Remember last year, when the Kansas City Royals appeared to be dead in the water at the end of May, sporting a 23-30 record? Any chance at a push to the playoffs seemed far-fetched at best as the Royals appeared to be en route to yet another disappointing season. Then, beginning June 1st, the Royals fortunes changed. The Royals went 15-11 in June, and set the stage for a belated run at the postseason.
This season, the same script may apply once again. The Royals had disappointed at the start of the year, as their offensive issues played a large part in their 26-29 record at the end of May. However, as the offense has begun to show signs of life, the Royals are starting to find success once again. Thus far in June, they have taken three of four games from the St. Louis Cardinals and another two of three from the New York Yankees. Although neither team has been what they were in the past, those were still two important series wins for the Royals to build off of.
Heading into a stretch where the Royals play their next nine games against divisional opponents, the Royals are in a prime spot to make up even more ground in the standings. An excellent 5-2 week can certainly help be a confidence builder, especially going into a stretch where they face the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers.
Banking on another second half streak such as they Royals had last year would seemingly be foolhardy. Yet, the Royals may well be poised to replicate such a run. Their offense, which had struggled to score runs, ranks 14th in runs scored thus far this month, which is far better than their ranking at 23rd for the season. They have even begun to hit for a bit of power, with four home runs over the past week, including two on Saturday, while leading baseball in doubles in June.
Is this just a solid week for Kansas City, or are the Royals about to embark upon another hot stretch in the second half of the year, reminiscent to their performance in 2013? Should the offense continue to show improvement, and the Royals carry their momentum into the next three series, the Royals could find themselves poised for a run at the postseason.
It would be difficult to imagine that the Royals would, once again, go on a second half run such as they did last season. However, if the first two series are any indication, it could be, as the great Yogi Berra once said, deja vu all over again.