The Kansas City Royals have finished another week of baseball, and it was better in the first half than the last. Here are some takeaways from the club's most recent stretch.
At the beginning of every week, 'Mondays with Mark' will dive into the latest developments with the Royals. Have something you want to be discussed? Let Mark know on Twitter @MarkTheOverseer or find Inside the Royals @InsideRoyals.
The roller coaster continues
The roller coaster of a season continues for the Royals. It’s a ride that many were expecting heading into the season — not sure what to expect from the pitching. However, it’s been the hitting that has been mostly absent early in the season. A three-game winning streak turned into a four-game losing streak really quickly. It seems like it’s going to be one of those seasons for the Royals this year.
Bullpen getting tired
We aren’t even a month into the season, and the bullpen arms are getting tired. Overall, the pitchers out of the pen have been very solid this season. They had a streak of over 20 innings without a run given up going into the series against the Seattle Mariners. However, no one can expect the bullpen to remain perfect and keep the team afloat when the starting pitchers can’t go six innings and the hitting hasn’t been coming through.
Unfortunately, as the bats started to come alive in Seattle, the arms in the bullpen started to wear down and it led to getting swept by the Mariners.
Series win against the Minnesota Twins
There was a positive from this last week: the Royals won their series against the Minnesota Twins. They were shutout in the final game of the series, however, a dreadful 1-0 loss in front of one of the larger crowds of the season due to School Day at The K. It was nice to get a series win against a team in the division, but the loss in the finale of the homestand left a sour taste.
Weeping in Seattle
The Royals' first full road trip of the season did not start out the way they wanted it to. The Mariners swept the Royals in a three-game series. The opener on Friday was another result with a lack of offensive firepower. The loss on Saturday night came down to a bullpen breakdown but saw the offense light up the board for seven runs. In the finale, the Royals and Mariners went back and forth through 12 innings before the Mariners walked it off for the sweep.
The Royals decided to tinker with the lineup after a slow start offensively. Bobby Witt Jr. was moved from near the top of the order to seventh. Nicky Lopez was moved from the bottom to the top of the order. Salvador Perez saw some more time at DH this past week. Edward Olivares even got in on the action in Seattle. Things did look better offensively after manager Mike Matheny’s tinkering, so we’ll see if he continues to switch things up to keep players fresh and try to gain some offensive momentum as the road trip continues.
The Royals have an off day before heading to Chicago for a three-game set with a struggling White Sox team that has lost a major league-worst seven games in a row.