FanPost

ESPN suddenly all over the Royals' jock

I mean, it's weird.

"We" are front-page, lead story of the MLB page. And then there's another 2 or so stories on the Royals.

Wtf.

And the manner in which the article is written lends itself to making us sound like some kind of dominating team.

They also seem to really be interested in helping cultivate a kind of rags-to-riches narrative.

Check it out -- some highlights from these stories --

During this stretch they have gone from 10 games back in the Wild Card standings following a loss on July 22 to 4½ games back in the Wild Card race, leapfrogging the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.

The pitching staff has allowed more than three runs just four times in 19 games. Their 2.27 ERA since July 23 is the third-best in the majors behind the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers (entering Sunday night’s game).

The bullpen, which tossed three hitless innings on Sunday, has been nearly unhittable the last three weeks. Since July 23, their ERA of 1.21 is behind only the Braves, and they have allowed only one run in 20 innings on this homestand.

Did you know?
By taking three of four games from the Red Sox, the Royals have now won seven straight series since the All-Star break.

They’ve won 18 of 23 since the All-Star Game, and they made a major statement over the weekend by taking three of four from the Boston Red Sox.

At 61-54, the Royals are 4½ games out in the wild-card race and have a 22 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to coolstandings.com.

Closer Greg Holland has converted 25 straight save opportunities and is averaging 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings, and Kansas City’s other relievers come at opponents in hard-throwing waves. Shields, Santana, Jeremy Guthrie and Kansas City’s starters go deep enough into games that the Royals bullpen has logged a mere 320 innings, the lightest workload in the majors.

First baseman Eric Hosmer ranks second to Yasiel Puig among major league hitters with 84 hits since June 1 and resembles the confident prospect who finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year balloting at age 21.

Yost takes his share of dings in Kansas City -- and occasionally invites criticism when he’s in a mood to tangle with the media -- but he and the Royals deserve credit for running the kids out there day after day until they figured things out. Major league teams have to determine if their young players are mentally strong enough to handle failure on the biggest stage, and Hosmer and Moustakas are trying to pass the same test that Alex Gordon passed on his way to becoming an All-Star at age 29.

Lo and behold, the seemingly minor trade that Moore swung at the deadline has had a positive impact; Maxwell has three homers and a .900 slugging percentage in his first eight games with Kansas City. And when you look around the field, the Royals are doing it precisely the way major league teams should. In Sunday’s game against Boston, seven of the nine players in Yost’s batting order were drafted and developed by Kansas City. The only exceptions were shortstop Alcides Escobar and second baseman Elliot Johnson, both of whom came over in trades.

Then they caught the Royals playing as well as they have all season and lost three out of four, the last of which was eked out by the Royals 4-3 on Sunday in what was as close to a statement series as they've played since George Brett still had a union card.

Nava is convinced the Royals are a playoff contender. "Of course," Nava said. "Everyone realizes with their offense and pitching it's just a matter of time before they click."

~

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/39013/royals-enjoying-rare-opportunity-to-win

http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/70219/royals-streaking-flush-with-strong-arms

http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/9559052/boston-red-sox

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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