The Kansas City Royals had their best season in more than two decades in 2013. For the first time since 1989, the Royals won more than 84 games, and it was only the second time since 1993 Kansas City finished over .500.
This season included some roller-coaster moments,that culminated in the Royals staying alive for a wild card play off spot until just four games remained in the season.
After years of mediocre starting pitching, Dayton Moore added veterans James Shields, Ervin Santana, and Jeremy Guthrie to the rotation. These acquisitions led a stalwart pitching staff that had the best team ERA (3.45) in the American League. Closer Greg Holland was nearly unhittable as he set the Royals record for saves at with 47.
The biggest negative was that the offense never really came around as expected. Youngsters Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez took steps forward but Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Alcides Escobar all took steps back at the plate.
The Royals also had one of the best defenses in major leagues. Alex Gordon won his third straight Gold Glove in left field as opposing base runners still have not figured out they cannot take the extra base against this guy. Hosmer and Perez won their first Gold Gloves, and Escobar and Lorenzo Cain were each finalists at their positions.
This summer was the most exciting for fans since the Royals golden years in the 70′s and 80′s. Fans’ emotions were up and down with each victory and each defeat as the season played out. It was a great feeling.
Let’s take a look back at the 2013 season for the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals had a tremendous Spring Training season that included an 11-game winning streak, and a Cactus League Championship. The offense clicked on all cylinders, and the pitching performed well.
The spring season gave hope of success to long starved and eager fans. Wariness has become second nature to sports fans in Kansas City but hope always flickers, however faintly.
With all the success enjoyed by the Royals in Spring Training, it was with great hope in the heart of all fans that Kansas City broke camp and headed north for the real games.