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Kansas City Royals Hitters Ending Season In A Major Funk

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The dog days of summer are catching up to the Royals as they near the season's end. With the regular season winding down on yet another forgettable year of Kansas City baseball, the bats are killing the Royals. To be more accurate, it's the lack of good bats that have the Royals in their current funk in losing seven out of eight this month. Instead of ending the season on a positive note to gain momentum moving forward into 2011, the Royals are losing steam -- a sign that removes the word "promising" from most forecasts.

Through the first half of the season, the Royals enjoyed a nice hitting clip that swelled to an exceptional .296 average in the month of June. It was a sign that while the team had its woes, it had some nice young bats to work with. In the first half, KC batters hit .282 overall led by familiar names like Billy Butler and David DeJesus. However, in the second half, things have been heading south since the All-Star Break. And in September, it looks like that trend will continue through the end.

Of course, there are some reasons for this. Younger players are making adjustments to the big league level. Losing a player like DeJesus to injury takes its toll on the line-up and nobody is able to fully replace his spot in the order. Losing Jose Guillen to the Giants might be a win in the long run, but in the short term, his power provided at least some semblance of a threat to opposing pitching -- regardless of how bad he was for the Royals overall.

This month, the Royals are hitting. 251 overall. While there are reasons that might explain some of it, that's just an inexcusable total. The league average is a full 10 points higher at .261, so the Royals are definitely going beyond the trend to be exceptionally poor in the second half. You can't blame it all on the youngsters, since players 25-and-under are actually hitting better as a group than any other range (.301). While there's still two weeks to turn things around and find some kind of nice way to end the season, it might actually be a long offseason as the Royals once again try to figure out what went wrong.