Monday, April 11, 2005

A Promising Start

The season is only 6 games old, but I already feel better about this Royals team than I did a year ago.

Retrosheet doesn't yet have data for 2004, so I had to do a few quick manual calcuations to try and compare this year's team with last year's.

The Royals completed 2004 with a combined batting average of .259. (According to Baseball Reference)

In six games this year, all Royals batters are hitting at a combined average of .276. As you look down the box score, eight of the 13 players who have hit this season are batting over .300.

I recall glancing at the stats last season and noticing that most players were in the low .200's. Last season was just a strange, snake-bitten season for the Royals where every player slumped.

Team ERA in 2004 was 5.15. So far this season, it is 5.46. But, that includes the bloated ERAs of Jose Lima (10.80) and Jaime Cerda (13.50). Remove those two struggling pitchers, and team ERA is a much more respectable 4.124.

Looking down the stats, we can see that six of the twelve Royals pitchers have ERA's below 5.00. More importantly, the five Royals starters have an total ERA of only 3.744. And that includes Lima's 10.80! (Take out Lima, and Royals starters are giving up a scant 1.73 runs per 9 innings).

So, yes... the stats tell an encouraging story for the 2005 Royals in their opening week. Of course, anybody who deals with statistics can tell you that ERA and batting average are the least important stats and that 6 games is not a valid sample size.

But those two stats do tell us something, and the season is only 6 games old. Here's hoping this trend continues. If they win every other game all season, I'll be a happy camper!

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