To fans of most teams the following statement would be sort of meaningless: with a win today, the Royals have a chance to be above .500, and the All-Star Break is in the rear-view mirror. The last time this season that the Royals were over .500 was on May 18, when their record sat at 20-19. Sunday's win marked just the fourth time they were at .500 since that date--May 19 (20-20), May 21 (21-21), and June 17 (34-34).
Not that we need to revel in the misery that is Royals fandom, but to put this into perspective here are the last dates that the Royals were both above and at .500 in each of the past ten seasons, dating back to 2003, the last season in which the Royals finished the season above .500:
|Season||Last Date Above .500||Last Date at .500|
|2013||May 18 (20-19)||July 28 (51-51)|
|2012||April 10 (3-2)||April 11 (3-3)|
|2011||May 14 (20-19)||May 20 (22-22)|
|2010||never||April 9 (2-2)|
|2009||May 21 (21-20)||May 26 (23-23)|
|2008||April 18 (9-8)||April 19 (9-9)|
|2007||April 2 (1-0)||April 6 (2-2)|
|2006||never||April 8 (2-2)|
|2005||never||April 10 (3-3)|
|2004||April 13 (4-3)||April 14 (4-4)|
Yes, that's a depressing table. In the past 10 years, the Royals have been above .500 at no points after May 21. Sunday marked the first time in the past decade that the Royals were merely an average team at any point later than May 26.
As the Royals bear down on the trade deadline a precisely .500 team, they make the roughly 430-mile trek north to Minneapolis where they will face the downtrodden Twins not knowing whether to buy or sell while holding out hope for an 84-win season, a clear justification for having traded Wil Myers who may or may not be playing in the Majors.
In their quest to be slightly above-average, the Royals will send Ervin Santana to the mound in what should be his last start as a Royal but surely won't be. While they try to stretch their current winning streak to seven games, they'll face long-time pedestrian righty Mike Pelfrey. In his career, Pelfrey has not pitched worse against any other team as he has against the Royals. Kansas City has managed a 9.72 ERA with a .395/.410/.526 slash line against. Sure, the Wichita native has only thrown 8.1 innings against the Royals, but we all know this is a very meaningful statistic. Granted, we've been conditioned to expect those numbers to mean that the Royals are about to walk through a junk-balling buzz-saw resulting in a complete game shut-out, but maybe these aren't the Royals of yore.