The KC Royals lost over 100 games again in 2019 and had a losing record in every month except April. But May gave Royals’ fans some exciting and important moments.
The 2019 season was, for the KC Royals, an expected disappointment. The Royals hadn’t finished with a winning record since the 2015 World Series championship season; although they were .500 in 2016, their 80-82 2017 record signaled, together with the departures following that season of core players Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, the coming of an unfortunate but anticipated downturn of the franchise. The club’s 104 losses in 2018 confirmed its arrival.
Even with the unexpected 2018 return of Moustakas, a player burned by the peculiarities of the free agent market, expectations were low for the depleted Royals. The club didn’t disprove the dire projections of its detractors — predictably, Moustakas was traded to a contender at mid-season, the pitching and hitting were bad, off-season acquisitions contributed little, and the 104 losses made KC’s 2014 and ’15 World Series campaigns seem so, so distant.
So it was that the stage became set for a dismal 2019. An early start gave KC three March home games against Chicago; the Royals won two games to claim first place in the American League Central going into April, but March was the last month they’d post a winning record en route to a season rivaling 2018 in futility. The club improved by one win, lost 103 games, finished fourth in the five-team Central (42 games behind Division champion Minnesota), and avoided the Central cellar only because Detroit found a way to lose 11 more games than the Royals.
Lowlights dominated the season, to be sure, but the nature of baseball is such that even bad teams can’t avoid occasional highlights. The month of May provided some exciting and important moments: an established star had a star’s month, a potential star arrived on the scene earlier than expected, and the club had some high-scoring games.