Last season how many times did the Royals come back and win a game in which they were trailing by three runs or more against a .500+ team? I'm asking because I don't know and probably won't take the time to look up but I bet it wasn't very many. The 2007 opener versus the Red Sox was nice in a Gil Meche validated his contract kind of way but this one is different. Last year KC surprised the Sox (and us) by jumping all over Curt Schilling and coasting to a 7-1 victory but there was a feeling that it was just a fluke win. Folks yesterday was no fluke because they looked the Detroit Tigers and their ace Justin Verlander in the eyes and did not blink.
I could nitpick a few things but I'm not going to because it seemed like everyone who made a mistake made up for it (TPJ, I'm looking at you). It's easy to ignore Meche's line because the home plate ump was watching a different game and I still don't know what he was thinking on Gordon's called strike three. Do you think umpires watch game tape of themselves to try and improve their skills? Yeah, me neither. The important thing is that when they were down they never gave up and that should be a huge confidence boost to this young team. That's why I hate the off day after the opener, it's kind of a momentum killer.
Here's what they have done since 1995 after winning the opener:
2007: Lost 7-1 to Red Sox
2004: Lost 4-3 to White Sox
2003: Won 5-4 vs White Sox
1998: Lost 10-1 to Baltimore (no off day)
1995: Lost 4-1 to New York
Their only winning season since 1994 is also the only year they started off 2-0, of course they stretched that out to 9-0 before they returned to earth. I like their chances against 65 year old Kenny Rogers in game 2, even though The Gambler has fared pretty well against KC in his career (20-16 3.92), and it will be nice watching Bannister pitch instead of the hittable Odalis Perez.
The fun has started. I don't think I could have wished for a better way to start 2008 and it's only just the beginning.