The Kansas City Royals came into 2013 with a lot of expectations. More people than not expected them to break through and be a factor in the playoff standings after what looked like another solid offseason by general Manager Dayton Moore.
But they went into the All-Star break as nothing more than a very mediocre team that sat six games under .500. But after a less than dominant performance on the south side of Chicago, they walked away with a sweep of our White Sox and are back to the level ground of a .500 record.
It's hard to say how the Royals did it; it was a combination of some good pitching and a lack of offense from the Sox. Kansas City ran out James Shields, Wade Davis, and Bruce Chen, and along with some help from their bullpen, held the south siders to three runs in 30 innings played in the series.
Capped off by Hector Santiago lowering his ERA to 3.33 on Sunday afternoon, White Sox starters pitched 22 2/3 innings throughout the three-game set, allowing just five runs. Yeah, that's a 1.98 ERA. So how did they lose the series? Well ...
The Sox recorded 21 hits, drew eight walks, and had one hitter (Gordon Beckham, Sunday) hit by a pitch. No matter how much credit the Royals pitchers deserve, that just won't get it done - no matter who you are playing or when you're playing them. And when you pair it with the poor base running, fielding, and lack of timely play that we saw throughout the weekend (and have all season), you get strangely used to getting swept by average ball clubs like KC.
Hopefully there is a trade or two in the next couple days to get us excited about something, even if only temporarily. If not, you're going to have even more upset Sox fans out there than already fill our various timelines.