Boy, Was I Wrong. (Kind Of)

I knew the Royals were on an offensive surge, but I didn’t expect anything like this. I predicted the sweep, but my score predictions were way out in left field. The Royals dominated the Sox, outscoring them 22-6. Yikes!

The bats were hot the entire series, and finally, we saw the team hit some dingers! There is no other way to guarantee runs with one swing. Sure, doubles are great (the Royals lead the Majors in doubles) but homeruns are even better. A double could provide a run, a homerun does provide a run. 

More importantly though is the series that the Royals begin tomorrow. A four game set against Detroit provides a great opportunity to launch into first place. Just 1.5 GB the Tigers, this series could do some real damage in terms of standings. 

The Royals are riding a seven game winning streak, and right now isn’t the time to get cold feet. They are entering what could be the most pivotal series of the season, as June is shaping up to be a fantastic month for the team after a less than stellar April and May.

As much as I would enjoy posting a series preview, I’ve got a 11:30 tee time at the Meadowbrook Country Club in Rapid City, South Dakota tomorrow. Needless to say, I’m enjoying my vacation.

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Chicago White Sox Series Preview (6/13-6/15)

Hey folks, currently writing this on my way to South Dakota. I think. Secret family vacations make for great road trips.

Anyway, I’m going to attempt my first series preview. This could either be really good, or really good. There will be no in between. So here goes nothing.

OVERALL: Okay, we know the Royals aren’t the greatest team this year, but the Sox are even worse. In a division full of crappy teams, the Royals are the best. The Sox might be the worst. The Royals bats are hot as of late, and hopefully it can carry over to tonight’s game. They’ve gotten through the string of 14 games in stellar fashion, and now have a chance to make up some ground in the division race. They could be in first place by the end of the week. We’ll see though.

GAME 1: Guthrie v. Quintana

This is a pretty even pitching match, as both have similar records and ERA’s. On paper it would seem that Quintana has the edge, as his ERA is significantly lower than Guthrie’s. We have to keep in mind though the fact that Guthrie has little to no run support in all of the games he has pitched. Despite the Royals surge of offense, he seems to pitch on their off nights when it comes to offensive production. In his six losses, the Royals have scored a total of 8 runs. With the Royals having hot bats lately, I expect them to finally give Guthrie the run production he needs in order to win. Give this game to the Royals, 3-1.

GAME 2: Duffy v. Noesi

I’ll be honest, I don’t anything about Noesi. Never heard of him before, and I always don’t know how the Royals have fared against him. What a great analyst I am, right? Anyway, this game could be a total toss up. It looks like Duffy is finally starting to come around, and when he gets in a groove early in a game, he stays that way. We last saw him dominate against the Cards in a 6-0 win last week. He was a little shaky against the Yanks in last Saturday’s 8-4 win, but he did just enough to keep the team in it. I expect Duffy to come out guns a blazin’ in this game, and the Royals to keep the bats going. Another win for the Royals, 5-2.

GAME 3: Shields v. Rienzo

Again, who is this Rienzo guy? It doesn’t really matter, because Shields is on the mound. 7-3 on the season with a 3.44 ERA, the guy has been rock solid for this team. I think fans are starting to realize that the Wil Myers trade is starting to payoff, as Shields is the ace in this starting rotation. Not to mention, Rienzo has a 5.25 ERA. That won’t bode well with Royals offense, especially if they continue this offense spurt that they are on. My prediction? Shields is on fire, throws a ton of strikes, and the Royals hit two home runs. Surely one of those will be wrong. I’ll let you decide which one will be wrong. Give me the Royals in this game, 6-2.

SUMMARY: The Royals march into U.S. Cellular Field, sweep the Sox, and start chasing after the Tigers for first place. Lions are better than Tigers, anyway.

A Little Lazy (but with some consistency)

Alright, I have to admit, I’m not the most active blogger. A post here, a post there, and then nothing for several days (in extreme cases, a week or two). I know this probably isn’t the best way to gain a following, but hey, we’re not all perfect. 

Remember when I talked about consistency the other day? In the case of the Royals, consistency is key. Sparks of offense every now and then won’t be good enough to win the division and contend this year. They need consistency, and they’re starting to show some. 

They capped off a fantastic I-70 series with a 3-2 win over the Cards, and won 3 of 4. Scoring a combined 19 runs in the series, the bats finally came alive. The pitching was solid, and the run support was enough to squeeze out some wins. 

The Yankees are always a tough opponent, but they managed to secure 2 wins in the shortened 3 game series. As the Royals approach game 12 in the 14 game stretch (now 13 games with the postponement) the results are promising. I said this would be the most pivotal stretch of the entire season, and the Royals are turning it around nicely. 

A two game set with the Indians is a chance for them to gain some ground in the division race, then a day off is what they’ll need and get before facing the White Sox and Tigers in a seven game road series. April and May might not have been the best for this team, but June is the perfect opportunity to leap a few spots in the standings. 

If the Royals can continue to be consistent, they might just be able to take first place by the end of the month. I just hope all this rain goes away by then. 

Check back on Thursday for a White Sox series preview. 

Finally, an Offensive Breakthrough

Last night, fans saw something from the Royals they’ve been waiting to see all year. Dominant pitching, and a productive offense. Danny Duffy had control of his pitches the entire night, and Alex Gordon fired up the offense in the seventh. 

Duffy has been questionable all year, with both good and bad outings. A dominant performance (1 H, 0 ER in 6 IP) against the St. Louis Cardinals was a promising sign. Duffy can and is developing into a quality starting pitcher. With some more work with Dave Eiland, he could move up to a #3 or #2 spot in the rotation within the next couple of years. 

The offense was finally able to come through for Duffy, as Gordon blasted a homer to right in the seventh. The Royals showed some promise in the first two games of the Toronto series, but it needed to continue to show any signs of legitimacy. 

More importantly, the Royals need consistency. We all know that pitchers aren’t going to be dominant every night, so it’s up to the offense to provide run support. We’ve seen that in a couple games this year, but it hasn’t been consistent. 

If this young team wants to fight back and have a chance in the AL Central, consistency is what they need. A consistent, run producing offense coupled with a commanding starting rotation is the key to success for this team. With April and May out of the way, the Royals can start to focus on winning. 

This offensive breakthrough was fantastic last night, but now it’s time to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Three games left to play in the I-70 series. A sweep would be nice.