Kansas City Royals: A Season To Remember

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Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The month of June brought progress for the ball club, but a fateful moment came at the end of June when starter Jason Vargas was diagnosed with a torn UCL that put him on the IR for the rest of the season (and most likely the 2016 season) with a looming Tommy John surgery.  The KC Royals went into St. Louis and were swept in a 2 game series, the third of which was postponed and played later in the season.

July and August brought about grim hope and a blurred vision of the future for the Royals and their fans but the future was questionably bright and it looked as if the playoffs were somewhere in the picture.

General Manager Dayton Moore made a splash at the trade deadline when he traded away younglings Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed to acquire star Reds ace Johnny Cueto.  With the acquisition of Cueto, the team and their fans finally had the realization that this year’s team could do it all again and that a deep playoff run was a legitimate possibility.

Moore also made an effort to pick up the versatile Ben Zobrist to replace the injured Alex Gordon in left field. A division title looked like a likely possibility as August ended with the Royals up 13 full games over the Twinkies.

September, oh September.  Alex Gordon returned to the Royals lineup on September 1, but that proved to be the only good news that came out of the gory month of September. With looming playoffs and a possible division title, the foot had seemingly come off the gas pedal.

The team went a combined 11-16 in September and quite honestly, played horrible baseball.  Pitching fell apart throughout the month of September and the bats were locked away in the freezer.  There was a distinct aura of frustration that wafted above Kauffman Stadium as the team continued to fall apart, but the hopes of the organization’s first ever division title still hung high.

On September 24, the struggling Johnny Cueto and the Royals defeated the Seattle Mariners 10-4 to clinch Kansas City’s first ever American League Central Division Championship.  The focus shifted to home field advantage throughout the playoffs, a feat that the Royals were able to accomplish despite the surging Toronto Blue Jays.  The Royals seemed to be ready for the postseason as they won 5 straight and swept the Minnesota Twins to complete the regular season.

Next: On to the postseason!