"there’s no reason this team can’t go on a run where you win 15 of 20" - Dayton Moore, as quoted in the KC Star, July 18th, 2013
And there's no reason why I can't date Kate Upton tomorrow night.
For a fuller appreciation of the feat of 15-5, I went to Baseball-Reference streak finder, and it spit out all of the times where the Royals were 15-5 over 20 games (which includes a lot of overlapping games, duh). So here's a list of all the times where the Royals went 15-5 over 20 games, overlapping streaks will be listed as one entry, thus some entries will go over more than 20 games.
This is not an opinion article about the long odds of a 15-5 run with this team. This is more in remembrance of the teams that were good enough to go 15-5.
May 15th to June 20th, 1971 (Games 35 to 62). Seven streaks of 15-5 over a 28 game span. The young Royals, which had lost 97 games in 1970, were 16-18 and 7 games out of first through 34 games. The team went on a 19-9 run, leaving them at 35-27 and 7 games out of first place on June 20th. The offense was led by Amos Otis, who posted a 321/369/598 line with 6 HRs in 122 PA over those 28 games. Paul Splittorff made his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th career starts during this string of games. The hitting posted a 260/338/390 line and scored 130 runs. The pitching yielded an ERA of 2.92 and allowed 96 runs. The 1971 Royals finished 85-76 and never seriously contended with the Oakland Athletics down the stretch.
July 13th to August 16th, 1973 (Games 93 to 122). 11 streaks of 15-5 or better over a 30 game span. The Royals were back and in technicolor in 1973 behind first year manager Jack McKeon. The Royals were 49-43 and 2 1/2 out of first after 92 games. Then they went 21-9 over 30 games. After those 30 games, they were 70-52 and tied for first place. Amos Otis hit 353/414/595 with 7 HR in 128 PA over this string of games. John Mayberry posted a 261/414/413 run with 24 walks in those 30 games. The offense posted a 272/348/413 line scoring 137 runs (4.57 a game). The pitching posted a 3.99 ERA but gave up 136 runs. So in a period of 30 games, the Royals went 21-9 with a run differential of 1. Their pitching gave up 10 or more runs four times in those 30 games. So in wins, the Royals scored 106 and gave up 73. In losses, the Royals scored 31 and gave up 63. Yeppp. The 1973 Royals led the AL West as late as August 15th, but closed on a 18-22 run to finish 88-74 and in 2nd place.
May 11th to June 4th, 1975 (Games 30 to 51). 3 streaks of 15-5 over a 22 game span. The Royals, fresh off a 77-85 season in 1974, started 14-15 going into game 30. Over these 22 games, they went 16-6 (rising to 30-21). The Royals were a half-game out of first after this run (they were in First for one day near the end of the run). The hitting posted a 269/347/385 line with 107 runs scored. Hal McRae led the offense by going on a 329/389/415 run with 27 hits in 82 at-bats. The pitching yielded a 3.17 ERA with 73 runs allowed. Steve Busby had 2 complete game shutouts in the first 5 games of this streak.
July 20th to August 12th, 1975 (Games 92 to 116). 6 streaks of 15-5 over 24 games. At the beginning of this run, the Royals were 47-45, 11 out of first, and managed by Jack McKeon. At the end of this run, the Royals were 65-51, 5.5 out of first, and managed by Whitey Herzog. The Royals fired McKeon after game 96 and brought Herzog aboard for what turned into a 4 1/2 season run. Over this 18-6 run, the hitting posted a 271/351/435 line with 118 runs scored. John Mayberry had a 407/519/802 line with 8 home runs, 10 doubles, 28 RBI and 20 walks in 109 PA. The pitching yielded a 2.77 ERA with 77 runs allowed. Paul Splittorff returned to the starting rotation on July 29th and allowed 2 earned runs over 27 innings during this run. The 1975 Royals got to 4 1/2 back of first on September 5th, but closed on a 12-10 run to finish 91-71, 7 back of first. Don't worry, it gets better.
April 22nd to May 26th, 1976 (Games 9 to 35). 8 streaks of 15-5 or better over 27 games. The 1976 season started slowly due to weather (they played their first game on April 9th and the 2nd on April 13th). The Royals started 3-5, then went on a 20-7 run over 27 games. The offense hit 312/365/450 over these 27 games and scored 166 runs. George Brett hit 348/403/482 over these 27 games. Amos Otis hit 351/390/649 with 8 HR in 124 PA. The pitching yielded an ERA of 3.12 with 96 runs allowed. The Royals stood 23-12 after 35. But the fun wasn't over yet.
