Game 83 Preview: Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals

Ed Zurga

The Royals are scoring more runs. Is it the George Brett effect?

As the summer months have heated up, the Royals have scored more runs, despite Dayton's claims Kauffman is an impossible place to do offense-type activities adequately. Why are they scoring more runs?

A week into the hiring of hitting coach George Brett, the Royals went on a mini-tear, winning seven of ten ballgames and some fans immediately crowed about the positive effect George Brett had on the club, despite the fact the team was scoring fewer runs under Brett than under his predecessor. This fact led to a backlash that was picked up by mainstream media types like Sam Mellinger. And indeed, its pretty silly to think that George has any kind of "confidence" effect or leadership effect on the club that is going to have a significant, long-lasting impact.

But now its been 32 games into the George Brett Experience. How has the team fared?

W-L

RS/Game

RA/Game

Pythag

AVG

OBA

SLG

Pre-George

21-29

3.98

4.12

24-26

.261

.314

.375

Post-George

19-13

4.22

3.63

18-14

.255

.315

.385

The pitching has been much better under George, leading me to believe he has a future as the next Leo Mazzone. The runs scored is up, primarily due to a boost in slugging percentage. And that has come primarily from home runs. The Royals hit just 28 home runs in 50 games before George. Since he was hired, they have it 26 home runs in 32 games.

Whether that is due largely to just Eric Hosmer figuring things out (he has eight of his nine home runs since George was hired), or the weather warming up, or regression to the mean, or just getting Jack Maloof and his seemingly idiotic hitting philosophy out of Kansas City, we'll never fully know. But its nice to see the team putting the ball over the fence a bit more now, and its not surprising at all to see increased home run totals have led to more wins.

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