By In Stuff

Royals Power Update

Well, OK, the Royals did not hit a home run again on Tuesday — heck, they only managed two hits against the Cardinals, a hard double and soft single by Billy Butler — and so that means they still have two home runs since May 15, both by 439-year-old Miguel Tejada (he aged a year since yesterday). it is now a 13-game streak without a regular hitting a home run. The last regular to homer for the Royals was Butler on May 14 against the Angels. The last left-handed batter to homer for the Royals was Mike Moustakas on May 10 against the Yankees.

And so, to update things:

— The Chicago-Chicago game was rained out, so the Cubs pitching staff did not have an opportunity to hit another homer and expand their lead. They still have a 3-2 homer lead since May 15.

— Blog favorite Jedd Gyorko DID homer last night, so he now has more homers than entire Royals team since May 15.

— The Cardinals hit three homers last night which, of course, is more than the Royals since May 15. This is a point worth making: The wind was blowing out at Kauffman Stadium Tuesday. The Cardinals sent rookie lefty Tyler Lyons to the mound. Lyons is a promising prospect but he’s still a rookie, and he’s a lefty, and the wind was blowing out. The Royals still didn’t even come close.

And this gets to the heart of something else. The Royals have not exactly been facing the 1965 Dodgers pitching staff in this absurd stretch. A look at the starting pitchers the Royals have faced during this streak makes the thing even more impossible:

5/28: Tyler Lyons (rookie making his second big-league start)

5/27: Adam Wainwright

5/26: Jerome Williams

5/25: Billy Buckner (former Royal, making his first big league start in three years)

5/24: Jason Vargas (30-year-old who was second in homers allowed last year, giving up 35)

5/23: Joe Blanton (who came into game 0-7, 6.62 ERA, with league slugging .562 against him)

5/22: Jordan Lyles (22-year-old who came into game with 6.63 ERA with league slugging .524 against him)

5/21: Bud Norris

5/20: Dallas Keuchel (who came in having given up 19 homers in 113 career innings)

5/19: A.J. Griffin (who had allowed eight homers in 51 innings, he gave up three more in his next start)

5/18: Tommy Malone (31 homers in his previous 241 innings)

5/17: Jarrod Parker (nine homers in 40 innings coming — also a 6.64 ERA)

5/15: Barry Enright (second start in more than two years)

You know who is not on that list? Justin Verlander. And CC Sabathia. And Felix Hernandez. And really any of the, say, 40 best pitchers in the American League. Other than Wainwright, you would have thought the Royals would hit home runs BY ACCDIDENT.

By the way, the Royals loss was their 18th in 22 games, and their 10th straight home defeat, tying a record. The other day, I predicted that the Royals and their connections would spend a lot of time talking about the little things — which they seem to be doing — but I did not make the equally obvious prediction that soon Royals manager Ned Yost would make some kind of bizarre and hilarious statement that showed him beginning to lose his mind. Hey, it happens to all of them. The Royals drove Tony Muser to his make his locally famous quote about how the Royals needed to pray less and drink more tequila. The Royals drove Tony Pena to guarantee a pennant and jump in the shower with his clothes on. The Royals drove Trey Hillman to all sorts of craziness. You can’t blame them — they’re only human.

And so is Ned Yost, only human:

“What are you asking me to do?” he told reporters after Tuesday’s game. “Take my belt off and spank them? Yell at them? Scream at them? What do you want?”

Yep, Ned Yost is out of ideas. Every Royals manager gets there sooner or later.

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24 Responses to Royals Power Update

  1. Dan D. says:

    It is May. April was #RoyalsinFirst

  2. mboling says:

    The entire Royals player development staff needs to go.

  3. Joe says:

    Oh Joe. You spend so much time writing about the pitiful Royals. Cheer up. Write something about the Cardinals player development.

  4. jim louis says:

    Joe, as a fan of the Royals and dark humor, your latest blog entries have been a treat. Keep em coming!

