While many fans had high hopes for this team’s performance early on in 2022, it is way too soon to make judgments on how the rest of the season will turn out. Sure, winning our first two games followed by a five-game losing streak (including a 17-3 loss to one of 2021’s worst offenses) was a harsh reality check this early on, it is by far too soon to set any limits on any area of this team. If this were the NFL, these 8 out of 162 games so far would be equivalent to having 10 minutes left in game one of the NFL regular season. No one in their right mind would make any drastic opinions for the full year that early on.
While I don’t expect this team to make a run for the playoffs yet (78-84 was my prediction this year), there should still be plenty of fun to follow along. Below I want to point out many early-on statistics and snips through 2021 that seemed shocking at the time but never summarized the full season.
First to 74-88
Through May 1, 2021, the Kansas City Royals were 16-9 and held the best record in baseball. It was only fifteen percent into the season and the fanbase had a lot of blind hope. The team then proceeded to finish off the year 58-79 to come to the final record of 74-88. While this team in 2022 looks much worse offensively than we would have expected to start the year, we are less than five percent into the regular season. There is no reason to overreact.
Losing streaks and bad stretches
Unless you have blocked it from your memory, you may also remember those two brutal losing streaks last season. Right after that hot stretch mentioned above, the team lost eleven straight games from May 2 to May 13 and then nine straight games from June 23 to July 1 that closed out an overall stretch of 4-21 baseball starting on June 5. There are so many games within a regular season that even if this team truly does finish right around .500, it would be impossible to expect them to win every other game or to always look like everything is clicking.
Individual and team performances
It is very easy for many fans right now to be discouraged by slow starts from:
Salvador Perez (.188/.212/.406)
Carlos Santana (.077/.226/.115)
Adalberto Mondesi (.148/.207/.148)
Bobby Witt Jr. (.156/.182/.281)
Whit Merrifield (.152/.176/.152)
Kris Bubic (5 IP, 10.80 ERA, 2.600 WHIP, 4/8 SO/W)
Daniel Lynch (5 IP, 10.80 ERA, 2.000 WHIP, 3 HR)
Carlos Hernandez (4.1 IP, 8.31 ERA, 1.846 WHIP, 1/2 SO/W)
Brady Singer (3.0 IP, 12.00 ERA, 2.333 WHIP, 7.39 FIP)
Jake Brentz (2.1 IP, 15.43 ERA, 3.429 WHIP, 0-2 W-L)
And encouraged by hot starts from:
Nicky Lopez (.348/.375/.391)
Andrew Benintendi (.357/.438/.464)
Hunter Dozier (.296/.321/.481)
Brad Keller (13.0 IP, 1.38 ERA, 0.615 WHIP, 10/3 SO/W)
Zack Greinke (11.0 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.091 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9)
Scott Barlow (4.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.071 WHIP, 1.13 FIP)
Dylan Coleman (4.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, 0.81 FIP)
Collin Snider (4.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, 1.06 FIP)
But stats and surprises like this almost always level out or sometimes even completely turn around through the course of the year.
In the 2021 season…
- Nicky Lopez was batting .200 with 2 stolen bases 31 games in and looked like his bat might not make it as a big leaguer, he then finished the season batting .300 with 22 steals.
- Michael A. Taylor slashed .324/.359/.514 ten games into the year but finished overall slashing .244/.297/.356.
- Whit Merrifield made two errors in one series against the Rays early on along with far too many other fielding blunders as well for one series, but he then finished the year as a gold glove finalist.
- Carlos Santana slugged .421 in the first half with 15 home runs and then only slugged .246 with 4 Home Runs in the second half.
- Salvador Perez was 12th in the league in home runs at the All-Star break with 21 and finished off the season tied for the league lead with 48.
- Andrew Benintendi was batting .250 through 105 games, then hit .371 in his last 29 games to bring his overall average up 26 points in one month.
- The Royals team ERA in the month of June was 29th in the league at 6.00 but was 13th in the league in the month of August at 3.89.
- The Royals team batting average in the month of June was 11th in the league at .254 but was 23rd in the league in the month of July at .238.
I think you get the point here, eight games means almost nothing in either direction when looking at the grand scheme of a full season. This year will be like every other year for every other team in the history of baseball with plenty of ups and downs in all aspects. While in the moment at times it may seem that this is either the worst team in the league or the best team in the league, you can’t forget to put the season as a whole into perspective.