1. Life is suffering.
Life started out so well for Royals’ fans. Then we went through a Glass, darkly. However, the Royals now have Moore talent than they have had in quite some time. But the wins have not materialized on the Major League level. Life is suffering.

2. The discrepancy between desire and reality causes suffering.
Royals’ fans desire a winner. Some fans might say that respectability is what they want. Either way, the 2012 Royals have not delivered.

3. We can be free of suffering.
We can free ourselves of our desires.

4. Do not give up hope.
Either the narrative is that these are just the same old Royals or that this is something different. I say the Royals have talent, but they are 4-14 after their first 18 games, with a 12 game losing streak included. They have scored 68 runs and allowed 87. Are they really this bad?

I expected this team to be more consistent. If I hold on to that expectation, I will be disappointed. I now expect this team to be streaky, possibly freakishly. Poz has already laid down the gauntlet. The most wins for a team with a 12-game losing streak is 78.

It still comes down to runs scored and runs allowed. The Royals are 13th in the American League in runs scored. They are 12th in the American League in runs allowed. The good news about run scoring is that they are 5th in the AL in OPS. They have also been caught stealing more than any other AL team. Blame Ned, right? But the team with the most times caught stealing in MLB is the Dodgers and they are 13-6. This, too, shall pass.

Royals’ hitters, April 16 to April 25, 2012, sorted by Plate Appearances:

Gordon 42 .270 .357 .486 .843
Hosmer 39 .235 .333 .500 .833
Francoeur 38 .167 .211 .250 .461
Butler 38 .286 .342 .486 .828
Moustakas 36 .323 .417 .484 .901
Escobar 34 .344 .382 .563 .945
Maier 26 .273 .385 .409 .794
Quintero 23 .250 .348 .350 .698
Betancourt 22 .263 .364 .316 .680
Getz 18 .333 .375 .467 .842
Pena 13 .167 .231 .333 .564
Bourgeois 10 .222 .300 .222 .522

I think the bigger issue, still, for the Royals is getting consistent starting pitching. The Royals have had 6 starts so far of less than 5 innings. Only 1 opposing starter has gone less than 5 innings against the Royals. Two of those sub-5 starts are from Jonathan Sanchez which is a little troubling; possibly indicative that he is not fully back to health.

Two other sub-5 inning starts were from Luis Mendoza. This is not so troubling because Felipe Paulino is just about to return from the DL. Game 19 saw Mendoza go 5 and then leave the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and no outs. It could be one of the last starts he ever makes for the Royals.

Royals’ starters and their opponents, first 18 games.

Chen 25.0 2.52 #1 Opponent 26.2 1.01
Hochevar/Sanchez 20.0 6.75 #2 Opponent 24.0 4.50
Sanchez/Hochevar 19.0 4.74 #3 Opponent 19.0 5.68
Mendoza 13.0 6.92 #4 Opponent 18.1 4.42
Duffy 17.1 3.64 #5 Opponent 23.0 2.35

Eventually, I think the Royals find consistent starters in 2012. The narrative is different from years past because the Royals were trying to make an apple pie with rotten oranges. Now, they are trying to make an apple pie with some apples that are not quite ripe. That is my metaphor and I am sticking to it. There is still time for ripening. After all, we are just entering the top of the second inning of the 2012 season.