Kansas City Royals: The first 50 - Still reason for hope
The first 50 games are in the books. The Kansas City Royals are 24-26, not terrible, but certainly not great.
Last year through 50 games, The Royals had won 20 games and lost 30. Are they over all an improved team?
A whole lot better? That remains to be seen, but all the signs are pointing to yes.
The first 50 games have been a wild roller coaster ride. In these games we have seen almost everything: an extremely rare blown save, excellent starting pitching, superb fielding, runners picked off after falling asleep, timely hitting, horrible percentage hitting with runners in scoring position and the very rare home run.
We’ve seen our young third baseman sent to Omaha looking like he’d never played a game of baseball in his life, while another young pitcher flirted with a no-no through six. James Shields has stumbled. Buttler has been a double play magnet. Gordon and Escobar have turned in several head turning, death-defying plays. Vargas has been better than advertised. Wade Davis has just been filthy and Ned Yost…well he’s made a couple questionable calls. There have been ups and downs, but through out these first 50 games, The Royals are still very much apart of this race.
After the next two games against Houston, The Royals hit the road and head up north to Toronto for four games, then a quick two games in St. Louis. The month of June is going to crucial- and it’s going to be tough. Toronto has been playing very well and The Cardinals, though not playing their best right now are always tough on Kansas City.
As the month progresses, The Royals will face The Yankees, The Indians, White Sox, Tigers, Mariners, Dodgers, Angles and Twins. All of these teams are playing well right now and have the potential to be in the play-offs come fall (except Minnesota, suck it Twins fans!). There really isn’t a soft team in this bunch (except Minnesota) and The Royals have been dreadful against teams in the central. Losing Ventura for an extended period could prove to be costly.
One of the very encouraging things about the 2014 Royals is their ability to stay out of long losing streaks. I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded that if you cut The Royals two long loosing streaks in half last year, The Royals would have easily won the division. This pitching staff, for the most part, has been exceptional and you would foolish to think that bats won’t heat up. If The Royals finish June and head into the All Start break around .500 they would be putting themselves in a very good spot. Obviously no one plays to just be .500, but the reality is that for almost the past 27 years, They Royals were already out of contention by June 1st.