I come from a somewhat unique generation of Royals fans. It seems that most Royals fans who converged onto the scene in 2014 and 2015 were primarily made up of two demographics. There were the fans that had been waiting since 1985 for the Royals to return to glory and there were the fans who weren’t huge baseball fans before Kansas City started winning games.
I was neither. I grew up on the early 2000’s Royals, so my earliest baseball memories are somewhat horrific. The best baseball memory I had as a child was the 2003 season and the Opening Day walk-off in 2004. But you all know how the rest of 2004 went.
With that being said, it’s hard to remember a month of Royals baseball quite as bad as June of 2018.
Entering the 22nd day of the month, Kansas City has won all of two baseball games. They have lost 16 baseball games. During that span, the Royals have scored 38 runs, while giving up 102.
Kansas City has three more series’ and a makeup date to right the ship and make this a respectably bad month, but they will have to do so by beating four teams with a combined winning percentage of .597. Oh, and I should mention that they are a combined 1-13 against those four teams this season.
I am a lover of crazy baseball stats, both good and bad, so this poses an interesting question. Has this been the worst month of baseball in Royals history? And more importantly, will it be finished as the worst month of baseball in Royals history?
In their 50 seasons, Kansas City has finished a full month of games with five wins or less just twice. The first being in April of 1992 and eventually in August of 2004. Both of those months are pretty dubious because they both started as bad as you could possibly begin a month.
The Royals began April of ‘92 with a fairly modest seven-game losing streak, but that was also the first seven games of the season. This wasn’t the 1988 Orioles, but the panic factor has to be considered here and I think we can all be thankful that Twitter didn’t exist at this point.
August of ‘05, however, somehow managed to begin much, much worse with the Royals losing their first 15 games of the month. To make matters worse, they entered the month riding a four-game losing streak already. That 19-game losing streak is still the longest losing streak in Royals history, the longest losing streak of the wild-card era, and just two games short of the American League record.
When the dust finally settled, the Royals finished with a 3-17 (.150) record in April of ‘92 and a 5-21 (.192) record in August of ‘05. So, the title of Worst Month in Royals History is no easy title to win. That doesn’t mean that June of ‘18 isn’t trying really, really hard. Through 18 games of their respective months, these three Royals teams had identical records.
2-16. 2-16. 2-16.
The ‘92 team would finish 1-1 after their 2-16 start, logging just 20 games with it being the opening month of the season. The ‘05 team won three more games, which included taking two of three from the defending champion Red Sox.
But the Royals aren’t having arguably the worst month in franchise history on win-loss record alone. In fact, the April ‘92 and August ‘05 Royals offenses look like murderer’s row compared to this team. Through 18 games, the April ‘92 Royals had scored 48 runs and the August ‘05 Royals scored 51 runs.
The 2018 squad has scored just 38 runs.
When you broaden this comparison to every month by every MLB team since 2000, the offensive woes look even worse.
I did a search of every month every MLB team has had since the year 2000. Out of 2,970 total results, here’s where the June 2018 Royals rank.— Patrick Brennan (@paintingcorner) June 21, 2018
4th lowest wRC+
3rd lowest OPS
3rd lowest batting average
2nd lowest OBP
7th lowest SLG
3rd lowest BABIP
It’s not good.
Based on win-loss record and winning percentage, the ‘92 Royals take the cake for now, but that team had a run differential of just (heh) -41 through 18 games, while the June ‘18 Royals have logged a ridiculous -64. Please, read that again. The ‘92 team that lost 16 of 18 to start their season still managed to be 23 runs better than the Royals have been this month.
Here’s some context. The difference between the 2013 Tampa Bay Rays (92-71) and Baltimore Orioles (85-77) was only 18 runs. Run differential is funky and those numbers mean absolutely nothing, but I mean, that’s still crazy.
And they are on pace to get outscored by 92 runs this month, which would somehow be a worse run differential than the August of ‘05 team that gave up at least five runs in 16 of 26 games, including 40 runs (!!) in a three-game stretch.
The Royals entered the last game of that three-game stretch having lost ten straight games, just two losses shy of the franchise record. It looked like the streak would end, as Kansas City entered the 9th inning leading 7-2. They would leave the 9th trailing the Indians 13-7.
The 2018 Royals are on pace to have a worse month than those guys, the worst month in franchise history, in fact. And to avoid doing so, they have to manage 3 wins in 8 games against the Astros, Angels, Brewers, and Mariners. We might be witnessing history here, folks.