so early, it would have been about 15 days since they have played a meaningful game in Game #1.
Los Angeles have a lot of players that are playoff “battle tested” with Jered Weaver, Albert Pujols, David Freese, C.J. Wilson, Huston Street, Josh Hamilton, Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Jason Grilli – and as our lead podcaster ‘Sully’ often points out. Jerry DiPoto is obsessed with the 2011 World Series between the Rangers and Cardinals, with several members of that Fall Classic, presently on his own squad.
The Royals will have to strike early in this series, and preferably surprise the Halo’s in game #1, while facing Weaver.
Kansas City can really amp up the pressure for C.J. Wilson in Game #2 at Angel Stadium being winning the 1st contest.
One thing we saw the other night, is that the Royals players will never give up on a game, for that we can commend Ned Yost,
The longtime skipper has a relatively short list of things to be hailed for. His game plan for running rampant was another key win.
Using Yordano Ventura in the 6th inning (a rookie without any real Bullpen experience) would have cost him his job if not for the miracle comeback.
One also has to question his decision to double steal with Billy Butler! Seriously?? Country Breakfast? I could lap him around the bases.
Yost should also abandon his bunting preferences. It may have worked against the A’s, but a savvy veteran laden club like the Angels, with former Catcher Scioscia as the skipper, will certainly not come as easily for them to succeed.
When you are playing such a gifted offense like the Angels, you simply can’t give up outs on your side by bunting. Especially later in the game with the Halo’s having several relievers with strikeout material in their arsenal.
I think that the Royals skipper will not relinquish his gameplan, and it will ultimately do the team in. To say there is a serious coaching advantage in the manager department for this series, is a huge understatement.
Twitter blew up Tuesday, by Kansas City fans calling for Yost to be replaced right now as the boss… Quick somebody get me Ron Gardenhire‘s phone number… things like that.
Having witnessed Yost’s antics first hand over the last several weeks, I fully understand why Milwaukee fired him right before the playoffs, and why he comes under such heavy criticism.
The Relief Core’s of both teams are fairly awesome in this best of 5 stanza.
It could come down to which offense can scrape together a run faster than other club.
Look for Mike Trout to elevate his game to a new level. He can really make his imprint on the MLB culture with a big playoff run.
Josh Hamilton has a chance to salvage his first 2 years with Los Angeles, should he come up with a torrid streak in the playoffs like he has done with Texas before.
Players like Howie Kendrick, Kole Calhoun and C.J.Cron might prove to be the difference. The Angels bench is definitely mightier than the Royals bench riders.
Jayson Nix has no business being on a MLB squad, and while I love Raul Ibanez, Los Angeles is just hoping that KC plants the 42 year old in the lineup, as they know more than anyone, that he is finished.
Josh Willingham looks like he is going to fall down every time he swings.
The lineup on offense is so far favored to the Angels, it should be the decisive factor.
If they can just cobble 5 innings a night from their starters beyond Weaver, take advantage of the travel days, than Los Angeles should be able to wrap this series up in 4 games.
Vargas at least has many games of pitching experience in Angels Stadium, so at least it will not be a culture shock.
Mike Scioscia on the other hand is showing his team means urgency, stating that Weaver may throw on 3 days rest Monday if a Game #4 presents itself at Kauffman Stadium.
The 2002 World Series winning ‘skipper’ also said that Matt Shoemaker will be the game 2 Starter, C.J. Wilson takes the bump in Game #3.
After Vargas, the club will go with Yordano Ventura in the 2nd game Friday, and then come back with James Shields in Game #3 at Kansas City on Sunday
You have to like the pitching matchup’s for KC in game #2 and #3, but right now Ventura has never pitched this far into the season, and you also must wonder how his Wild Card Stint will affect his psyche coming into the ALDS Round.
Jeremy Guthrie is also available for the club at any point, and Danny Duffy may be used in the Bullpen or the rotation.
Matt Shoemaker has been mentioned to come back and pitch in a potential Game #5 if necessary. He would be on full rest between the 2nd and 5th game – with a couple of travel days mixed in.
It all starts tonight, and I for one can’t wait. I am calling for an Angels win in 4 games. I think the Royals will squeak out Game # 3 at home after falling down 2 – 0.
So far, I won the Pirates and Giants game, but lost the Oakland and Kansas City contest, giving me a record of 1 – 1. Last year I was 6 – 4 in the playoff round bets, with their being a game 163 that transpired before the postseason began (Tampa beat the Rangers).
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.
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