KC Royals: Series with Reds showed progress in the rebuild

KC Royals (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
KC Royals (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals have been trying to turn things around and so far this season, things look to be heading in the right direction.

The season for the KC Royals seemed to take forever to get started, but now it’s moving faster than ever. With the season being cut short, after only a few weeks of play, the regular season is just about a third of the way over.

If going off of the last few seasons, fans would likely think the Royals are pretty much out of contention at this point, but of course, this isn’t the case. Currently, the Royals are sitting at 8-11, a .421 winning percentage, and only 4 games behind the first-place Twins.

There is no denying, the Royals struggled to start the season. While they were able to keep close enough in the standings so they weren’t completely thrown out of the mix, there were some definite concerns that fans saw early on.

The bullpen did their job, but the rotation took a hit with pitchers unavailable. The normally perfect defense didn’t seem to know what was going on, and other than a few moments, the offense was quiet.

Things started to turn around, though. After a 13-2 victory over the Cubs, the Royals found a way to sweep the Twins and show that they weren’t just going to let this season go without a fight. They went into their off day feeling good.

Then came a tough loss. In their first game against the Reds on Tuesday night, the Royals left 10 runners on base, and while Cincinnati committed 3 errors, the Royals were still unable to win the game.

There were some positives, though. After being down 5-1, the Royals chipped away at the lead. They had the chance to score more, and while they didn’t turn it, they were at least able to force the game into extra innings.

The loss was tough, but the lessons learned were needed. Bubic showed his ability to get down, give up 5 runs, and still put together a few more good innings to take pressure off the bullpen. The offense showed they were able to fight back, even after being down early.

Last night was a different story. The Royals were up early with 5 runs and sitting comfortably. It wasn’t until the 7th inning when the bullpen started to struggle and Ian Kennedy gave up 3 runs, followed by another from Scott Barlow. With the score now within 1, this was a true test for the Royals.

If this game were played during one of the previous 2 seasons, it’s likely the Reds would have found a way to score again, but this wasn’t the case. The bullpen and defense stepped up and did what they had to do to win.

Josh Staumont had everyone on the edge of their seat but still pitched a scoreless inning. Trevor Rosenthal struggled to throw strikes, but thanks to outstanding defense and a double play, the game was over with a Royals win.

With each game, the Royals showed the progress that has been made. In previous years, both games would have had a high chance of ending in a loss. Pitching was always an issue, but the offense struggled as well.

For these two games, the Royals showed that nobody should count them out. They battled back when they were down, and while they might not have gotten the desired outcome in both, they didn’t go without a fight.

When the game got rough and it was time to settle down, each player did their job. They worked together to get the final outs instead of letting things get out of hand.

There will likely always be more work to be done, but the series with the Reds showed some important things for the Royals; everyone is playing as a team, the pitching can be successful, and it’s just about time to put the losing seasons behind us.

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There will surely be more ups and downs as the season progresses, but the Royals look to be on the right track. The rebuilding years can be rough, but the Royals are on the upside now.