Well that sucked. So much for the winning steak, clear possession of first place, and pretty much every good vibe that had been associated with the Royals just a week ago.
There’s something about the phrase “West Coast Swing” that makes whatever happens on it seem perhaps more significant than it really is. I don’t know if it’s our cultural memory of the Joads and the Clampetts and the O’Malleys or if it’s just the fact few of us can stay awake until the end of each game and the result the following morning is a surprise. But something about heading west makes the last five games seem bigger than they probably are.
We knew the Royals likely weren’t as good as the team that won six straight. So, too, are they not the team that just went 0-fer the coast. The only saving grace is that they play in the AL Central and no one decided to go crazy while they were losing. They’re still tied for first and a game up on third place.
Still, it’s hard not to be totally bummed after the trip. The offense was downright awful, creating few scoring opportunities and failing to connect when they did get runners on. There were a couple woeful decisions on the bases. The pitching wasn’t horrible, outside of Hochevar’s debut on Monday, but it still felt like everyone but Greinke was dodging bullets and working out of jams most of the trip. The defense had a couple key gaffes. Throw in Torii Hunter’s over-the-wall treatment of Miguel Olivo’s potential tying blast on Sunday and the Royals got about as little good luck as possible. Oh, and Brian Bannister may be hurt. And they’re not really sure what’s wrong with Soria’s shoulder.
Perhaps it is best just to move on and hope returning to the K is the potion to cure the Royals’ ills.