Rewind Yourself: 5/3-5/8 - Help Is On the Way

After a three game sweep of the dreaded Twins, the Royals hosted Baltimore and Oakland.  Before hitting the road, they finished up the homestand going 3-3, winning series over the Orioles, but dropping a home series for the first time against the A’s.

Still, a 6-3 homestand is fine, especially when the Yankees await starting tomorrow night.

The pitching staff really stepped up, having their best overall week.

Oh, and they called up some guy.  Supposedly, he’s pretty good.

The Numbers

Slash stats: .230/.294/.377/.671

The Royals ran into some good pitching from Jake Arrieta, Gio Gonzalez, and even Tyson Ross.  The A’s were particularly nasty, holding the Royals to a .202 batting average.

13-46 (.283) with runners in scoring position
7 stolen bases in 8 attempts
18 walks in 191 plate appearances (8.3%)

Over 1326 plate appearances, the Royals are walking 8.9% of the time.  After Sunday’s game, they were tied with the Yankees in runs scored in the American League despite being at a 28 to 54 home run disadvantage.  I don’t think the patience is a fluke, as in past years, they’d follow up a good week of getting on base with a terrible one.

4 home runs
25 runs scored in 6 games (4.16/gm)
36 strikeouts

Staff ERA: 3.23
Starters ERA: 3.35 (40.1 IP)
Bullpen ERA: 2.45 (14.2 IP)

Other than Jeff Francis‘s first start of the week where he gave up five earned runs over 5.2 IP, every other Royals starter threw a quality start.  The bullpen, not to be left out of the party, had gone from April 27 at Cleveland until May 7 without giving up a run – a stretch of 29 innings.  Not bad for a bunch of kids.

32 to 13 K/BB ratio

Melky Cabrera, 7-29, 7 RBI – not the prettiest average, but he produced.
Mike Aviles, 6-18, 4 RBI
Alcides Escobar, 6-18, 4 RS, 5 game hitting streak – if he hits AT ALL in Kansas City, he alone would almost (but not quite) be worth the Greinke trade.  Almost.
Blake Wood, 4.1 IP 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB – mostly to highlight that he’s striking guys out this year
Eric Hosmer, 3-9, 2 BB, SB – but of course

Chris Getz, 2-16
Matt Treanor, 1-10
Alex Gordon, 4-24, 3 RBI, 3 RS
Billy Butler, 3-19
Brayan Pena, 1-8

The Verdict
First of all the Royals split six games with Butler and Gordon combining to go 7-43.  How often would you expect that to happen?

Unlike last season, when the aggressiveness on the basepaths faded away after a couple of weeks of the season, this team keeps running.  Mike Aviles, of all people, is tied for the team lead with Jarrod Dyson in stolen bases, and six others have at least three.

If the pitching performs like this on a consistent basis, there might be some honest to goodness hope for this season.  Nobody seems to be interested in taking the AL Central except the Indians (who you expect to fade out sometime – then again, so could we) and with Hosmer up now, Mike Moustakas on the way and Danny Duffy a couple turns through the rotation from getting a shot, there could be some great energy at Kauffman Stadium from June until, oh, 2018 or so.

The Royals take on the Yankees and Tigers on the road before coming back to KC.  If they fare well on this road trip, they may return to find some believers when they come into work next Tuesday.

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Tags: AL Central Alex Gordon Baseball Billy Butler Blake Wood Eric Hosmer Kansas City Royals KC MLB Royals

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