Throughout the post-Bell-Hire-Hot-Streak, we heard alot about how the team was playing harder, playing smarter and playing better. The team had won 15 games through 50, then turned around and went 12-6 under Buddy; and even Jayson Stark chimed in with a laudatory story about how unusual that was.
Well, whats going on now? Do the Royals players have the attention-span of 12 year olds at the Mall, capable of focusing for a few weeks with the new guy around, but quickly losing interest after awhile? In my opinion, what fuelled the hot-sreak was good old-fashioned luck. As has been true all year, the Royals don't do two key things offensively: they don't get on, and they don't hot for power. Other than that, they're decent. On the season, the team's team batting line is: .261(21st)/.319(28th)/.399(27th), so clearly, its going to be hard for them to consistently score enough to win. Last night is a perfect example, as the Royals hit 6 singles, drew one walk, and called it a night offensively. Frankly, its amazing that they scored at all.
The sad thing is that, like all bad teams, when the hitting is bad, the team pitches well, and vice-versa. Runelvys and Wood scuffled wonderfully last night, somehow only allowing 4 runs despite walking 9 guys. Runelvys melted down in the 2nd inning, issuing three straight walks after two singles, but he rebounded and gave the Royals a chance to win. Run's averaging an impressive 6.1IP per start this season, despite a pedestrian K-rate (5.40) thats 14th on a bad team filled with guys who can't get Ks. Run's also having problems with the walks (as evidenced last night), as his 4.12 per 9/IP is a recipe for occasional disaster. Still, not giving up homers will do alot for you, and its clearly helped Run in the same way that its hurt Lima Time and Brian Anderson.
The Rockies go for the sweep tonight, which would leave them with 25 wins on the year, exactly tied with our Royals. Big big game tonight in Denver.