Sunday, June 21, 2009

Worst. Five Game Stretch. Ever.

It just keeps getting darker.

Maybe Disgruntled Reds Fan Caller was right. After bashing Cincinnati in three straight, and after Gil Meche threw a brilliant shutout (along with 132 pitches in sultry conditions) against Arizona on Tuesday night, the Royals looked like they were once again using NL competition as a springboard that would rebound their record towards .500.

Then they lost, 12-5, on Wednesday. Then again, 12-5, on Thursday. Then 10-5 on Friday; 7-1 on Saturday; and 12-5 yet again today.

The standard nomenclature in baseball deems a “blowout” to be a game decided by five runs or more. By that standard, the Royals have been blown out in five consecutive games.

These being the Royals, of course, you’d expect that this has happened to them before in the recent past. You would be wrong. The Royals had never lost five consecutive games by five or more runs. Hell, the Kansas City Athletics never did so.

The Royals are just the ninth team in the Retrosheet era – since 1954 – to lose five consecutive blowouts. With many thanks, as always, to the great Bil Burke at Baseball Prospectus, here’s the Hall of Shame:

Year Tm Dates Scores

1956 WAS 6/12-17 3-9, 4-13, 2-7, 0-7, 2-20

1957 WAS 5/02-06 1-6, 6-11, 2-8, 2-7, 2-8

1981 CHN 5/13-19* 3-8, 1-6, 0-5, 1-6, 1-6, 0-5

1983 STL 6/24-28 2-8, 3-10, 0-5, 1-6, 1-10

1994 FLA 6/18-24 3-11, 1-6, 2-7, 3-9, 0-9

1996 DET 5/16-21 3-8, 6-11, 4-16, 3-14, 1-7

2000 DET 4/18-24* 0-7, 0-10, 2-7, 6-14, 4-9, 4-10

2002 FLA 7/13–17 2-9, 3-10, 3-8, 5-10, 0-10

2009 KC 6/17–21 5-12, 5-12, 5-10, 1-7, 5-12

*: 6-game streak

Amazingly, three of these teams – the 1983 Cardinals, the 2000 Tigers, and 2002 Marlins – all finished the year a respectable 79-83. Then again, the 1996 Tigers lost 109 games, and the 1981 Cubs went 38-65 in the strike-shortened year (they started the year 5-27.) The Senators were 59-95 and 55-99 in 1956-57. I think it’s a nice touch that two teams on this list (the 1956 Senators and 1996 Tigers) played an extra-inning game during their streak. Think about it.

And just one other team – the 1983 Cardinals – managed to lose five consecutive blowouts while playing all five games at home. The Royals won’t get the chance to make it six straight at home, but they do have a chance to tie the overall record with six straight blowout losses on Tuesday in Houston.

Way to go, boys. In six weeks, you’ve gone from leading the division by three games to plumbing depths of incompetence that none of your famous forebears ever managed to reach. If this is progress, I’m the King of England.


Mark LaFlamme said...

Wow. I knew it was punch-your-TV bad, but I didn't know we were making history. Forget the definition of blowout, in these five games it was something you could feel, a genuine sense of trauma. With the exception of the first two innings Sunday, each of these games felt like abuse from the start. No offense, defense or pitching. They looked like timid children out there and every opposing batter was a bully on the playground. At this point, its tough to decide if its infuriating or just downright sad.

GTripp said...

What's most impressive, is that the offense has actually been BETTER, much better, over this historic five game slide than it was over the previous four game win streak.

I don't know if baseball history will ever have a worse five game stretch on defense, and the starting pitching has been uncharacteristically atrocious.

G said...

just wow. it's painful. I, like most everyone else here, have been a fan of these flame outs for years, but this is not even funny. I think to myself, "how does this continue to happen?"
I'm tired of the answer being: It's the Royals.

Blow the whole damn thing up. Again. And Again, until it gets right. If only it were that easy

Casper said...

I just don't even know where to begin. What the hell has happened here? This team has basically just flat out quit. I don't see how it's anything else. Just completely mailing it in. There's no fire. There's no pride. It's disgusting to watch. No, seriously - it offensive to take in. As a fan it's pretty g-damned difficult to support a team that can't match the fire of it's fan base, even if just in their level of effort. And let's be real, here - our fan base is pretty damned fickle to begin with. There's only a few of us die-hards left. And I'm getting so sick of this sh!t that I may make that number even smaller and just give up. 19 years of watching us fumble it and f*ck it up. I excused it because I was a fan, because I loved the team. I "knew" that something better would be rewarded to us for sticking it out. But 2 winning seasons in 19 years...and we just keep getting worse. Screw this, I'm going drinking...

tookee said...

This is completely unacceptable and I find it amazing that DM has not pushed a destruct button on this team. It must take amazing restraint. The Cardinals are simply not as invincible as those scores reflect (though Pujols certainly is). HOnestly, a change via trade/release/demotion, etc. is the only thing short of firing Hillman that will alter the spiral of this year's team (did wonders for the Rockies). I don't really advocate a change for change sake, but I can't imagine even drawing names out of a hat and exiling players/coaches/manager to Siberia would be any worse than the strategies of the last six weeks to make the club play better. It's agonizing at this point to have come so close to seeing a great team only to have it wind up being a dud.

rey rey said...

Rany, take at a look at this JoPo article from last year. It's as relevant now as it was then.

AxDxMx said...

One thing I do like about the Royals is that, as fans, we do get to see more than our fair share of historical accomplishments. Too bad Greinke was the only good one this year, and even he flamed out. Now he's merely human.

