Sep 27, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) hits a single against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 KC Royals Recap: June

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After May, it was hard not to be frustrated with the Royals. They had fallen back into “the Royal Way” which consists of not merely playing poorly, but falling off a precipice into the valley of awful. But luckily, a struggling division gave us a chance to get back in it.

Here’s June:

Offense

As a team, the Royals batted .260/.315/.386/.701 and averaged 4 runs a game. Their best offensive performance was a 10-1 victory against Tampa Bay on June 13th in which they collected 14 total hits with 3 doubles and 2 home runs. One of those homers was even an Elliot Johnson Special which is about as common as a sasquatch sighting, so that was neat.

Pitching

The Royals pitching staff (relievers included) threw 240 innings with a 3.04 ERA which was almost a run and a half lower than their May ERA. They gave up an average of 3 runs a game during June which was over a run and a half less than the previous month.  They averaged 7.3 SO/game and 3.6 BB/game. Despite a rise in walks per game, they didn’t pay for it on the scoreboard. Their “best” performance as a staff took place on June 12th. James Shields gave up two through seven innings of work against the Tigers and a combination of Tim Collins, Luke Hochevar, and Greg Holland combined for three shutout innings as the Royals took one in extras at Kauffman, 3-2.

Overall

The Royals won 13 of their first 18 games before sputtering a bit at the end of the month. Still, they ended up with a 16-11 record in June and were somehow only 4.5 games back of the 1st place Tigers at the beginning of July. After the horrendous month we’d experienced previously, it seemed miraculous that only a month later we could find ourselves fewer than 5 games back of the division leader. Thanks, A.L. Central!

Offensive MVP: Billy Butler

Billy gets harangued all the time and 2013 was no different, but he had a really nice month of June with a slash line of .323/.423/.430/.854 with 7 doubles as well as 17 walks in 27 games. Also of note, this was the month that Alex Gordon‘s offensive numbers began to plummet.

Pitching MVPs: Ervin Santana (starter) and Greg Holland (reliever)

Ervin had an ERA of 1.99 with 32 strikeouts and 11 walks and an opposing batter slash of .185/.252/.274/.526 in 40.2 innings of work. He went 2-0 in 6 starts in the month of June.

Greg pitched 13 innings in June and had an opposing batter slash line of .119/.174/.310/.483 with 24 strikeouts and 3 walks. Greg’s strikeout total in June was the highest of any month of the season which is pretty impressive considering it wasn’t even the month where he pitched the most innings.* Batters could not figure him out.

*September (15 innings)

Like I said before, after the woes of the previous month, it was pretty amazing that the Royals could somewhat recover in a month and find themselves still within striking distance. July was about to hit and there was still a reason for even the most casual fans to tune into a Royals game.

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