The streaky Royals and recent precedents

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06/12/2013 12:14 PM

05/16/2014 8:15 AM

So here I am, thinking how crazy this Royals season has been so far. First place in early May, then a month of incompetence, and then a six-game win streak that ended last night.

Just seemed very bizarre to me, that a team could be this streaky, both ways, so with the awesome Baseball-Reference I tried to find the last team to have a stretch as bad as 4-19 and also one as good as 6-0.

Turns out that hasn’t happened, ever, in the American League since 2011. Actually, of the eight AL teams to be as bad as 4-19 in a stretch, half of them also had win streaks of six games or more.

Looking over this list, I suppose the “uniqueness” of this Royals team is that they’ve done both ends of their Jekyll-and-Hyde this early in the season. A disproportionate number of the bad streaks happen in August and September, and you’re not making a big leap in logic to assume those teams checked out.

Anyway, this kind of thing may interest only me, but I looked all this stuff up so I figured I might as well put it here. Included is each team’s Royals connection, just because.

2012 Indians: 68-94. Went 4-19 in a stretch of mostly August, longest winning streak: four. Royals connection: Johnny Damon played 64 games for them.

2011 Twins: 63-99. Went 3-20 in a stretch of mostly September, but also won eight in a row in June. That win streak pulled them to 32-39. That was actually the tail end of a stretch where they won 15 of 17. Royals connection: nobody, at least that I notice.

2011 Mariners: 67-95. Went 4-19 in a stretch of mostly August, also won six in a row. That was part of a 13-wins-in-16-games stretch that took them to 30-27, just 1 1/2 games out. That Mariners team, despite good pitching (3.90 team ERA ranked sixth in the AL), died because of craptastic hitting (dead last in hitting, on-base, slugging, and runs). Wonder what that would be like. Royals connection: catcher Miguel Olivo.

2010 Orioles: 66-96. Went 4-19 in a stretch of May and June, longest winning streak: four. Royals connection: Miguel Tejada played third base, and Jeremy Guthrie started Opening Day.

2009 Indians: 65-97. Went 3-20 in a stretch of mostly September, longest winning streak: four. Royals connection: Tony Graffanino played in seven games.

2008 Orioles: 68-93. Went 4-19 in September, and won six in a row after losing on Opening Day. Royals connection: Jeremy Guthrie was their Opening Day starter.

2008 A’s: 75-86. Went 3-20 in a stretch of July and August, and won five in a row in April. They were actually above .500 as late as July 28, until that awful stretch. Royals connection: Emil Brown AND Mike Sweeney!

2008 Royals: 75-87. Actually had two different stretches of 4-19, one in May and June, the other in August. They also managed to win seven in a row — this was in The September Of Kyle Davies, you might remember. Fun fact: Ryan Shealy hit cleanup for this team for most of the last two weeks. Coincidence or not, a Royals official essentially dog-cussed the team between the second 4-19 stretch and that “successful” September.

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