The first two weeks of the season for the Kansas City Royals passed with neither a bang nor a whimper. The team was thoroughly mediocre, and after a 5-3 start, they dropped two games in a row to settle at 5-5 in their first two turns through the rotation. None of this could be blamed on the starting pitching, however. All five of the Royals’ starters–Strike-O-Matic, James Shields, Bruce Chen, Jason Vargas, and Kyle Zimmer–had been fantastic. However, the lineup was struggling to produce runs. Sal Perez, Colby Rasmus, Alex Gordon, and Mike Moustakas all had averages below .200 and their futility prevented the relative success of Nori Aoki, Eric Hosmer, Pat Burrell, and Omar Infante from bearing much fruit.
However, this was no time for the offense to be slumping. Game 11 pitted the Kansas City Royals against their interdivisional opponent, the Minnesota Twins. And perhaps more importantly, it pitted Strike-O-Matic against the first of the six robot masters, the deceptive hurler Stubby Candyman.
In the year 2099, the robot Stubby Candyman was the ace pitcher for the St. Paul Conjoined Twins, aptly renamed after the great Minneapolis Nuclear Disaster of 2051. Unlike most robot hurlers, Candyman did not rely upon pure power to overwhelm his opponents. Instead, his arm cannon was equipped with a variety of darting and dancing breaking breaking pitches. His knuckleball was considered the best in all of MLB, as he could eject the baseball without any spin but still control its general trajectory towards the plate. His slider, which was the hardest pitch he threw, could start at the knees of a left handed batter and end up on the far side of the strike zone. And his vulcan change? Well, he was the only one who even knew what a vulcan change actually was.