    • Rob Smith says:

      Right. The Royals would seem to be the least interesting team to write about… but somehow all the Francoeur/Bruce Chen and Yuni comments are just too funny. And it defies all logic that a franchise that was once a force in the 80s has just turned into a laughing stock…. for 20 years!!! I mean every team cycles into a low cycle for a few years, even the Yankees in the late 60s and late 80s/early 90s were horrible. But, teams recover and AT LEAST have some competitive seasons where they sniff playoff possibilities.

    • NMark W says:

      We Pirate fans hope you are correct. These teases the past 2 seasons were enough to get our hopes up and some of us back to paying attention again. Maybe 2013 will be the year that Bucco faithful can sniff playoff possibilities…

    • Ben Wildner says:

      Have hope! We Brewers fans made it through the dark times. Though they may be back.

  5. Rob Smith says:

    As a Braves fan, it seems like there are one or two rookies every year that blossom. Evan Gaddis and Julio Teheran this year. Mike Minor last year. Freddie Freeman & Craig Kimbrel the year before and Jason Heyward before that. I forget which year Kris Medlen was a rookie, but it was less than four years ago. So, how do the Royals go years without a rookie that fulfills his promise? It’s either drafting, player development, or both. Their “hit rate” is extremely low, especially considering their high draft position every year.

    • Daniel Kim says:

      This is all during Baird’s tenure: Butler, Gordon, Greinke, Sweeney, Beltran, Damon

      During Moore’s tenure: possibly Sal Perez and we are still waiting on Hosmer and Moustakas.

  6. bluwood says:

    As for crazy you didn’t even mention Hal McRae…

  7. Alan W. says:

    How can the Royals miss on every “Can’t Miss” prospect? It’s the entire organization from the very top to the very bottom. Everyone needs to go.

  8. Owen Ranger says:

    Barry Enright, the first pitcher in the streak, has been afflicted with at least moderate gopheritis since college. He was almost always good for at least one towering bomb per game, even when he had great sophomore and junior seasons.

  9. ribender says:

    And let us make note that Dioner Navarro has three home runs today for the Cubs …

  10. Wendell says:

    You mentioned the 1965 Dodgers pitching staff that was primiarly Don Drysdale and of course Sandy Koufax. Drysdale hit seven home runs for the Dodgers that year. Would we be so fortunate that he happened to hit two or more between May 15 and today. No such luck, sorry. The Dodgers did go 97/65 that year and win the World Series over Minnesota. They only had a team average of .245 and 78 HRs which was dead last in the ten team league. That is where the Royals 28 total is now (15th).

    • Rob Smith says:

      Not exactly just Drysdale and Koufax, though they were the HOFers and won 49 games between them. They also had two other good starters in Claude Osteen, who had a long distinguished career with the Dodgers and Johnny Podres, towards the end of his career, but still effective. They also had an outstanding bullpen with Ron Perranoski, Jim Brewer and Bob Miller. Tough staff.

    • Wendell says:

      You are right. Didn’t want to imply they were the only pitchers, but my wording looked that way. Looking at Drysdale (23-12) and Koufax (26-8)record, they are 29 games over .500 and the team was 32 games over .500 (97-65) so they amounted to most of the wins. The rest of the pitchers only amounted to 3 other wins over 500. But that’s probably a good record if your team batting average is only .245. The pitching staff did have a combined 2.81 era.

  11. glenn says:

    I think everyone would be hugely entertained if Ned spanked at least one player. Hell, he’s doomed as a manager anyway. The least he could do is go out after paddling Mike Moustakas. “Young man, maybe next time you’ll think twice about swinging at a pitch two feet outside!”

  12. KHAZAD says:

    Royals hitting coach Jack Maloof said today “There is just no reward here (for us) to try and hit home runs. We try to stay down on the ball, be more line-drive oriented, and do more situational hitting at least through the first two or three rounds (at home) here. That’s why I’m not overly concerned because I think we’ll lead the league in fewest home runs again this year.”

