You gotta give these boys some credit, they have continued to fight all the way to the end of the season and played some good baseball these past few months. If not for a bad starting rotation, a terrible July and that 12 game losing streak in April they might have even been in contention down the stretch.
Instead we are relegated to trying to spoil playoff hopes of the White Sox (which we’ve done a great job taking 9 of the last 11 against them) or the Tigers with whom we have 7 of our final 13 games against. Let’s give the Royals a little bit more love before the season comes to an end.
If you look back at my article from the middle of August; Royals – Month by Month you will see how we played during the course of the year and the predictions I made for the rest of the season. I posted that article on 8/15 when the Royals record for the month of August stood at 8-5. They ended up with a 17 and 11 record (by far their best month of the season) making it 3 winning months in 2012 with September still to go. Currently we are 9-10 in the month of September with 10 left to play. Can they go 6 and 4 to notch another winning month?
Since 8/15 our overall record is 17-16. I predicted a 23-24 finish on the year as of the 8/15 post which would have us finishing at 73-89 on the year. Currently we are in a situation to finish even better than that. We have 13 left to play (7 against Detroit and 6 against Cleveland) so there is a good chance we could push for 75 wins. We currently sit at 68-81 so a strong finish of 7-6 could get us to the 75 win mark.
I don’t know about you guys but I would definitely take that finish when considering all the issues we have faced during this campaign. Our starting catcher and center fielder were out half the year, we lost one of our best young pitching prospects early (Duffy), our “best” hitting prospect (Hosmer) has been in a sophomore slump and we’ve had one of the worst rotations in all of baseball. If you can still win 75 with all that going on there is reason to hope for next year.
This is a young scrappy team full of offensive talent. Adding a couple arms and revamping the rotation could go a long way in making a push for the AL Central title in 2013. The real question is whether or not our tight ass owner will pony up the cash and make some impact acquisitions. Guthrie has been a great story the second half of the season but he isn’t the type of acquisition I’m referring too. We need to add one front-line starter and another solid arm in addition to possibly keeping Guthrie.
Speaking of the “Guthster”……what an amazing turn around since coming over from Colorado. Since being acquired in the trade of Jonathan Sanchez (a trade which GMDM hasn’t received enough credit for making) the guy has pitched 12 games totalling 78 innings. That is a very respectable 6.5 innings pitched per game. His record is 4-3 with an even 3.00 ERA, 50 SO’s to 14 BB’s, a .249 average against and a 1.10 WHIP. He has let up quite a few long balls (7) but that is going to happen when you are fly ball pitcher. Overall he has been very good and much more than anybody expected.
There are other bright spots but I’ll save all of that for my end of the season review of the Royals. Let’s focus right now on finishing strong by notching another winning month, securing a third place finish (our best finish since 2003) and making a push to win 75 games. I for one think we can do all of those things and build the confidence of this young team so they are primed and ready to go in 2013. GO ROYALS!