The KC Royals arrived in New York for their just-completed trio of games with the Yankees six games below .500 and 10 games behind first place Chicago in the American League Central. After Thursday’s 8-1 loss to the Yanks, which didn’t seem that close, little has changed, and none of it for the good.
The defeat gave New York the series win—they won the second game 6-5 after losing the first by the same score—and dropped Kansas City seven games under .500. The Royals fell another half-game behind the White Sox and are 10 games out of the Wild Card.
Unfortunately on display were all the shortcomings that transformed the Royals from a division leader in early May into a club trying desperately to stay out of the Central cellar. (Only two games separate KC from last place Minnesota). Timely hitting was scarce, the starting rotation remains in disarray, and at least one key player doesn’t produce.
What conclusions can be drawn from this three-game series in The Bronx?
The KC Royals continue to struggle at the plate in important situations.
Sadly, Kansas City remains a club rarely disposed to hit in the clutch. The 2-for-5 the Royals hit with runners in scoring position Wednesday night was, despite their loss, the best of the series. They were 3-for-11 in Monday’s win, then 0-for-9 Thursday. The nine runners they left on base in Game 3 equaled the number they stranded Wednesday and gave the Royals 24 for the series.
It’s a habit the Royals must break. If they don’t, this season will be long before it reaches August.