The KC Royals are starting to play like they are living in the 2014-2015 seasons again.
If as a KC Royals fan you are experiencing some emotions that you aren’t completely familiar with, it’s likely the hope and excitement that was lost during the 100 loss seasons. Even as a devoted Royals fan, it’s difficult to watch a team struggle just to keep themselves from being the worst team in baseball.
The 2021 season is basically just beginning, but the Royals are already finding a way to make things interesting.
They finished their final game of a 10 game homestand and 3 game series with the Rays last night. While the Rays were able to deliver Kansas City’s first series loss of the season, the Royals weren’t going down without a fight.
With a win to finish that series, the Royals continue to sit safely in the top spot of the American League Central at 10-7, 1.5 games ahead of both the Indians and the White Sox.
It’s too early to make any huge judgements or predictions, no matter how fun it may be to imagine the Royals in the postseason again. But, one has to admit, this Kansas City team really does look different.
They don’t look like the team that racked up two 100 loss seasons even with their defensive and pitching woes at the moment. They don’t even look like the team that was only a few games shy of .500 last year. They do, though, look eerily similar to those teams from 2014-2015.
After the Rays put up four runs in the first inning last night, the Royals from the past few seasons likely would have crumbled. The 2021 Royals didn’t though. Junis tightened things up and the Royals waited for the right moment to strike with the offense.
Of course, the Rays weren’t going away easy. They wanted the sweep, but Kansas City had other plans.
If the air didn’t already feel similar to the World Series teams, then maybe a look at the end 9th inning from last night’s game will help the recall process.
With a huge return to small ball, Kansas City was able to set the stage for Salvador Perez with a stolen base and well-placed bunts. Even with some demoralizing moments in the game (such as 3 hard it balls, 395, 394, 395, respectively resulting in no added runs), the Royals fought back and never gave up.
"“I can honestly say I’ve never been around a team like this,” Matheny said. “Regardless what happens, they just believe. They’re saying the right things, and that’s fine and good, you want that positive energy in there. But then it comes down to — they’re willing to do whatever they got to do to make it happen. That’s what makes us so special.” mlb.com"
It’s hard to not be optimistic about the current state of the Royals. Even after a couple of losses and plenty of shared struggle around the field, they are getting things done and continuing their push to remain on the top of the AL Central.
It’s hard to put into words just how fun this team is right now, so it might be best to leave it up to Mike Matheny.
"“I don’t even really know what to say, except what I was just saying as I walked through that line high-fiving guys,” Matheny said. “I love this team.” mlb.com"
The KC Royals finish their homestand with a win and now have a day off before a four-game series against Detroit. If they can use the momentum from last nights win, they could safely push themselves even further to the front before seeing Cleveland and Chicago for seven games starting May 3rd.