Once. Just once, I’d like to go two full months of a season without feeling like the team decided to implode. 2013 was no different as the Royals decided to spontaneously combust with a vengeance.* And all I could do was watch coldly because I’d seen it all before.
*I know, I know. They sort of came back from it, but seriously, at the end of May were your hopes and dreams anywhere but in the toilet? Don’t lie to me.
So here’s May:
As a team, the Royals batted .253/.304/.355/.658 and averaged 3.6 runs a game. This was almost a full run under their average for April. Their best offensive performance was an 11-4 win against Los Angeles on May 13th in which they collected 19 hits total with 4 doubles. Unfortunately, they scored 3 runs or fewer in 18 of their 28 games in May which helped boost us to an atrocious finish.
The Royals pitching staff (relievers included) threw 245 innings with a 4.33 ERA. They gave up an average 4.6 runs a game with 4.2 of those runs being earned. They averaged 6.39 SO/game and 2.8 BB/game. These were all upticks from the previous month’s numbers as the win/loss record would indicate. Their “best” performance as a staff occurred on May 4th. Jeremy Guthrie pitched 9 shutout innings against the White Sox, though it had more to do with great defense than outstanding pitching as he only had 3 strikeouts with 1 walk. The Royals won 2-0.
The Royals imploded with an 8-20 record for the month losing 3- and 4-game stretches multiple times before ending the month on an 8-game losing streak. They were 22-30 by the end of May and, while that doesn’t seem like the ABSOLUTE end of the world, consider this:
At the end of April, the Royals were 14-10 and .5 games back of the division lead. Early, but still….
At the end of May, the Royals were 22-30 and 6.5 games back of the division lead.
Woof. Woof. Woof.
Offensive MVP: Alex Gordon
Gordon was on fire with a slash line of .339/.390/.473/.863 with 6 doubles and 3 home runs.
James had an ERA of 2.92 with 34 strikeouts and 10 walks and an opposing batter slash of .226/.288/.376/.664 in 37 innings. Unfortunately, he was not getting a lot of help on offense as he went 0-5 during the month. If that’s not a testament to the stupidity of wins/losses as a statistic, then I don’t know what is.
Greg had 8 innings pitched in May and an opposing batter slash line of .185/.241/.185/.247 with 9 strikeouts and 1 walk while only giving up 1 earned run. People were worried about his ability at the end of the month of April, but he was starting to lock things down by the end of May.
Thus endeth the month of purgatory. Hey, I know this was painful, but as for me, I’m going to squint and pretend like May didn’t happen. Except if we had even simply gone .500 during that month….well…you know the rest.