Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman’s recaps of each month of the 2021 KC Royals season. Today we remember May.
Propelled by a surprisingly good April, the KC Royals entered May in territory relatively unfamiliar to them since the World Series seasons of 2014 and 2015. As the 2021 campaign’s first month gave way to its second, the Royals led the American League Central and were playing like they owned it.
May’s first game did nothing to change that, or to discourage increasingly serious talk of October baseball. Kansas City, riding four home runs and a one-run, seven-strikeout, seven-inning start from Danny Duffy, thrashed Minnesota 11-3 May 1 to secure its 16th consecutive, and 20th overall, day in first place.
The second month of the 2021 season soon turned sour for the first place KC Royals.
The May 1 victory was not, however, a sign of things to come. The victory turned out to be Duffy’s last of the season, and the club’s last until May 14.
The Twins battered the Royals 13-4 the next day, the first of 11 Kansas City losses in a row. The Royals fell out of the division lead May 6 and didn’t see first place the rest of the year. The losing skid, the club’s longest of the season, all but destroyed the best chance it had of making the playoffs since it flirted with postseason play in 2017.
The Royals and their fans will remember May as a dark month, one glaringly and painfully different from April, when all things felt right again in their baseball world.
The ugly losing streak was the culprit.