What If the Kansas City Royals Had Not Traded Wade Davis?

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 16: Wade Davis /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – JUNE 18: Wade Davis
KANSAS CITY, MO – JUNE 18: Wade Davis /

How Davis Could Have Changed Things

To explore just how damaging the bullpen’s struggles have been, I looked over the Kansas City Royals schedule entering Monday’s day off. The team has played 149 games, so far, this season. It’s record through those contests in 73-76.

By my count, 39 of those 76 defeats have been by three or fewer runs. For a team that seemingly has a penchant for getting blown out, that number is staggering.

Obviously, not all close losses are made the same. Some involve futile late rallies from nearly impossible to overcome deficits. Others are blown leads or tied games that got away.

Thirteen of those narrow defeats have come since Aug. 1. Three occurred just this past week. On Wednesday, the Kansas City Royals let a 3-3 game in the ninth inning turn into a 5-3 loss to the White Sox.

Thursday and Sunday saw the team lose to Cleveland by identical 3-2 scorelines. The games could not have been much different, though. In one instance, the Royals led most of the game only to lose the lead in the ninth and get walked off in the 10th. In the other, Cleveland held a 3-0 lead before Kansas City rallied but ultimately stranded too many runners.

Davis could have made the difference in the Thursday loss. On Sunday, the best he could have done would be to play cheerleader. So it (almost) goes without saying that Davis wouldn’t have turned all of those close losses into wins, but he would have undoubtedly flipped a few of them.