Opinion

These are the best 26-game stretches Royals have had to finish a season

Second baseman Frank White and the Royals lost to the Yankees in the ALCS.
Second baseman Frank White and the Royals lost to the Yankees in the ALCS. ASSOCIATED PRESS

The numbers are not promising for the Royals.

There are 26 games remaining in the regular season, and the Royals have a 70-66 record. They are in third place and 9 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.

In the wild card standings, the Royals are four games behind the Tigers and Orioles, who are tied for the second spot. The Royals are behind the Yankees and Astros in those standings.

Can the Royals do this? Can they make an amazing run to the postseason? To do so, they will have to put together one of the greatest finishing kicks in franchise history.

If we use 90 wins as a bench mark for reaching the playoffs, the Royals would have to finish with a 20-6 record. Thanks to Baseball-Reference, we know that has happened just once in franchise history.

Here are the best 26-game stretches to finish a season in Royals history:

1977: 20-6 (Division champs)

Note: Two of those losses were walk-off losses, and the won the first 10 games in this stretch (it was part of an epic 16-game winning streak.

2008: 18-8 (Finished 75-87)

1978: 17-9 (Division champs)

Note: The Angels played one of the games under protest. Three of the losses were by one run.

2013: 16-10 (Finished 86-76)

Note: The Royals won their home finale on a walk-off grand slam by Justin Maxwell in the 10th inning of a 4-0 win over the Texas Rangers.

1987: 16-10 (Finished 83-79)

1984: 16-10 (Division champs)

1975: 16-10 (Finished 91-71)

2014: 15-11 (AL champions)

Note: Yordano Ventura was the winning pitcher in four of the games

2011: 15-11 (Finished 71-91)

2009: 14-12 (Finished 65-97)

1996: 14-12 (Finished 75-86)

1986: 14-12 (Finished 76-86)

1985: 14-12 (World Series champions)

1983: 14-12 (Finished 79-83)

1971: 14-12 (Finished 85-76)

That’s not encouraging, unless you believe this is the year the Royals have one of their best runs to end a season.

OK, well, how about the best 26-game stretches per season? Here you go, again from Baseball-Reference:

1977: 24-2

2014: 21-5

1991: 21-5

1980: 21-5

1989: 20-6

1978: 20-6

1973: 20-6

2016: 19-7

2013: 19-7

1995: 19-7

1994: 19-7

1976: 19-7

1985: 19-7

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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