These last few weeks have been insane. I’ve spent these last few weeks finishing my student-teaching, accepting a job, and getting ready to graduate. Due to this, I’ve not had as much time to follow the Royals as astutely as I normally chose to do. This brief break was apparently good for the team as well as myself.
The Royals are only 4.5 games out of first place and it’s the middle of May. This doesn’t seem like much until you consider a few things.
On Wednesday, April 11th of this year, the Royals lost to the Athletics 5-4. This alone may seem insignificant except in that this loss began a 12-game losing streak that seemed to practically erode any chance that “Our Time” was here and absolutely destroy the possibility that the Royals 2012 mission statement was going to be used as anything other than a snarky catchphrase anywhere and everywhere for the next hundred years.
Those were some bad weeks and it felt like everything we’d hoped for this year blew up in our faces before the season had even really started rolling.
But the Royals have been winning. They’ve won 7 of their last 10. They’ve split with the Yankees and strung together series wins against the Red Sox, White Sox, and Rangers. Aside from the White Sox, all of these wins/splits have come against average/above average teams. The Yankees are the Yankees. The Red Sox SHOULD have made the playoffs last year and the Rangers, as you all know, happened to be in the World Series last season.
We are still in May, and the dreaded “sample size” phrase has to be considered. But based on the fact that a mere 3 weeks ago our team looked like the Royals teams we’ve grown used to, I’d have to say that things are looking up. I’m used to a Royals team that starts hot and fizzles by May. I don’t know how to react when a Royals team takes a punch to the chin in the form of a 12-game losing streak and then starts winning enough games to make me notice that they’re within definite striking distance of the division leader.
Granted, the teams within the A.L. Central are not exactly dominating right now, but if the Royals decide to take advantage of that, I’m not going to sniff at it. We’ve faced many of our own hurdles in the form of injuries, Danny Duffy being the latest to fall. This is enough to for most people to give up hope if they hadn’t already after losing 12 games in a row.
It’s easy to be disgusted. The injury bug and a 12-game skid will do that to you. I won’t say I haven’t been pretty frustrated this season at times. But if you forget all of that, and take an objective look at what’s happening with the Royals right now, you’ll see that they’re finding ways to win. I’m not saying it will last. I know better than to make that assumption, but the Royals are competing against good teams and they’re playing their way back into relevance….for the time being at least.
I’m riding this gravy train as far as it will take me.