The Kansas City Star
The Royals are rotten right now, no other way to put it, and — with about one-sixth of the season gone — comfortably on pace for the most disappointing season in a recent franchise history stocked mostly of nothing else.
Last night’s not-as-close-as-the-score-would-indicate 9-3 loss to Detroit set some of you^ off and, finally, there is nothing much the Royals can say in return.
^ I like Soren, so I think he’ll take this the right way, but my favorite part of that mini-rant is that he squeezed in a product plug.
Nobody expected a division championship this year, but nobody can excuse a talented team a patient fan base has waited for six years playing like dogs, either, and this all comes up today because a pretty good symbol of the team-wide suck will be on full display starting at 12:05 in Detroit.
Jonathan Sanchez was the centerpiece acquisition this offseason, the Royals making room for Lorenzo Cain in centerfield by trading Melky Cabrera to the Giants.
So far, Sanchez has been one of baseball’s worst starting pitchers^: a 6.75 ERA, 18 hits and 17 walks (!) in 17 1/3 innings over four starts. He’s giving up a .416 on-base percentage.
^ Not to single out Sanchez, because two of his teammates are at least in the discussion of the worst starting pitchers over baseball’s first month. Luke Hochevar has a 7.36 ERA, and Luis Mendoza is giving up MVP-type hitting numbers: the league is hitting .364 with .443 on-base and .494 slugging percentages.
As has been discussed a few other places, his fastball velocity is down a bit, and Sanchez has just never been the kind of pitcher — even when he’s at his best — with enough control to make up for that.
We talked about this last week, but the Royals are losing much more than just games here. This is one of the worst moments in recent franchise history for them to be this bad, because the more fans they lose the harder their future becomes in a time when the Royals rely on ticket and merchandise sales more than most teams.
Today, the Royals face Justin Verlander. Tomorrow, the Yankees’ lineup. On Friday, it’s the Yankees lineup backed up by CC Sabathia.
The Royals have more talent than they’ve shown. They’re a better team than they’ve played. But it’s getting awfully tiresome writing that and hearing that.
This is setting up for an all-time stink of a summer.