At one point, it looked like the Cincinnati Reds were on the verge of a historically bad season.
But now, the team with the worst record in baseball hails from Kansas City.
“It continues to be tough,” manager Mike Matheny said. “We’ve had some really hard losses. Every one of them now, they just continue to pile on the frustration in that room.”
The Royals are heading back to Kansas City after a 2-7 road trip with the onus on them to leave what happened on the road behind. But the task won’t get easier from here, as the club will welcome the Astros and Blue Jays, likely playoff contenders, to Kauffman Stadium this weekend and next week.
It’s only June, but Kansas City is desperate to turn things around, after going 9-20 last month — matching the second-most losses in the month of May in franchise history, (they went 8-21 in May of 2006).
“We’ve got to get better. That’s all there is to it,” Matheny said. “That’s us collectively. Each guy, do your part. Be honest and figure out what we can improve. That’s the only way you can get through any hard time.”
After Brad Keller (1-6) received little-to-no run support yet again, Matheny was not pleased.
“He had enough stuff to win,” Matheny said of Keller. “Obviously, we got to have some offense. We had some chances but weren’t able to come through. If you strike out that many times, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a long day.”
The Royals had struck out 11 times. Against a rookie pitcher.
They are now 16-33 on the season, and in dead last in the American League Central. And while it doesn’t necessarily make them the least talented, they’re in a bad position right now, two months into the season.
Salvador Perez is slashing .187/.227/.355 as the Royals’ cleanup hitter, and the frustration is setting in.
“Myself, yes, I feel like I have to do better,” Perez said. “To help my team to win. I’m leaving guys in scoring position, guy on first or second, so I need to start to produce for the team and help the team win. … I don’t get frustrated because I’m hitting .188. I just need to be more open, try to hear from the hitting coach, try to see what they want me to change. Especially now that I’m struggling a little bit.”
Despite his struggles, Perez is staying positive.
“I believe in my team,” Perez said. “I believe that we’re going to get better. I believe that we can compete. It’s just a tough situation right now. I think we’re going to get out of this.”