The Royals have found a lot of different ways to suck this season. And here’s one more. According to the Kansas City Star, the team is on pace to set a modern record for most wild pitches in a season:
The Royals have thrown 27 wild pitches in 36 games, which puts them on pace to finish with 122. That would be 26 more than the post-1900 record of 96 by the 2000 Cincinnati Reds. And those Reds are the only team to have more than 91 since 1970, although the 1973 Indians own the modern American League record with 87. No other American League team entered Tuesday with more than 17 wild pitches; the league average was 13.
Now I don’t know much about pitching, or mechanics, or any of that stuff. But I do know that 27 wild pitches in 36 games is pretty bad. And, if you’re a Royals fan, it’s hard to find a silver lining in all this.
But maybe Royals fans can take heart in the fact that there is a certain symmetry to choosing this year as the year to break the record for most wild pitches in a season. Because, 2006 is the 100th anniversary of the invention of the knuckleball — the hardest pitch to catch. Bob Euker once famously suggested that the best way to catch a knuckleball was to wait for it to stop rolling, then pick it up. Of course, there would be even more symmetry if the Royals had a knuckleballer on their roster. But they don’t.