The Royals lost four one-run games on the previous homestand alone. They blew a late lead to Minnesota on the road last week. Then, of course, there was another blown lead Tuesday against Oakland.
It's quite possible those punches to the gut are finally taking their toll on the defending World Series champions. The Royals fell meekly to the A's, 8-0, on Wednesday and sit five games out of the American League's second Wild Card spot with just 17 games to go.
"I'm sure it does [take a toll]," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "But I'm not saying that's what happened to us tonight. We faced [A's left-hander Sean] Manaea, who did a great job of pitching, as did their whole staff.
"I think it's just the opposite. I think our guys were really fired up coming into today. There was some anger in that locker room before the game. I don't feel any deflation. Guys are upset that we lose those games. They're not pointing any fingers, because they know that we win as a team and lose as a team. But they're not happy with it."
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer admitted, too, that all those difficult losses have been hard to digest.
"I think the games like tonight and [Monday] night are easier to flush because you got no choice," Hosmer said. "The game was out of hand Monday by the sixth or seventh inning.
"I think the harder ones to bounce back from are ones you give away or lose maybe in the last couple of innings. It's tough to bounce back from those.
"Yeah, it's frustrating. Those are the type of games we usually won the last couple of years."
"They're tough, very tough," outfielder Paulo Orlando said.
But as you might expect, the Royals aren't ready to concede anything.
"You have to go on," Orlando said. "You have to keep fighting."
Added Hosmer, "We have no choice but to keep fighting and battling and trying to turn it around. Honestly, what is so frustrating is guys are coming in and doing what they need to do in terms of preparation, but it doesn't show up on the field lately. But you can't point the finger at anyone or blame anyone. You can't."