Let us gather for a moment and soak this unthinkable view at the top of the throne for a sec. Got it? OK that was fun. The Kansas City Royals just completed their shellacking of the Detroit Tigers' 2 ace members on their novelized staff thoroughly. Monday Night it was Justin Verlander and tonight Max Scherzer. Who has recently downright torched and skinned the Royals every start. But not this go around. By getting him off his game early and often, not only was was the theme so far this series but has been the the overall script in the masking of KC's current 9 game win streak. (4th most consecutive wins in franchise history, if KC gets 10 in a row it would be a feat that hasn't been accomplished since 1994)
More to it the hitting has completely turned around and has averaged 6 runs per game during the winning streak. Only a true believer would've pointed towards how Dale Sveum was the reason KC has been tearing the cover off the ball. Assumptions can be provoked but look at these stats to reveal why the sudden resurgence from the offense has been part of the climb. Last 9 games the Royals batting avg with runners in scorers position jolted to a ridiculous .462. Not only the averages as a team in certain categories skyrocketed but the entire batting order boosted also. Alcides Escobar is currently batting .412; yes the snail on the base path Billy Butler .406 (overall has grown to .272). Salvy has become Mr. Consistent landing him at exactly .400; Omar Infante and progressively improving Moustakas are batting .314. What's even more bewildering is not just the 67 runs batted in through 9 games but the 12 Home Runs hit during the span. Which in total makes up 32% of the home runs hit all of this season so far.
The starting pitching saved the Royals from sinking ship before the win streak, by keeping above float in tight ball games. Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy are 2 top young arms in baseball, James Shields and Vargas gradual move forward. We all know the bullpen has become lock down. And also the stellar defense has flashed some leather from time to time.
It was only a matter if time that the Royals as unit started to fully function as a well oiled machine. At last the Royals took it to the past division leaders who have become a thorn in the franchises side for many years. Like Ned Yost says "You can't make the postseason until you CAN beat the teams who are in the postseason". After May passed most of us thought that 2 months in the "plan" or "goals" have vanished like every dashed glimmer of hope this franchise has endured the last 25 years. Once the low lights hit that revealed the 2014 Royals couldn't even compete with the Houston Astros was when the seat under Ned Yost and the franchise crumbled, leaving a under-deserved panic. Before prepping for the Toronto series, Yost held a team press conference, in doing so he tried to embellish every negative aspect of the game aside to focus on the main objective to save the season and keep moving forward. The attmept turned out to be rewarding, giving Moustakas his second wind from his 1 week stint in Omaha.
The season is just 2 1/2 months old after all, with nearly 90 games left to play leaves anything on the table. The last time Kansas City sat on top of the Divisional standings this late in June was way back in 1980 when KC made it all the way to October's greatest nirvana. Enjoy the scenery at the top, their is still more work to done, much more.