Major League Baseball can be summed up by one simple formula; good pitching equals winning. Even franchises loaded with offensive talent, like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers found it difficult to stay above .500 over the month of April with shaky pitching.
With a 6 - 15 record during the month of April, the Kansas City Royals proved that bad pitching is without question the team's Achilles heel. Undoubtedly, the biggest problem has been the starting pitching staff and their ineffectiveness of throwing late into games. Royals starting pitchers have struggled to get past the 5th inning in a majority of their games played this season.
The stats on just how bad the Royals pitching performed in April really tells the story:
ERA: 4.58 (12th out of 14 teams in the American League)
Opponents Batting Average: .264 (10th out of 14 teams in the American League)
Walks Allowed: 87 (Last in the American League)
Strikeouts Thrown: 145 (11th out of 14 teams in the American League)
Saves: 4 (10th out of 14 teams in the American League)
WHIP: 1.47 (13th out of 14 teams in the American League)
The one highlight has been the bullpen. Aaron Crow, Tim Collins and Jonathon Broxton have been throwing the ball well all year long. These three relievers only gave up a combined 21 hits, 11 walks and 9 earned runs in 32 1/3 innings of work over the month of April.
I am especially pleased to see Broxton pitch so well after injuries derailed his 2011 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Many experts feared that his fastball would lose enough pop to make his pitching style ineffective. But with a 2.35 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and .231 opponent's batting average, Broxton is proving the naysayers wrong.
Let's just hope that the starting pitching can come on before they completely wear out the bullpen and make them just as ineffective.
Alex Wibholm is an Iowa native and fan of the Kansas City Royals and AL Central Division. Alex attends several KC games every year.