KC Royals: Is there any immediate hope for this club?

(Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports) /

That the KC Royals lost again Monday, this time 8-0 to Toronto, is now old news.

The notion that this team may end the season as the worst in franchise history, which few (if any) predicted before the campaign began, now lies somewhere between possibility and probability.

Even in early June, this is a season all but irretrievably lost. At 17-36 and dangerously close to falling 20 games under .500 when they face the Blue Jays again tonight, the Royals are the worst team in the majors.

Kansas City is a team adrift, disconnected already from the mission upon which it started only two months ago. The reasons and problems are one in the same, and Monday’s game was just another step in the wrong direction.

With the KC Royals, it’s getting harder to tell one loss from another.

Suffering through this latest loss was like watching another time-worn late-night television rerun. Starting pitching once again let the club down. Daniel Lynch, performing so well not that long ago, pitched decently for the first three innings but ended the night charged with six of Toronto’s eight runs after giving up three homers, including two in the sixth.

The hitting was as bad as it too often is. Michael A. Taylor singled twice and walked, making him the only Royal to collect a hit or reach base. Toronto hurlers retired Kansas City in order six times and six Royals struck out.

All that should sound familiar—generally poor pitching and hitting have plagued the Royals all year, frequently and fatally at the same time.

There is little reason to believe the KC Royals will improve anytime soon.

Can Kansas City get better? Certainly, but don’t expect it to happen immediately. Other than discharging their hitting coach last month, the Royals have done nothing to give fans much hope of imminent success.

But that doesn’t prevent optimistic talk. We are reminded during almost every night’s broadcast of the virtues of the hard-hit ball, a positive spin when a Royal flies or lines out for the umpteenth time. Well-struck balls do in fact have value, but a hard-hit out is still, and always will be, worse than a soft bloop hit.

We hear in post-game interviews that opponents’ home runs came on great pitches, leaving for another time an explanation of just why so many excellent offerings end up sailing out of the park. The case is the same with the good stuff pitchers are said to have when battered by other teams.

We hear also of corners about to be turned, of players who are due, of a team that lost on just another of those nights.

Talk is just that … talk. And those nights occur with alarming regularity.

Kansas City is a bad team. The Royals’ play often looks uninspired, as though they recognize the futility of playing when circumstances demand the immediate changes that don’t seem to be highest of this club’s priorities.

And that’s unfortunate.

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The Royals and Toronto play the middle game of their three-game series at 7:10 p.m. CDT tonight with Brad Keller (1-6) scheduled to face Alek Manoah (6-1).