I'd like to coin a saying right now: happiness and sadness are experienced in a normal distribution. That is to say that bouts of happiness and bouts of sadness are usually even over the long run. They may not be distributed back and forth equally (sad one day, happy the next) but I think we all experience some mix of 50/50 in our lives.
The Royals have had what already feels like a long season to me given all the ups and downs. They were under .500 by a few games, then over .500 by even more, and now are only two games above. The sadness and happiness though doesn't appear to have been distributed equally. It almost feels like unless your team is doing very well (with or without expectations) then the sadness outweighs the happiness. I'm sure we all remember Edinson Volquez's 12-run start rather than his three earned run victory.
So let me attempt to chronicle the first half in highs and lows, bests and worsts, and ebbs and flows...statistically.
Win Probability Added
July 7th: Salvador Perez vs Seattle - +0.65 WPA
This moment is probably still fresh in your mind. The Royals were down 3-0 in the eighth before getting two runs in the bottom of the inning. Enter Steve Cishek, the Mariners submarine style closer, to wrap up the victory. Cishek would yield a leadoff double to Whit Merrifield to place the tying run in scoring position, then hit Kendrys Morales to put the winning run on base (per usual - insert Jarrod Dyson to pinch run). Eric Hosmer would strike out but Perez would send an 0-1 sinker to deep centerfield, far beyond the reaches of Leonys Martin to end it.
June 14: Salvador Perez vs Cleveland - +0.59 WPA
With the Royals looking to get a game back of the Indians for first place they invited Cleveland into their house for a three game series. The night prior they squeezed out a close 2-1 win and looked to win the series the night next. Cleveland held a 2-1 lead (thanks to Josh Tomlin holding KC to one run over seven innings - I guess that's an obvious remark given the score) into the bottom of the 8th where Bryan Shaw looked to finish off the Royals (with likely Cody Allen to follow). Eric Hosmer singled with one out before Lorenzo Cain would strike out. It would seem as if the Royals would strand another hitter (they had stranded 7 total so far). Then came Salvador Perez to the plate where he quickly deposited the first pitch he saw deep into the Kansas City night.
Let's just get these out of the way...
0.65 WPA - Salvador Perez July 7th
0.59 WPA - Salvador Perez June 14th
0.46 WPA - Drew Butera May 28th
0.41 WPA - Salvador Perez April 8th
0.40 WPA - Salvador Perez April 13th
So yeah...if Perez comes up in the 8th or 9th inning with the tying run on base or at the plate...just pitch around him.
These ones aren't quite as exciting. It's hard to lose a game on one swing. There are no walk off outs where no one scores.
April 10th: Alcides Escobar - (0.20)
This was an extra innings game at home against the Twins. In the bottom of the 10th Christian Colon would coax a leadoff walk and Terrance Gore would come in to run for him. Trevor May would attempt to pick off Gore but the throw would get past Byung-Ho Park and Gore would speed to 3B. With no outs Paulo Orlando flied out too shallow to center to score Gore. Escobar would come up looking to put the ball in play deep enough bring in the run but Escobar being Escobar means he swung at damn near anything.
Gore would come home despite Escobar's lack of clutchness on a wild pitch to win.
-0.20: Alcides Escobar April 10th (Bottom 10th, 3-3 tie, runner on 3rd, 1 out, strikeout)
-0.19:Eric Hosmer July 7th (Bottom 9th, down 3-2, runners on 1&2, 0 out, strikeout)
-0.19: Jarrod Dyson May 8th (Top 7th, down 5-4, runners on 2&3, 0 out, Fielders choice/out at home)
-0.18: Mike Moustakas April 20th (Bottom 9th, down 3-2, runners on 1&2, 2 outs, strikeout; end of game)
These were spread a little more democratically.
Alcides Escobar - April 25th vs Garrett Richards
12 pitches - Walk
Alcides Escobar - May 15th vs Matt Wisler
12 pitches - Single
Whit Merrifield - June 7th vs Ubaldo Jimenez
11 pitches - Groundout
Most one-pitch plate appearances
Alcides Escobar - 60
Paulo Orlando - 47
Eric Hosmer - 40
Salvador Perez - 38
Hits in a game
Salvador Perez - May 23rd
Strikeouts in a game
Lorenzo Cain - April 8th: Four
RBI in a game
Kendrys Morales - June 18th
Lorenzo Cain - May 10th
Salvador Perez - April 19th
12: Lorenzo Cain - May 10th
9: Cheslor Cuthbert - June 11th
2HR 1 Single
PA without a hit
7: Eric Hosmer - June 29th
46: Lorenzo Cain - May 10th
34: Kendrys Morales - July 2nd
34: Kendrys Morales - June 18th
115.6 MPH: Kendrys Morales home run - June 30th
114.9 MPH: Eric Hosmer double - May 15th
113.43 MPH: Eric Hosmer single - May 30th
113.41 MPH: Eric Hosmer single - June 18th
35.9 MPH: Alcides Escobar groundout - April 13th
39.9 MPH: Jarrod Dyson single - April 23rd
40.6 MPH: Jarrod Dyson GIDP - June 2nd
Batted Ball Distance
456.3 feet - Kendrys Morales homerun - June 30th (above)
446.9 feet - Eric Hosmer homerun - May 8th
445.1 feet - Lorenzo Cain home run - May 10th
442.2 feet - Kendrys Morales home run - May 7th
Bonus - Longest distance; not a home run
411.7 feet - Alex Gordon double - July 10th
2.06 feet: Eric Hosmer groundout - May 11th
2.23 feet: Mike Moustakas groundout - May 1st
2.24 feet: Salvador Perez groundout - July 10th
Fastest ball put in play (only including one Aroldis Chapman pitch)
102.2 MPH: Cheslor Cuthbert ground out; Aroldis Chapman - May 10th
100.7 MPH: Alcides Escobar single; Trevor Rosenthal - June 27th
99.99 MPH: Alcides Escobar pop up; Bruce Rondon - June 19th
Slowest ball put in play
65.7 MPH: Alcides Escobar line out; R.A. Dickey - July 5th
68.6 MPH: Eric Hosmer ground out; Doug Fister - April 14th
68.7 MPH: Kendrys Morales line out; Hisashi Iwakuma - July 8th
Highest home run
42.31 degrees: Kendrys Morales - July 2nd
39.34 degrees: Mike Moustakas - April 14th
37.15 degrees: Salvador Perez - July 8th
Lowest launch angle
18.84 degrees: Brett Eibner - July 6th
19.08 degrees: Mike Moustakas - April 9th
19.1 degrees: Cheslor Cuthbert - June 26th
If there are any other stat related things you'd like me to look up, leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them.