When a team is swept four straight on their home field and falls to 3-13, it can seem Pollyannish to look for positive things to build on. But even though the 2012 baseball season is in danger of getting away from the Kansas City Royals, they did have a number of good things pop up over the last four days, even as the Toronto Blue Jays won each time out…
*Alex Gordon, who showed flashes of life in the Detroit series, slowly gained a little more steam against Toronto, going 4-for-16, with a three walks, a double and a home run.
*Eric Hosmer, in a terrible slump to start the season, broke out of it by hitting in all four games, going 5-for-16 and blasting two home runs.
*Jeff Franceour didn’t tear it up, but with a 4-for-15 series, he at least started to be involved in the offense.
*And no one swung the bat better than rookie third baseman Mike Moustakas, who collected six hits and three walks in the four games against Toronto pitching. Z
*Bruce Chen delivered another strong start, going seven innings and giving up three runs on Monday, lowering his ERA to 2.52.
That’s the good news. Of course a team doesn’t lose four straight without doing an awful lot wrong. Billy Butler, who’d swung the bat so well coming into this series, suddenly went ice cold, failing to get a hit. If the bullpen would have pitched as well against Toronto as they did against Detroit, the Royals might have got a split. And Danny Duffy let the fifth inning of Sunday’s 5-3 loss get away from him, giving up four runs. It was his only bad inning, but a part of Duffy’s maturation process will be figuring out how to take this bad innings and limit them just enough so he can stay in the game and ultimately get a win.
Kansas City now goes on the road to Cleveland for a three-game series beginning tonight.