Friday, May 15, 2009

The Kansas City Royals HiV LOB, Week Five

When baseball season got underway, I felt like the Royals were poised to be decently strong in some areas, weak in others, pitting them as a club that would really need to take care of the small things if they wanted to be a real contender for the Central. I'm not panicking yet, but this past week showed Kansas City fans that good pitching alone will not always do the trick. Two key words in that sentence: "good" as opposed to great, and "always." In the early part of the week, the Royals were in the middle of a nice little win streak, and they had a decent combination of good pitching and good hitting. If either of those factors declines, and especially if they both do, that's when doing the little things becomes massive, the Achilles to protect if you want to win ball games. We'll have a look after the jump.

Week Five

5/4 vs. CWS: 0-3 (W); 10 hits, 10 left on
5/5 vs. CWS: 7-8 (W); 11 hits, 13 left on
5/6 vs. SEA: 1-9 (W); 17 hits, 10 left on
5/7 vs. SEA: 1-3 (W); seven hits, five left on
5/8 @ LAA: 4-10 (L); four hits, nine left on
5/9 @ LAA: 0-1 (L); five hits, five left on
5/10 @ LAA: 4-5 (L); 10 hits, eight left on

For the week: 64 hits, 31 runs scored, 60 stranded. For those first two numbers, I'd say that was alright if you're talking about a five-game we, but we are clearly not. As far as 60 runners left afloat, well that just makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Take the four home wins: Your pitching keeps you to allowing two and-a-quarter runs per contest through four games; your batting's generating almost a dozen a night. That combination makes it hard to lose games. Tony Muser would struggle to lose those games. Go on the road, though, and your pitching yields five and-a-third, while your plate appearances produce six and-a-third. That drastic shrinkage means you've got to find a way to get your seven and-a-third-stranded-per-game number down. Like way down.

Numbers for the season: 268 hits, 150 runs, 230 stranded runners. Now, you factor in walks, which we're only going to peek at at month's end, and it might be possible to have more stranded than hits, but let's not go there. For the time being, let's focus on pushing the number of runs up, which would keep the left-on number at a shrinking rate. Here's looking toward a better week six.