5) The Royals Keep Defying Conventional Wisdom
When teams lose three All-Stars, they’re supposed to go into survival mode. With such a talent drain, the hope becomes to tread water by maybe playing .500 baseball until your big dogs return.
Apparently, the 2016 KC Royals didn’t get that memo.
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Instead, the Kansas City Royals have responded to losing three All-Stars with a winning streak. Since losing catcher Salvador Perez on Saturday, they’ve pulled off the biggest ninth-inning comeback in franchise history on their way to reeling off four straight wins.
If you dial the clock back to May 22, the day left fielder Alex Gordon and third baseman Mike Moustakas slammed into one another while chasing a foul ball in Chicago, the team is 7-1. Until that disaster, the KC Royals offense had been averaging 3.53 runs per game. Since May 22, the Kansas City Royals have more than doubled their output to 7.25 runs per game.
Yes. The young guys that took Gordon, Moustakas, and Perez’s places in the lineup have been on hot streaks. Whit Merrifield isn’t going to keep hitting .356/356/.467; Brett Eibner isn’t going to finish the season close to .462/.500/.692; and Paulo Orlando isn’t going to continue at .376/.398/.495.
Even the decidedly not-young Drew Butera at age 32, who took over at catcher for Salvador Perez, is hitting .321/.406/.500. Despite Perez having been on fire at the plate before his thigh contusion, the Kansas City Royals haven’t really missed him.
How many teams could lose three All-Stars and two starting pitchers and go on a tear?
Next: Whit Merrifield