This Isn't the Royals I Remember
The Royals had one of the toughest post all-star game schedules in all of baseball. They started off in Cleveland, then went to Boston and on to Detroit before coming home and facing the Yankees. The Royals went 5-4 on the road trip and had to be feeling good about themselves, until they came home for the 4 game set with the evil empire.
The Yankee Series
Game 1 KC 2-9 NYY
Game 2 KC 4-9 NYY
Game 3 KC 1-7 NYY
Game 4 KC 7-0 NYY
The Royals ended up dropping the first 3 of the series against the Yankees, before winning the final game to avoid the sweep. I wasn't to troubled with the outcome of the Yankee series. The Bronx Bombers came into the series with a red hot offense and they just kept scoring runs. The games were also closer then the outcome. In the 3 games the Yankees won, they scored 11 runs in the 7th inning or later, which I wouldn't consider as a meltdown by the Royals as much as it shows the disparity between who Buddy calls on from the bullpen when the Royals are down as opposed to a closer game. Also throw out game 2 of the series, that was the game Scott Elarton started so that was a no-brainer loss(Elarton has since been released!!).
The Royals finished the series with a win and a shutout of that red hot offense. There were several nice things about that final game:
The Royals offense was carried by the youngins- RBI(s) from Butler, Gordon, DeJesus and Pena
Jorge De La Rosa threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings and with 5K
The bullpen combination of Greinke and Soria finished the shutout allowing 0 hits!
Even though the final win against the Yankees was nice, I was worried about the Rangers series. After being smacked around by the Yanks, I was afraid that the Royals would be feeling a bit blue and drop 2 or 3 to the Rangers....but that didn't happen.
The last several years the Royals of old would have been down on themselves and not showed up to play against the Rangers, but not these Royals. These Royals showed up and mowed down the Rangers. They swept the Rangers in convincing style not letting the discouragement of the letdown against the Yankees keep them from beating the Rangers.
That Rangers series in itself shows how different this years team is then those of the past.
The Royals are on the way up, my friends...they've had winning months in both June and July, they aren't laying down and going into long losing streaks, they cut Scott Elarton...progress!
We are witnessing the emergence of a young baseball team. The Royals are fun and entertaining to watch again and that alone makes the suffering of years past a bit easier to manage.