May 28th, 1976 to June 19th, 1976 (Games 38 to 60). 3 streaks of 15-5 over 23 games. The Royals were 23-14. Then they went 16-7 over these games. The offense hit 278/338/394 and scored 116 runs. George Brett hit 344/371/468 over these games. The pitching had a 2.62 ERA with 75 runs allowed. By game 60, the Royals are 39-21 and up 5 games. The Royals built a lead that extended to 12 games on August 6th. They held off an advancing Oakland team to win the West by 2 1/2 games with a record of 90-72.
June 17th to July 29th, 1977 (Games 60 to 96). 13 streaks of 15-5 or better over 37 games. The 1977 Royals, coming off of their agonizing playoff loss, actually started their season with a 28-31 record. Then they ignited. Over 37 games, the Royals won 27 times. The hitting? 287/346/454 and 192 runs scored. George Brett hit 319/359/511 over this time. The pitching posted a 3.18 ERA with 138 runs allowed. The Royals were 55-41 and 4 1/2 out of first place.
August 15th to September 30th, 1977 (Games 114 to 160). 28 streaks of 15-5 or better over 47 games. This was easily the greatest streak of baseball ever in Royals history. The Royals stood 64-49 and 1 1/2 out of first going into August 15th. Over the next 47 games, the Royals won 37 times. This includes one span where the Royals won 24 of 25 games in September. The hitting produced a line of 284/350/444 and scored 249 runs. Al Cowens' hitting line? 342/410/589 with 7 doubles/7 triples/6 homers in 178 PA. Hal McRae's hitting line? 326/399/554 with 19 doubles in 198 PA. George Brett's hitting line? 331/392/580 with 10 doubles and 7 HRs in 177 PA. The pitching posted an ERA of 2.77 and allowed 153 runs. Dennis Leonard yielded an ERA of 2.22 over 11 starts/89 innings, netting 8 wins in a 20 win season. Paul Splittorff had an ERA of 2.50 over 11 starts/72 innings, netting 6 wins. To say the Royals rolls the AL West in the last 47 is an understatement, they won the Central by 8 games despite only being alone in first place for the final 44 games. 1977 was the only 100 win Royals season.
July 1st to August 1st (Games 75 to 103). 10 streaks of 15-5 or better over 29 games. The Royals team that went to the playoffs in 1976 and 1977 was 38-36 through 74 games. Then over 29 games, they went 20-9. The hitters went 280/339/397 and scored 149 runs. The Royals best hitter over this time was Royals legend Pete LaCock, who posted a 368/375/563 line with 4 HRs in 98 PA. LaCock also knocked in 20 runs (42% of his 1978 RBI total) in 21 starts as the Royals 3 hitter. Who hit leadoff for the Royals in July 1978? George Brett. Who hit 2nd for the Royals in July 1978? Hal McRae (Yes Ned, you can bat your two best hitters 1-2 in Major League Baseball, it is allowed). So when Pete LaCock has the month of his career, he will knock in Brett and McRae a lot. The pitching posted a 2.99 ERA with 99 runs allowed. Rookie Rich Gale posted a 1.71 ERA in 7 starts, Larry Gura posted a 1.97 ERA alternating between the rotation (4 starts) and bullpen (2 relief appearances). The Royals were now 58-45 and up 4 games in the West.
August 30th to September 22nd (Games 131 to 153). 3 streaks of 15-5 over 23 games. Since we left the 1978 Royals, their lead dropped to 1 1/2 and their record is now 70-60. So they went on another run and won 17 of 23. The offense had a line of 290/348/445. Amos Otis hit 440/520/774, 37 for 84, 6 doubles and 6 home runs in 101 PA. The pitching yielded an ERA of 3.36 with 85 runs allowed. Dennis Leonard posted a 2.98 ERA and Larry Gura posted a 3.13 ERA over these games. By the end of this streak, the Royals were 87-67 and 5 up in the AL West. They finished 92-70 and went to the ALCS again. Over a period from 1975 to 1978, the Royals posted 8 unique 15-5 runs. That's what having great players do.
May 17th to June 13th, 1980 (Games 32 to 57). 7 streaks of 15-5 over 26 games. The Royals started on their usual pace, 16-15 through 31 games. Then over the next month, they went 20-6 to take a 6 1/2 game lead in the Central. The offense posted a 289/355/411 line with 146 runs scored. George Brett hit 378/430/663 over this period of time but he was injured in game 54. Darrell Porter posted a 333/446/429 line in his first month back from drug rehab. Clint Hurdle posted a 345/412/621 line with 5 doubles/3 homers in 69 PA. The pitching posted a 3.10 ERA with 93 runs allowed. Rich Gale and Larry Gura stood out again over this period of time.
