Ball Star

The yin and yang of the Royals

Updated: 2013-09-01T22:30:43Z

By PETE GRATHOFF

The Kansas City Star

I’m not trying to pile on reliever Aaron Crow, but his outing in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game felt like a microcosm of the Royals’ season.

The Royals coughed up a 2-1 lead thanks to a hit off Kelvin Herrera’s glove, a bloop single and, of course, Alcides Escobar’s error.

Still, the game was tied when Crow entered with one out and the bases loaded. He proceeded to strike out Mark DeRosa on three pitches. That’s good.

However, he proceeded to throw seven straight balls and a strike that was called a ball that forced in two runs. That’s bad.

Within a span of three batters we had reason for encouragement and disappointment.

Kind of like this Royals season, no? Getting a read on this team has been like trying to nail jello to the wall.*

*Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen it on YouTube, but you get what I’m saying.

Just when you think they’re ready to make a playoff push, the Royals slip-up. Write them off and the Royals will rip off a win streak.

To wit: The Royals have a 15-12 record against first-place teams this season: 5-2 vs. Boston, 7-6 vs. Detroit, 2-2 vs. Atlanta, 1-2 vs. Texas. That’s good.

However, they are 13-16 against last-place teams: 4-2 vs. Astros, 7-8 vs. White Sox, 1-2 vs. Marlins, 1-4 vs. Blue Jays. That’s bad.

It all reminds me a scene from The Simpsons.

Here are some other statistically oddities on the season.

• With a win today, the Royals would be 35-33 on the road. Their home record? It’s 35-33, of course.

• They have tossed nine shutouts and been shutout themselves eight times.

• The Royals have had a nine-game winning streak and an eight-game losing streak.

• Their high-water mark is eight games over .500, while the low point was being nine games under .500.

It’s all so similar, the good and the bad. But you know, this certainly is better than almost anything else we’ve seen from the Royals for last two decades or so, right?

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/pgrathoff

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