    “Here’s the thing: Other teams come in here from Anaheim or wherever and they have their swing already down,” Maloof said. “This park doesn’t even enter into their minds when they hit here. They have their swings, the same swings, because it pays dividends for them at home.”

    Later he said “What we need to do with our players, like we were in April, is be better at situational hitting…In this ballpark, go ahead and hit the ball in play,You’re not going to hit a home run anyway, for the most part.”

    There you go, Joe. The lack of home runs is an organizational philosophy – at least at home, where it is so impossible to hit home runs that the Royal’s opponents have done it 32 times to KC’s 11 in 24 games. Oh, that’s right, it’s because they have their swings down, and we can’t encourage stuff like that here.

    I actually wish I was making this up, but I could never even imagine something this ridiculous.

    • Mark Daniel says:

      That’s crazy talk by Maloof. I don’t even understand what he’s talking about. “Stay down on the ball, be more line-drive oriented, and do more situational hitting”?
      What is he coaching, little league? These are professional baseball players. Shouldn’t you just let them hit, and when they stink, then try to correct their problems? I’ve never heard of an MLB hitting coach trying to micromanage all players’ swings like this. This sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

  13. GregTamblyn says:

    As a KC fan with many St. Louis friends, I now believe it’s the Curse of the Denkinger. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the Royals keep paying off that blown-call karma for at least as long as the Red Sox / Bambino curse.

    Example: Pujols leaves the Cards, and KC’s own Carlos Beltran steps up and becomes Carlos of old. The same Carlos that the Royals could have signed behind Boras’ back for only 8 million a year for 3 years, but Wal-Mart Glass said no.

    It’s the curse.

    • KHAZAD says:

      Greg-I assume you are a younger fan that wasn’t around for the 85 series. You have probably been misinformed by Cardinal’s fans as to how the inning went. Most Cardinal fans will tell you there were 2 outs when the winning run scored.

      It was a bad call, but it was the second worst call of the game. The worst one was when Frank White was called out at second in the 4th inning. He would have been safe even if it was a force play, but it was a tag play and they still called him out. It cost the Royals a run, so the game should have been tied going into the 9th.

      In the 9th the Cardinals only got one out, and it was on the runner initially called safe at first by Denkinger. (Jorge Orta, who was very slow.) So, worst case scenario, if both the bad calls went the Cardinals way AND if they were able to get Onix Concepcion at second on the play they got Orta on, (A much harder throw and a much faster runner) the Royals tie the game with two outs, a runner on third, with Willie Wilson at the plate and a pitcher who had already thrown a wild pitch (technically I think it was a passed ball) that inning.

      If they are unable to score there, worst case, it goes to extra innings against a team that had scored 1 run in the final 26 innings of the series. The series was not stolen, it was taken from a team that could not hit.

      It was a bad call that affected the series much less than whiny Cardinal fans would have you believe. The curse of the Royals is bad owner and a bad GM.

    • Vidor says:

      It’s wrong to believe in curses, of course, but as a Cardinals fan it gives me pleasure that the Royals are miserable. Granted, 20 years of misery is probably overkill, and I was kind of interested in seeing how all that young Royals talent would develop this year. Guess we found out. It’s awfully nice to have KC as an interleague “rival”.

  14. jim louis says:

    Joe, there was yet another somewhat comical “only the Royals could do this” moment last night:

    Up 1-0 in the top of the 5th, the Royals’ David Lough led off with a triple. Kottras and Getz followed with a foul out to 3rd and a pop up to shortstop. That’s not the comical part. That came a batter later when Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza stroked a single to give himself a 2 run lead. The Royals scored 3 runs in the game, but Mendoza was the only player to drive in a run with a hit. The other 2 runs scored on a sac fly and groundout.

    Icing on the cake is that former Royal Carlos Beltran hit his 2nd home run in 2 games.

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