July 13th to September 1st, 1980 (Games 84 to 132). 25 streaks of 15-5 or better over 49 games. This streak has some loose ends, as there's a 15-5 streak from game 84 to 103, 15-5 streaks from game 89-108 to game 92-111, and then a longer streak from game 94 to game 132. All of these streaks overlap, so be it. The Royals were 49-34 and up 9 1/2 going into July 13th. Then over the next 49, they went 36-13. The hitting posted a line of 314/375/453 and scored 295 runs. George Brett hit 449/504/697 (89 hits in 198 at-bats, 14 doubles/9 homers). Hal McRae hit 376/417/612 with 17 doubles/6 homers/40 RBI in 180 PA. Willie Wilson hit 347/384/446 with 70 hits in 202 at-bats. For those not up on their math, 295 runs in 49 games is 6 runs a game. Which can happen if the team OBP is .375 for a 49 game period. The pitching posted a 3.66 ERA and allowed 194 runs. The Royals stood 85-47 with a 19 1/2 game lead in the West after this streak ended. They went to the World Series too!
July 19th to August 7th, 1984 (Games 92 to 111). 1 streak of 15-5 over 20 games. The 1984 Royals are a great hope team for teams that are below .500 early. The 1984 team started slowly. George Brett didn't even play until Game 34, and the team was 13-20 when he arrived. The Royals were 40-51 going into July 19th, 3 games worse than the 2013 team through 91 games. Then the 1984 team did the old custom of the 1970s teams and went on a July/August run. The offense went on a 319/366/450 run and scored 115 runs (5.75 a game). The hitting all-stars were Don Slaught (who posted a 413/448/556 line with 5 doubles/2 triples in 68 PA) and Onix Concepcion (456/480/500, 31 for 68 with 29 singles). The pitching posted a 3.55 ERA and allowed 81 runs. The Royals were 55-56 and 3 1/2 out of first at the end of this run. They wound up finishing first in the AL West with a record of 84-78. Three teams have been 43-49 or worse after 92 and made the playoffs: The 1973 Mets, the 1974 Pirates and the 1984 Royals. All three teams had recent World Series experience.
July 19th to August 13th, 1985 (Games 88 to 110). 2 streaks of 15-5 over 23 games. The 1985 Royals are the second great hope for all teams that start badly. The 1985 Royals were 44-43 going into their 88th game. They walked 15 miles through the snow barefoot both ways. Over these 23 games, they went from 44-43 and 4th place to 61-49 and 2 games out of first. The offense posted a 289/349/462 line with 125 runs scored. George Brett posted a 361/450/614 with 7 doubles and 4 homers in 100 PA. The pitching yielded an ERA of 3.54 with 90 runs allowed. So after this streak ended, a bunch of things happened that you remember.
April 26th to May 26th, 1987 (Games 17 to 42). 5 streaks of 15-5 over 26 games. A lot happened between 1985 and 1987. The 1987 Royals started 7-9. They decided to go on an atypical (for the 70s/80s Royals) early season run and they won 19 of 26. The offense hit 268/327/416 and scored 116 runs over these games. Danny Tartabull hit 361/413/578 with 6 HR in 92 PA over this time. The pitching allowed a 2.47 ERA and 77 runs. Charlie Leibrandt led the staff over this period of time. The 1987 Royals dropped out of first in June, fired Billy Gardner, hired John Wathan and finished 83-79 and 2 back of first. But despite what that might imply, they were 7 out of first with 5 left. So it wasn't as close as you'd think.
May 25th to June 18th, 1988 (Games 45 to 67). 4 streaks of 15-5 or better over 23 games. The 1988 team started in typical fashion: 20-24 and 10 out of first. Then they went on a 16-7 run to be 36-31, and 6 1/2 games out of first. The offense hit 284/339/415 (scoring 106 runs) with a 333/426/568 line from George Brett (10 doubles in 94 PA). The pitching posted a 2.50 ERA with 66 runs allowed. Mark Gubicza's ERA was 1.76 in 5 starts over this period of time. The 1988 Royals finished 84-77 without making a serious run at the division
August 3rd to September 5th, 1989 (Games 107 to 138). 12 streaks of 15-5 or better over 32 games. The 1989 team was the last Royals team to have a great full season. They were 58-48 and 6 1/2 games back going into August 3rd. Their run of 22 wins in 32 games elevated them to 80-58 and 3 1/2 games back. The offense had a 277/350/410 line with 150 runs scored. Jim Eisenreich posted a 359/394/563 line with 10 doubles in 111 PA. The pitching posted a 3.06 ERA with 112 runs allowed. So the 1989 Royals got to 3 back on September 13th, and closed on a 7-10 run, finishing 2nd and 7 games behind Oakland.
