Monday, April 20, 2009
Encouraging Royals Stats
The Royals pitching staff is off to an incredible start. They have the league's second best ERA, and if not for Kyle (The Arsonist) Farnsworth, they would likely be on top. The most encouraging stat, however, is the team's number of strikeouts. Royals pitchers are currently striking out more batters than any other team in baseball.
This is important because strikeouts reduce the number of things that can go wrong when a ball is put in play. It is also big news because from 2000-2007, the Royals were in the bottom five in strikeouts every year (twice finishing dead last). Last year, they moved up to a below average but more respectable 17th place. Now they are #1. That may not last, but it is hard to imagine them dropping out of the top 10.
So the pitching is in pretty good shape. What about the offense? The offensive equivalent of the strikeout is the home run. When you hit a home run, nothing else has to happen for you to score a run. One swing, one run (or more). The Royals are currently 16th in home runs. That may not seem great, but we are again talking about a team with a recent track record of being truly awful. Between 2000 and 2008 the Royals finished better than 20th only once, and they finished dead last in 2006 and 2007.
In comparison, 16th doesn't look so bad. And when you combine 16th in home runs with 1st in strikeouts, that seems to be grounds for optimism. Go Royals!