A Fool’s Errand, Chapter 2: The Long And Winding Road

IMG_1832

BY RYAN MILOWICKI

For the prologue of this series, read here.
For Chapter 1 of this series, read here.

The Royals are back in business! It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated you on the travails of the semi-fictional 2005 Kansas City Royals, but I assure you that I have been slowly but surely plugging away. At the time of publication, I have just finished my 100th game at the helm of the Royals, and they are sitting at a middling 49-51. It has been extraordinarily difficult to stay consistent with a team this untalented (don’t tell them I said that), and the best adjective I can use to describe the squad is streaky. Just last week, I had an 8-1 stretch bookended by a pair of 5-game losing streaks. The Royals have not been over .500 since a loss to the Tigers dropped them to 20-20. On paper, this would sound like my endeavor to take the game’s worst team to the World Series is irreparably ill-fated.

But the AL Central is having a mighty struggle in this iteration of the 2005 MLB. The would-be world champion White Sox are 18 games under .500, and the division is becoming a dogfight between my Royals and the Minnesota Twins. Currently sitting just a game and a half back, the Royals still have a great opportunity to win the division. Under the old Wild Card rules, no Al Central team has a realistic chance at snagging the extra spot, so it is a war of attrition to make the playoffs.

I consider it a proud accomplishment that the team is this close to .500, given that an already-lean squad has been routinely depleted by injuries. Captain Mike Sweeney, Tony Clark, David DeJesus and Angel Berroa have all spent time on the Disabled List, forcing various bench players and AAA help to contribute. Some (Ken Harvey) have, most (Abraham Nunez, Ruben Mateo, Mendy Lopez) have not. On the whole, the team is struggling mightily offensively, with several players’ averages hovering well below .200. Compared to my Blue Jays team last year, this is a much weaker offense, with approximately half of the home runs and even lower averages.

To add another bat and a set of wheels to the Royals, I traded surprise power threat Ruben Gotay and benchwarmer Donnie Murphy to the Yankees for Tony Womack, and he is almost solely responsible for the team’s stabilization. His 21 homers and 10 steals have cemented him at the top of the Royals order, and has helped Angel Berroa ease back into the lineup.

With a struggling lineup, the only way to keep the team in games is via stellar pitching. Thankfully, my pitchers have been up to the task and have the lowest ERA in the majors. The rotation has been as of yet unaffected (knock on wood) by injury, and none of my five starters has missed a start yet. Their records might not show it, but they are performing much better than their real-life counterparts. In the bullpen, my boys have been greatly overachieving. Jeremy Affeldt has been a great choice as closer, with 22 saves in 23 opportunities. The 7th and 8th innings have been locked down as well, with setup man Jaime Cerda’s ERA hovering around 2.00 and righty Scott Sullivan dazzling with a 1.05 ERA.

It won’t be easy to try and scrounge up a playoff spot, but with my spring classes completed, I am certainly game for the challenge. MVP willing, my roster is finally returning to full strength and with it my confidence in the team. Stay tuned for further updates as the playoff race heats up, I hope the Royals will be a part of it!

Until then,

Ryan

STATS THROUGH 100 GAMES

Record: 49-51 (2nd Place in AL Central, 1.5 GB)

Batting Average Leaders (Qualified): Ken Harvey (.243), Mike Sweeney (.241)
Home Runs Leaders: Matt Stairs (22), Tony Womack (21), Mike Sweeney (20)
RBI Leaders: Tony Womack (43), Matt Stairs (40), Mike Sweeney (38)

Team Runs Scored: 304 (30th in Majors)
Team Runs Allowed: 318 (1st in Majors)

