Is One Series Enough To Begin Raising Expectations For The Royals?
The Kansas City Royals are only 3 games into the season, however, they have already given fans much reason to believe things could truly be exciting in 2012.
Coming into this season, there have been a wide array of opinions on what the Royals record might be when the 2012 season comes to an end. The most optimistic of prognosticators predicted as many as 85 wins for the Royals on the high side, while some have picked them to show little to no improvement and still finish last. The first series of the season was sure to be an immediate test, heading out west to take on Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Not only were they going to have to deal with that extremely potent offensive attack, but they would have to face starting pitchers Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana in succession. So while the world was watching how Pujols would perform on his new club, the Royals took advantage of the attention and showed the baseball world that it is time to take notice.
It is hard to not look at this series and wonder what the possibilities might be for 2012. Consider that the Royals won this series despite the following events:
-LF Alex Gordon failed to record a single hit
-3B Mike Moustakas recorded just one hit
-CF Lorenzo Cain recorded just one hit
Also, despite being shut out in the first game, the Royals responded with 6 runs and 7 runs respectively in the next 2 games, giving them an average of 4.3 runs per game for the series. This happens to be just under the 4.5 runs per game they scored per game in 2011. It definitely appears this team is going to hit.
So while one cannot reasonably expect Humberto Quintero and Chris Getz to hit close to .600 for the whole season, it is safe to assume their negative correction will be more than made up for by Gordon, Moustakas, and (hopefully) Cain’s positive correction. Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler looked to be poised for huge offensive years, and Jeff Francoeur looks to be picking up right where he left off in 2011.
So back to the question: is one series enough to begin raising expectations for this team? The answer is probably no. But when you consider that the biggest question for the Royals coming into the season was the starting pitching, it is difficult to not look at this first series of 2012 as being an extremely positive sign for things to come.