If you want to live on the edge of a precipice, try to suggest Kansas City Royals manager Mike Matheny that the final week of the regular season of 2020 makes no sense, other than assessing talent for years to come.
The royals will try to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals for a second day in a row on Tuesday, after winning 4-1 in the opening match of a series of three matches Monday night at Kaufman Stadium. Mattini feels his team has a lot to play this season.
On Monday afternoon, he said, “We had a lot of opportunities for these men to come in and complain, and we didn’t see any of them.”
“Our conversations were very similar from day one until tonight, and this is (to show) consistency. We have to be consistent regardless of where we are in the ranking. We owe it to ourselves, to each other, to the royals and to the fan base, to start this game the right way every day.”
The Cardinals (26-25) are now tied for second-place Reds in NL Central, which holds an automatic berth. They are half a game ahead of Philly and one against the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants. The cards will host the Brewers team for a series of five matches beginning Thursday. With this tight arrangement, any loss is amplified.
“They all matter,” said St. Louis manager Mike Sheldt. “The gains are important at the end of the year when you fight, and so are the losses. Two balls bounced their way and that was very much the story of the game.”
Scheldt will send Austin Jumper (0-1, 2.37 ERA) to pile Tuesday. Jumper is 1-0 with 0.00 eras in two backs (one start) against the Royals. He cast 1 2/3 innings of rest against the royals on August 24 and owns 6 2/3 point-free tires opposite Kansas City.
After the series, the Cardinal returns home to confront the Brewers, and then potentially a Detroit double head if makeup games are necessary.
“That’s what I’ve been managing and talking about with these men since we got back,” Scheldt told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You’re talking about a group of guys who are putting him out there in the most unprecedented circumstance perhaps in sports history. I’m not an overdramatic and overrated guy. That’s pretty much true. When you have a lot of energy, you are more prone to physical and mental exhaustion.”
All royals (22-32) were excluded from the post-2020 season, but they still had the potential to make an impact in the National League playoffs. The fact that the opponent is the club Matini he played with from 2000 to 2004 and trained from 2012-18 makes any win sweeter.
But Matheny focuses on his current squad and his current players, especially the younger ones.
He said of the 2020 season: “I enjoyed this season, especially when you consider the fact that a lot of people think this will never happen.”
“Truth be told, there will be some players who have had a chance to play in the major leagues this year who might not get a chance to come back here.”
Among the players who debuted in 2020 and are almost certain to return, is Brady Singer (3-4, 4.14). He will be meeting Mathenny Singer again, and that should lift his spirits. In Singer’s last two matches, he offered eight and six goalless rounds, allowing for one and two hits, respectively, in victories in Cleveland and Detroit.
– Media level field