May wasn’t too kind to the Kansas City Royals this year, but I’m just thankful they won their last two games. Before the hot weather and cold reality of June hits us, let’s take a look at how the Royals fared this month. It probably goes without saying that the offense didn’t greatly improve, but the lack of support from the pitching staff was almost equally disappointing. KC still needs to make strides in many areas to keep their hopes at a playoff berth alive.
The Royals ranked sixth league-wide in April with a .264 team batting average, but dropped to 19th with a .246 average this month. KC sits directly in the middle of the pack in total hits and close to the bottom in runs, RBIs, hits and on-base percentage. They’re dead-last in slugging percentage and second to last in homers. Change is needed. Have I mentioned this before?
On the bright side, Lorenzo Cain is hitting .342 with 14 RBIs and 26 hits in just 21 games this May. As another grim side note, Eric Hosmer cooled down this month, batting only .246 and going deep just once in the heart of that powerless batting order.
KC’s pitching took a turn for the worse in May too. Their team ERA of 4.13 was the second-highest in MLB, as was their 36 home runs allowed. The Royals struck out fewer batters than all but six other teams in the league. Greg Holland and Wade Davis proved extremely effective as the Royals’ setup man-closer combo, combining for 22 2-3 innings pitched and one run allowed in May. So there’s that.
All in all, the Royals went 12-16 so far this month. That’s far from what they wanted, and June won’t be easy either. The Kansas City Chiefs are notorious for playing up and down to their competition, as in loafing it against the Oakland Raiders for a loss and manning up for a win against the unbeaten Green Bay Packers. Maybe that issue is simply contagious, and the Royals can summon the guts it will take to survive another month with their postseason aspirations intact. My hope for that isn’t dead, but it is already planning its sunny Florida retirement.