Multi-Homer Games, Optimism, and Fear
So far in 2013 there have been 134 games where a player has hit two or more home runs. Exactly one of those belongs to a Royal. Eric Hosmer put the team on the multi-homer board with two against Minnesota on Friday night, and it is about time.
If we do some simple statistics, 134 multi-homer games divided by 30 teams, we would expect the average team to have between 4 and 5 games so far where a player homered twice or more. That puts the Royals rather a long way below average, which in any home run discussion is not surprising. This is consistent with last year too. Last year there were 248 such games and only 5 belonged to a Royal versus an expected value of slightly over 8 per team.
It was nice to see Hosmer put two out just to know that it was still a possibility for the Royals. They are now ahead of two teams in multi-homer games, San Diego and San Francisco still have not managed the feat. The problem is that the Royals as a team are still behind 28 PLAYERS this year who have more than one multi-homer game. There are even 6 players with three games and one with 4 games where they have homered multiple times. Some of the players who are ahead of the Royals are luminaries such as Ryan Raburn, Matt Dominguez, and Justin Ruggiano.
We have talked ad nauseum so far this year about the offensive struggles. I’m sorry if you are tired of hearing about them. In some ways it seems that they are breaking out, ways such as Hosmer’s multi-homer game and big month of June, Mike Moustakas is now hitting his weight, Billy Butlerfinally ended his homerless streak, etc. The Minnesota series from afar seems like an offensive success with 21 runs over four days for and average of 5.25 runs per game. Of course two of those games were lost when the team only scored one on Thursday and two on Saturday. In fact, I am very optimistic this team is
June 25, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals mascot Slugger relaxes before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
going to hit much better the rest of the season with these good signs and with the departures of Jeff Francoeur and Chris Getz. I am also scared that it might come too late.
I discussed the buy/sell decision last week and beating up on lowly Minnesota would have helped in moving toward buy. To be fair, the Royals have dominated the Twins this year so far with a record of 8 – 3 against them. Two of the losses just came at a possibly awkward time. The team is still 3 games below .500 with just 13 games until the break. That offensive break-out needs to happen now or it will be for naught. Detroit has yet to run away with anything, and I still don’t believe in Cleveland, but the wild card may already be gone. The Royals are staring up at 6 teams in the wild card race and are 7 games behind the top two. This makes me nervous that in a week or two we may be back to discussing next year instead of watching meaningful baseball.