The sweep of the Detroit Tigers Thursday sealed up a winning month of August for the Kansas City Royals. August for the Royals, though not finished, currently sees the team having a record of 17-11.
The Royals were able to keep the Tigers bats in the dugout for the most part of the series surrendering only one run in the final two games of the three game series. A series that started with big hits in key situations and ended with stellar pitching. The Royals were able to show the Tigers what they may be seeing in the future with a team that when runs are needed they will score them and when pitching and defense are the key to the game they step up. The Royals are not only learning how to win but they are beginning to win the games that are needed to win to take home a pennant in the future.
Not only did the Royals sweep the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium, in three consecutive one run ballgames, but they did it in a series that they had to face pitching genius, Justin Verlander. The Royals put up eight runs in just five and two-thirds innings on Verlander who saw the low side of the 6th inning for only the second time in over a year and a half. The Royals were able to get past Verlander behind three multi-hit, multi-RBI games from Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, and Mike Moustakas. Luis Mendoza, the starting pitcher for the Royals, gave up six runs in only five innings of work yet out pitched Verlander on a night that Verlander has never been as bad as he was against the boys from Kansas City.
Both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games were a different stories for both teams with a total of four runs being scored in those 18 innings. The starting pitching of both Bruce Chen and Jeremy Guthrie not only kept the Royals in the game but shut down an offense that not only can score runs but can score them in bunches in a hurry. Chen throwing a scoreless eight innings and Guthrie conceding one run over seven and a third innings. Greg Holland got the save in the first two games of the series while Kelvin Herrera earned the save Thursday night, the first of his career. The offenses were tamed throughout the two games for the most part with a lot of hits that just were not producing and runs. The biggest thing that stands out is the fact that the Tigers big boppers on the hot corners were not allowed to hurt the Royals. That seems to be the key to beating the Tigers. If you can keep both Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera from hurting you than the game is within reach.
The team from Kauffman is doing exactly what it seems that they do every year. The excite in August and September. The problem with Royals teams of the past is the success they were able to bring to the clubhouse late in the season did not translate into being able to win in the beginning of the next season. This teams needs to start like they are seemingly finishing again this season. They cannot have the 12 game losing streak and a long hangover from the All-Star break in seasons of the future if they want to be playing past 162 games. The old adage is that they team that is able to win in the postseason is the team that is not the best but that is the hottest. Well the Royals have shown that late in the season they can get hot but they need to do it earlier. This city is dying for a winner. But until the team has a full season of games that they have shown in spurts that they can have the city will not have a winner. Fans of the Kansas City Royals may agree with the late owner, Al Davis, of the rival of the other team that plays at Truman Sports Complex when he used to say, “Just win baby, win.”