APPENDIX

Complete Batting Stats

KEY: Pos. Player: Games,  AVG/OBP/SLG,  HR, RBI, SO, BB, OPS

LF Matt Stairs: 99 G,  .201/.221/.414, 22 HR, 40 RBI, 58 SO, 10 BB, .635 OPS
2B Tony Womack: 97 G,  .225/.267/.459, 21 HR, 43 RBI, 83 SO, 22 BB, .726 OPS
1B/DH Ken Harvey: 96 G, .243/.265/,463, 18 HR, 33 RBI, 30 SO, 10 BB, .728 OPS
RF Terrence Long: 92 G, .185/.210/.375, 19 HR, 34 RBI, 64 SO, 12 BB, .585 OPS
C John Buck: 83 G, .188/.246/.333, 11 HR, 22 RBI, 44 SO, 22 BB, .579 OPS
RF/3B Eli Marrero: 79 G, .192/.227/.355, 14 HR, 23 RBI, 37 SO, 13 BB, .582 OPS
1B/DH Mike Sweeney: 78 G, .241/.266/.479, 20 HR, 38 RBI, 41 SO, 10 BB, .745 OPS
CF David DeJesus: 77 G, .215/.233/.407, 16 HR, 21 RBI, 45 SO, 7 BB, .640 OPS
3B Tony Graffanino: 67 G, .199/.206/.283, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 27 SO, 2 BB, .489 OPS
SS Angel Berroa: 59 G, .195/.208/.270, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 41 SO, 4 BB, .478 OPS
SS Mendy Lopez: 39 G, .194/.232/.313, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 19 SO, 7 BB, .545 OPS
RF Abraham Nunez: 22 G, .085/.085/.136, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 7 SO, 0 BB, .221 OPS
C Paul Phillips: 17 G, .182/.224/.200, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3 SO, 3 BB, .424 OPS
RF Ruben Mateo: 9 G, .042/.115/.042, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 6 SO, 2 BB, .157 OPS

1B Tony Clark: 15 G, .294/.294/.725, 7 HR, 8 RBI, 7 SO, 0 BB, 1.019 OPS
(Currently on 60-Day DL)

Complete Pitching Stats

KEY: Pos. Player: W-L, ERA, Games, Innings, K, BB, WHIP, K/9, BB/9

SP Zack Greinke: 8-9, 2.58 ERA, 20 G, 150.0 IP, 65 K, 0 BB, 0.93 WHIP, 3.90 K/9, 0 BB/9,
SP Brian Anderson: 6-7, 2.97 ERA, 20 G, 142.1 IP, 40 K, 1 BB, 1.05 WHIP, 2.53 K/9, 0.06 BB/9
SP Mike Wood: 8-8, 2.67 ERA, 20 G, 138.1 IP, 53 K, 2 BB, 0.92 WHIP, 3.45 K/9, 0.13 BB/9
SP Jose Lima: 5-6, 3.52 ERA, 20 G, 125.1 IP, 27 K, 1 BB, 1.26 WHIP, 1.94 K/9, 0.07 BB/9
SP Jimmy Gobble: 6-9, 3.16 ERA, 20 G, 122.1 IP, 34 K, 1 BB, 1.19 WHIP, 2.50 K/9, 0.07 BB/9

MRP Scott Sullivan: 4-0, 1.05 ERA, 32 G, 51.2 IP, 19 K, 1 BB, 0.64 WHIP, 3.31 K/9, 0.17 BB/9
SU Jaime Cerda: 4-0, 2.05 ERA, 39 G, 48.1 IP, 17 K, 0 BB, 0.87 WHIP, 3.17 K/9, 0 BB/9
LRP Dennis Tankersley: 1-5, 4.69 ERA, 21 G, 40.1 IP, 20 K, 1 BB, 1.36 WHIP, 4.46 K/9, 0.22 BB/9
CL Jeremy Affeldt: 1-2, 1.96 ERA, 33 G, 36.2 IP, 19 K, 0 BB, 0.68 WHIP, 4.66 K/9, 0 BB/9, .200 BAA (22 SAVES)
LRP Shawn Camp: 3-3, 2.10 ERA, 15 G, 30.0 IP, 14 K, 2 BB, 1.10 WHIP, 4.20 K/9, 0.60 BB/9
MRP Nate Field: 1-1, 5.73 ERA, 13 G, 22.0 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 1.64 WHIP, 2.46 K/9, 0.82 BB/9
MRP D.J. Carrasco: 2-1, 3.00 ERA, 17 G, 21.0 IP, 5 K, 0 BB, 1.14 WHIP, 2.14 K/9, 0 BB/9

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s