Dan Holden said...

It is hopeless. Jacobs sucks. No trade value. Guillen sucks. Olivo sucks. Crisp is injured. Gordon is injured. I almost forgot Aviles' name.

I was able to watch the Cards games this weekend in the Lou and it was shameful. It was supposed to be my Father's Day gift and it was the worst present ever.

It got to the point that I would only watch Butler and Pujols bat and after Pujol's grand slam, I stopped doing even that.

Where is that Seitzer magic?

Dave said...

Blow. It. Up. Get what you can and start over. Priority number one needs to be finding someone to take Guillen so we are free of that 12 million next season. At least he is starting to hit so someone may become interested. Thank God Greinke signed this offseason because we would have been screwed trying to extend him after this debacle.

Clint said...

i'm back to 2005 mode, where i hope the royals lose every game and i hope it happens by 5 runs or more, it's the only way we can get change. DM isn't cutting it, his ML moves have sucked except for meche and soria and his draft picks haven't amounted to anything yet.

Ian said...

Anonymous said...

Maybe we tumble to the first pick in the draft and get Harper. That wouldn't suck.

Anonymous said...

"I just don't even know where to begin. What the hell has happened here?"

They're playing to their own level. Face it: this team was never that good to begin with.

Dustin said...

Rany how long til they blow this up and get rid of the crap on the field. I am not a Hillman fan but the bums playing defense are unbearable.

Anonymous said...

look at the bright side (you can tell i am only a casual royals fan), of the six teams to get blown out 5 games in a row, only the tigers and cubs didn't make it to the world series within 3 years (though the cubs made it to the nlcs in 84). st. louis lost the series in 85 and florida won it all in 97 & 03.

KC in 2012!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, Rany wrote something negative so here comes the sweep of the Astros.

Also in a followup to your last post, I would love to see the stats of starts after a complete game. Both Hochevar and Meche got blown out and knocked out early, and I would think a 132 pitch game was to blame for Meche's performance.

gbewing said...

Free Killa!
Beware faith based managing

Anonymous said...

The Royals have really been neglected for the last 15 years by the Glass family.

What do we expect? Just because they have invested more for the last 2 years does not help that the previous 13 years they did nothing. We are paying for the neglect and probably will for a couple more years until some of the talent matures. I wish that we had never seen David Glass and his Wal-Mart mentality.

Mac said...

On the bright side, the Royals didn't lose today! Of course, that's only because they didn't play...

Chris said...

Well, Rany, then let me be the first to call you King cause on there's a story about the five year anniversary of the Beltran deal and how the Royals have "turned the corner."

I'm dead serious. Its really there.

I'm not kidding.

Lance said...

This season: We are good (potentially great!). We suck. Hey, we are good again, no...wait....we suck. The truth is somewhere in between. I'd just like to have the best 25 players healthy and on the active roster for a couple of weeks.

Wabbitkiller said...

I have to agree with Casper: This team has laid down and QUIT. There's no other explanation. It would be one thing if the Royals were just getting outgunned, but they're making the kind of mistakes you'd expect from a team that's out of contention and just playing out a string: A lot of errors, a lot of baserunning blunders, horrible at bats, a lot of grooved batting practice pitches.

When a team quits mid season the only thing you can really do to right the ship is fire the manager. Trey Hillman deserves to be fired in his own right for boneheaded management decisions he's made as it is. The fact that his team has quit on him on top of all of that makes firing him a no-brainer IMO. It's high time Dayton Moore admitted his mistake and cut his losses by showing Hillman the door.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a post on ideas on how to fix this thing. Specifically, who goes, who stays, who replaces, etc. I know we aren't even at the all-star break yet but even I'm getting bummed out. I really want Gordon to save the season for me.

Lance said...

As I am watching the Royals open a series in Houston, I began thinking about which position players (including DH) have the best winning percentage when they are in the starting lineup. here's what it looks like;

B Pena 3-2 .600
Bloomquist 22-23 .488
Aviles 16-18 .470
Crisp 23-26 .469
Teahen 28-36 .437
Butler 27-35 .435
Olivo 20-26 .434
Callaspo 26-35 .426
Jacobs 24-33 .421
DeJesus 26-36 .419
Buck 10-14 .416
Guillen 21-33 .388
Gordon 3- 5 .375
T Pena 3- 5 .375
Maier 6-18 .250
Hernandez 2- 7 .222
Hulet 0- 1 .000

Just thought it was interesting.

Anonymous said...

It's not hillman's bone-headed managing, it's the even more bone-headed words that come out of his mouth when he attempts to justify those decisions that really irritates me. I generally don't think that he actually believes what he is saying, yet he keeps talking and talking and talking...

Shelby said...

Why is Mitch Maier still up here?

If it's because his defensive CF skills (and it's clearly not his OFFENSIVE skills), that's ridiculous. There HAS to be another bloke down in the minors who deserves a shot at playing the outfield. We can easily move DeJesus to CF.

Anonymous said...

DeJesus will move back to center when Gordon returns with Teahen or Guillen moving to left. Guillen will bitch, but he's shortcomings will be easier to deal with in left than in right.

Anonymous said...

Don't look now but the Seattle Mariners just lost their 4th in a row at home by more than 5 runs. 9-0, 10-3, 12-3 and 11-4. Washburn tomorrow so odds are the streak ends.

Dayton Moore said...

If this is progress, I’m the King of England.
But Rany, this IS progress.

All hail Rany, Malik al-Inkitar!