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The Tuesday Takeaway

Let us take a moment to remember the Royals. They are not gone, at least not quite yet. The team is still as intact as it can be in late September, and as far away as we are from their victory in their 2015 World Series. But Tuesday night marked the end of an era, a wonderfully odd and unlikely era of baseball that will hopefully not be forgotten any time soon.

The Royals won on Tuesday, defeating the Tigers 2-1. It didn’t matter. The Twins won as well, defeating the white-hot Indians and officially ending Kansas City’s miniscule chances of making the playoffs. The Royals now have just a week of meaningless baseball to look forward to before many of the team’s central players wander off into free agency, where they’ll almost certainly sign with other teams. Perhaps one of them will be back. General manager Dayton Moore may see fit to retain one of his players, but the dynasty, as short-lived as it was, is dead.

Kansas City’s back-to-back sprints to the World Series is some of the finest baseball ever played. We may never see a game as great as the 2014 AL Wild Card game in our lifetimes. It is a masterpiece, a glorious mess that entire books could be written about. Their subsequent romp through the playoffs and chess match with the Giants was incredible, and their victory the following year a crowning achievement. The Royals made no sense, and it was flawless logic to turn baseball into the world’s biggest game of pinball.

It went downhill quickly thereafter. Kansas City finished at .500 last year, and may wind up under that mark before this season is out. They will lose a fair amount of talent, and will embark on a painful rebuild. The Royals don’t have much of a farm system right now. It’s going to be a long process.

The team was only truly good for perhaps two years. It was absolutely worth it. Any other assessment is lacking in perspective. The Royals went to the World Series twice, and won the second time. They won a championship, and they did it in their own way.

Mourn the Royals.

Quick Hits from Tuesday

It’s pretty much set in stone that the Twins are going to be the ones to tangle with the Yankees in the Wild Card game. Here’s how they got that aforementioned win over Cleveland.

Dozier is a bad, bad man. It takes a bad, bad man to beat the nearly unbeatable Indians. It helps when Byron Buxton is doing this kind of stuff too.

***

It’s been a bit of a bounce-back year for Andrew McCutchen. We may never see the superstar-level production from him that we once did, but he’s hitting again, at least a little bit. It feels better when Cutch is crushing the ball. It feels right, like old times. He hit on Tuesday.

That’s eight RBIs and two dingers for McCutchen, who continued a season-long baseball tradition of using the Orioles as batting practice. Life is good when Cutch is raking.

***

Texas is a weird place.

It helps when you have the speed of Cameron Maybin and Delino DeShields Jr. But yeah. Texas is weird.

Defensive Play of the Day

Aaron Hicks came off the disabled list yesterday, and he promptly went back to doing Aaron Hicks things.

Kevin Kiermaier’s run would be the only one scored by the Rays all night, thanks to Hicks.

What to Watch on Wednesday

For those of you looking to watch something in the afternoon, Justin Verlander is making his final start of the regular season against the Rangers. The Astros will look to tee off against Nick Martinez. Maybe avoid this one if you’re a Rangers fan.

The Brewers are desperately trying to stay alive. Thankfully, they’re playing the Reds, and they get to hit against Homer Bailey tonight. Brandon Woodruff will try to keep the Reds off the board as much as possible, which is easier said than done sometimes. I think Eric Thames has a clause in his contract about hitting dingers against Cincinnati, so there’s that.

For your evening game, listen to Joe Davis talk about Rich Hill. It’s always worth it.

Thank you for reading

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dianagramr
9/27
After last night's 4-4-4-8 performance, #Pirates Andrew McCutchen's career slash vs. #Orioles is .500/.559/.740 in 60 PAs.
kevenkiloran
9/27
And he hit his first grand slam in 78(?) bases loaded appearances, I think.