Another five-game week for the Royals, and I think a large majority of fans have had enough off days. When a team like the Royals is playing winning baseball, momentum is important, and it’s tough for them to build momentum when they have off days every other day. Grrrr!
The Royals went 3-2 this week, which brings their overall record to 13-9. Not bad, but the sting of losing to Cleveland and some bum named Corey Kluber 10-3 makes me want to grade this week out at a B. The Royals get some props for splitting with Detroit and for taking the first two from Cleveland, thus assuring a series split, but there is no reason they should have lost that game to Kluber. They didn’t even look like they wanted to play the second game of that double header, and I’m finding it more and more difficult to stomach the terrible lineup decisions of playing Chris Getz and Jeff Francoeur.
Onto the themes before I start breaking stuff:
Moose, out of the woods?
Not yet, but he’s looking better at the plate than he was (here’s a post from Michael Engel about it). He’s popping the ball up less, and he’s taking more pitches and walks. In Sunday’s first game, he took three walks and had a base hit. In the second game, he went 1-4 with a double. I haven’t been a fan of the conversation about sending him down. To me, that’s ridiculous. There’s no one who can perform much better than him, and I don’t see anything at this point to indicate that it’s more than just a significant valley.
If a problem does occur, it will come just as Eric Hosmer’s did last year. He’s start to press, lose confidence, change some stuff, and before you know it, the wheels fall off. I see Mike Moustakas as a more resilient guy than Hosmer so I think this is the start of his turn around. His numbers for this whole season will probably never rebound completely, but that doesn’t really matter. If he can forget the season before now, and start helping the team win again, all will be forgiven.
And he needs to stop kicking the ball around, too.
Split the good teams; bash the bad ones
There’s no great science behind winning in baseball. Beat the teams you should. That’s pretty simple. This week, the Royals got the opportunity to show their fanbase that they could employ this strategy to a degree. They faced Detroit first, a team that by all accounts is “better” than the Royals. In a series shortened by rain, they split two games. Nicely done. Then, they faced the Cleveland Indians, a team that’s struggling right now. They took two of the first three, and they’ll try for three out of four tomorrow. If they end up splitting this series, that’s a disappointment.
In my very humble opinion, this Cleveland series was a wonderful chance to get on a nice winning streak. Cleveland was ripe for a sweep. I think The Royals let them off the hook Sunday night, but they can still win the series, which is the ultimate goal.
Ned Yost benches a ton
The bench play this week has been interesting. Yost has dipped into it quite a bit this week, and right now, the Royals are getting solid play from George Kotarras and Jarrod Dyson and less than stellar play from Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada. Early on, Yost seemed to have a personal vendetta against Kotarras, but lately, he’s showing why he’s probably good enough to start for many teams. He’s taking walks and hitting with power. That’s what he does.
Dyson, who I will reiterate should be starting for this team, played like a champ in the early game Sunday going 2-4 with two RBI and a stolen base. If only he had the chance to play everyday … hmmm … who makes that decision?
For some reason, though, Johnson isn’t even touching the ball. He’s got seven strikeouts in 17 plate appearances. I was excited about getting Johnson as the PTBNL in the James Shields deal, but that excitement is contingent on him making contact with the ball.
That’s all I have for this week. Let’s hope we’ve seen the end of rainouts, off days, Francoeur, and Getz.