Rain denied the Kansas City Royals their dream homecoming for another day as Monday’s Game 3 of the ALCS was postponed by the weather, meaning the series has been held back a day which could have consequences further down the line.
The Royals hold a 2-0 series lead over Baltimore Orioles with the next three games set for the Kauffman Stadium.
With Kansas City being roared on their elated fans – who have not seen a postseason for 29 years – it is hard to imagine this series going the full distance.
If the series was to return to Baltimore for Games 6 and 7 the sides would lose their travel rest day, assuming there are not any further rain delays. This would cause a headache for managers and pitchers on either side as they would need either a fifth starter or send out a pitcher on short rest.
The Orioles have shifted through more relievers, seven in total, while the Royals have spread the workload between just four and the bullpen has thrown out more pitches than their two starters Chris Tillman and Bud Norris combined.
The Royals have relied on relievers Wade Davis (36 pitches) Kelvin Herrera (44 pitches) and Greg Holland (41 pitches) this series and the trio are entering 80+ inning this season, so any rest will be badly needed.
According to cbssports.com, Kansas City have two options: Danny Duffy or Jeremy Guthrie.
Duffy featured in the ALDS bullpen but is yet to face the Orioles this series. The pitcher has a useful 2.53 ERA in 2014 and has been a solid member of the Royals pitching crew despite going 9-12 in the regular season.
Guthrie is scheduled to start tonight in Game 3 and would be forced into a short rest if required for Game 7. Guthrie has five career games on a three days’ rest and has dismal figures of 6.93 ERA.
In the other bullpen there is a strong feeling Kevin Gausman would be given a start if Game 7 was required, as the starter has only tossed 1 2/3 innings this series. The 23-year-old went 7-7 with a 3.57 ERA this season.
Either way it will intriguing to see how Ned Yost and Buck Showalter play it out. Royals manager Yost is more likely to stick to his big guns to get the series completed before having to return to Baltimore.
The Royals are just two wins away from their first World Series since 1985 while the Orioles need a near-flawless three games in Kansas City to stand any chance of making their first World Series since 1983.