Sports Outside the Beltway

Royals Week in Review – 4/27/03

This is the time of year when it gets difficult for Kansas City Royals fans. When the tough losses start piling up and all of the pundits are proved right for predicting another miserable year for the Kauffman Faithful. When the boys in blue have lost five one run games and the training staff still can’t get Octavio’s oblique to oblige.

When somebody puts their fandom up for auction and scathing editorials like this get posted to the internet.

Anyway, on to the big questions from the week that was.

How Bad are They?
Here is the Royals record for each of the first four weeks of the season:

4/2  – 2-4
4/9  – 1-5
4/16 – 3-3
4/23 – 1-3

The current record of 7-15 translates to a 52-110 season. Using runs scored and allowed as a measure, the team should be at 8-14, staring down a 102 loss season, which is certainly nothing to brag about.

So far, 12 games have been decided by two runs or less, with the Royals sporting a 4-8 record in those contests.

Is Anybody Doing Well?
David DeJesus leads the team in plate appearances with a cool 100 going into tonight’s game against Seattle. With a line of 315/390/517, David is giving Buddy Bell no reason to remove him from the top spot in the lineup.

Bell has quietly increased John Buck’s playing time, giving the nod to the catcher in four of the last five games. Buck leads the team in most statistical categories a month into the season.

Reggie Sanders is still playing only half of the time, despite having the second-highest on base and slugging percentages on the team. At least he’s taking it like a man.

On the pitching side of things, Gill Meche has been worth his paycheck so far and Zack Greinke came back from two poor outings to put up seven scoreless innings against the Twins last night.

Brandon Duckworth has been taken out of the rotation to solidify the bullpen, which is a lot like Britney Spears using a three dollar platinum wig to distract from her new nose job. That is, effective but still a three dollar wig.

How Bad is It?
Well, the Royals are starting to lose games in creative ways, which is always a bad sign. For example, this is the play by play with two outs in the ninth inning against the White Sox on Tuesday night:

Infield Single due to throwing error – One run scores
Wild Pitch – One run scores

The bats have finally started to come around, but the relief corps is desperately inadequate. If anybody besides Joakim Soria can step up (10 Ks per nine innings), then the bullpen may become less of a liability and losing fewer than 100 games may not be such a pipe dream.

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