As you surely know -- at least in some intuitive or vague sense, if you're reading this blog -- the Royals are 13-9 in June and 11-3 in interleague play. Over the past few days I've been trying to figure out just why the Royals have had so much success against the NL, beyond "the NL isn't good", but unfortunately, that's all I can come up with. (I do think that there's something about the Royals' mediocre-heavy rotation that may stack up better against the NL, but don't know where to begin or end by way of explaining it.) What is clear, whether we look at June records or the Interleague split, is that the offense is heating up, going from the worst two or three lineups in baseball to, over the last three weeks, one of the best.
Let's take a look at the June numbers:
Despite all the early talk about the AL run levels dropping below the NL, the top five offenses in June are from the American League (White Sox, Rangers, Indians, Royals and Orioles?)
As for the Royals, you'd have to cede that on the whole this isn't the profile of the 4th most prolific offense in baseball. I don't think that a Dayton Moore lineup is going to finish in the top half of the AL in OBP anytime soon, and in June the Royals are 12th in the AL in OBP. And with the BA good, but middling, it's apparent that the uptick in slugging is whats driving the blue and white train. While I can't find double-split data at the moment, even a crude glimpse at the numbers suggests that the Royals have been a smidge lucky in terms of timing their home runs and bunching together production in rallies. On the other hand, with so many players in the middle of the lineup hitting well, those things can happen, even if TPJ is still around to drag things down the next inning.
|SLG in JUNE|
Of course, Callaspo still can't seem to get regular playing time, but he's still out-slugging an all-or-nothing Alex Gordon this month (.222/.312/.420). Past that, no one is really hitting: not sometime DH Olivo (.183/.222/.333) not John Buck (.208/.311/.340) and certainly not Ross Gload (.254/.279/.339) or TPJ (.133/.188/.133).
As for tonight's game, the Royals turn to Luke Hochevar (4.86 ERA) with a sweep on the line against the Rockies. Colorado will start classic generic NL pitcher Aaron Cook (3.57 ERA).
Goodland, Kansas will be reclaimed tonight!