August 4th to August 24th, 1990 (Games 106 to 125). 1 streak of 15-5 in 20 games. Much like George Brett's season, the 1990 Royals weren't very good for the first 4 months of the season, posting a 48-57 record going into this streak. The hitting posted a 287/348/408 line with 103 runs scored. George Brett hit 397/448/641 with 6 doubles in 87 PA. The pitching posted a 2.68 ERA and 64 runs given up. The 1990 Royals finished 75-86.
July 14th to August 17th, 1991 (Games 84 to 115). 12 streaks of 15-5 or better in 32 games. The 1991 Royals were "fire your manager and hire Hal McRae" slow to start off their season. They were 37-46 and 11 1/2 back going into this streak. The streak of 24 wins in 32 games carried them to 61-54 and 7 1/2 back. The offense hit 286/350/421 and scored 158 runs. The star hitter was Danny Tartabull who hit 394/505/718 with 9 doubles and 4 homers in 91 PA. The pitching posted a 2.75 ERA with 113 runs given up. The Royals fell back to earth and finished 82-80.
May 13th to June 7th, 1993 (Games 32 to 55). 2 streaks of 15-5 in 24 games. Several weeks after not hitting Brett for Miller, the 1993 Royals hit a hot patch. They surged from 13-18 to 31-24. The offense hit 275/326/413 with 114 runs scored. The hitting superstars were, of course, Wally Joyner and Mike Macfarlane. Joyner hit 393/460/652 with 8 doubles/5 HR in 101 PA. Macfarlane hit 278/376/597 with 6 HR in 85 PA. The pitching posted a 3.58 ERA with 96 runs given up. The 1993 Royals flirted with relevance but wound up at 84-78 and 10 games back.
July 14th to August 10th, 1994 (Games 88 to 115). 8 streaks of 15-5 or better in 28 games. The 1994 Royals soared out of the all-star break. They were 45-42 at the break. They went on a 19-9 run. The offense hit 282/344/424 with 125 runs scored. Bob Hamelin hit 316/441/653 with 8 home runs in 118 PA. The pitching posted a 4.16 ERA with 125 runs given up. So the Royals went 19-9 with a run differential of 0. Then the strike happened and I didn't pay day-to-day attention to the Royals for 9 years. Sometimes it's like Baseball's overlords want people to watch football instead.
May 22nd to June 17th, 1995 (Games 23 to 46). 5 streaks of 15-5 or better in 24 games. You may not have noticed at the time, but the 1995 Royals were not completely putrid. The 1995 team started 9-13, then went on a 18-6 run to rise to 27-18. The offense hit 281/357/434 with 128 runs scored. Gary Gaetti hit 286/347/626 with 9 home runs in 101 PA. The pitching contributed a 3.36 ERA and 81 runs given up. The 1995 Royals made it to 68-63, then lost 11 of 13 to close at 70-74.
And presenting the last time that the Royals went on a 15-5 run!
March 31st to April 27th, 2003 (Games 1 thru 22). 3 streaks of 15-5 or better in 22 games. The 2003 Royals started 17-5. The hitting posted a 282/352/461 line with 119 runs scored. The offense was fueled by Joe Randa (324/395/634, 5 HR in 84 PA), Raul Ibanez (333/394/548, 4 HR in 94 PA), Mike Sweeney (273/407/545, 5 HR in 86 PA), and Brent Mayne (345/400/603, 4 HR in 66 PA). The pitching posted a 3.48 ERA and 83 runs given up. We know how this show ended.
So, can the 2013 Royals join the club?
Long answer: No.
Just look at the names and numbers involved, and realize that this team hasn't even won 14 of 20 since 2008. It's not gonna happen with at least 1/3rd of the lineup being made up of auto-outs (Getz, Moustakas, Alcides).
The entire thing is a new part of the Dayton Moore ruse to get a contract extension out of his bosses.
So now you know the history. Fire Dayton Moore (a message for any occasion).