In preparation for the finally series of the season against the Royals, I took a moment to speak with Kings of Kauffman staff writer Mike Vamosi to find out a little more about their late season push for the playoffs. From the sound if things, it seems like Royals fans are excited about being relevant once again and will be ready to support their team over the next three days. You can check out Mike’s work over at Kings of Kauffman and follow him on Twitter @mikevmos.
Wahoo’s on First: I’m sure it has to be an exciting time to be a fan of the Royals considering how bad they’ve been and for how long. But. how confident are you in the Royals right now? Do you think they’ll make a final push into a wild card spot or do you feel like this is all just one big tease that will leave feeling bitter and jaded in the end?
Mike Vamosi: First off I love that for the first time in ten years the Royals are playing meaningful baseball in September which is exciting. I also consider myself a realist that the odds are against them but they aren’t laying down which is encouraging. Sadly it appears that the awful month of May might wind up being the biggest road block in all of this, I don’t think I’ll be bitter once I can reflect on 2013 was better than the alternative of not hanging around.
Wahoo’s on First: Eric Hosmer really seems to have found himself, especially since George Brett took over as hitting coach. What has been the difference? Did Hosmer make any type of changes that have led to these results or was it really as simple as having someone with more stature holding him accountable everyday?
Mike Vamosi: Seems everything mentioned has helped him, having a Hall of Famer point out somethings that’s helped him. But I think a light went on once suggestions by Brett were made, similar results have been seen from Mike Moustakas. Hosmer finding his grove has no doubt been a factor in the current ride the Royals are on.
Wahoo’s on First: What has been the best part of the 2013 season as a Royals fan? What has been the worst?
Mike Vamosi: So far the best has been not being the laughing stock of baseball which as a Royals fan is important to actually be in the race, competitive and in it until the end. To narrow it down the best has been Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Greg Holland being recognized as All-Star players this season. Worst has to be going 8-20 in May but the play of Wil Myers which leaves a void in the heart of all Royals fans admitted or not.
Wahoo’s on First: Who is pitching for the Royals this week and what can we expect to see from them?
Mike Vamosi: “Big Game” James gets the ball first in the series, who Tribe fans saw just last week in Cleveland. Shields on paper should be favored but after solid road starts and then facing the same team at home a week later he has struggled a couple times. Danny Duffy gets the ball in game two, he’s been pretty good since returning to the major league roster after arm surgery. Duffy’s numbers have been better away from the K than at home for whatever reason. In the series finale Bruce Chen gets the ball which since returning to the rotation he’s been a solid contributor.
Wahoo’s on First: What is your prediction for the series?
Mike Vamosi: Kansas City has played well at home and I expect large crowds will be at Kauffman Stadium this week to usher out the 2013 part of the schedule. I really like the Royals chances to take two or three games but can also see the team being youthful potentially playing too hard which leads to mistakes. In the end I like Shields and Chen getting wins with Tuesday being the toss-up with two young pitchers involved.