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Grading the Week: Streaking Royals get an A

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

One A got an F this week.
One A got an F this week. (USATSI)

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Another week of baseball is in the books, which means it's time for our weekly grades. As a reminder, we grade individual series, teams, players, coaches, umpires, whatever. We try to stick to the usual A through F scale but will make exceptions from time to time. To state the obvious, five grades means any number of notable team and individual performances won't be represented herein. To this week's grades:

TeamGradeAnalysis
AThey only played five games thanks to a rainout and a scheduled off-day, but the Royals won 'em all this week. They outscored their opponents 35-12 in the process. Kansas City climbed from four games back of the AL Central lead to 1.5 games back, and now they're off to Detroit for four games against the first place Tigers. The Royals set themselves up wonderfully for this week's series at Comerica Park, which is about as big as a mid June series can get. Manager Ned Yost's crew took care of business these last few days.
B+So I guess Gregory Polanco is finally MLB ready, huh? After weeks of delaying his call-up to save a couple million bucks in a few years, the Pirates went 4-2 in Polanco's first six games and were a bullpen meltdown away from going 5-1. Polanco went 12-for-31 (.387) and drove in five runs, including two on a game-winning homer in the 13th inning on Friday night. Pittsburgh has to dig themselves out of a bit of a hole if they want to go back to the postseason, but at least now they are fielding the best possible team.
BThe Rockies have been in a tailspin the last month or so, but, for at least one week, they righted the ship and won five of seven games. That includes sweeping the Giants in San Francisco despite trailing in the eighth inning or later in all three games. Colorado has won five in a row overall, all against teams currently in playoff position.
DWhat an uneven week. The Nationals had won five of six games coming into the week, and they pushed it to eight of nine with three wins over the Giants. That's pretty great. Then they lost four straight, including three at home to the Cardinals. Washington was outscored 17-4 in the four losses. Just when you think this team is finally going to start living up to its talent, they slip back into mediocrity.
FRemember that whole dust up with Manny Machado? Of course you do. Josh Donaldson went hitless in 33 (!) straight at-bats after that, including an 0-for-21 skid to start this week. He finally snapped the drought with a weak ground ball single that slipped through the infield on Sunday afternoon. That's it. One single in 24 at-bats all week. Donaldson's batting line went from .270/.361/.532 to .250/.337/.489 these last seven days.
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