The rebuilding Royals demonstrated an important—and, for them, long-forgotten—skill last week: throwing strikes. Kansas City walked only nine Tigers in 29 innings in their season-opening sweep, then just four Twins in 25 innings over the weekend. The Royals' 13 total walks and 3.4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio were among the best in the majors' first week. A 2-to-1 rate is the target for any staff, a level K.C. has reached only once since 1989, in '96. That should change this season thanks to a rotation that includes such command specialists as Gil Meche, Brian Bannister (above) and Zach Greinke, and a bullpen that struck out 22 and walked three in the first six games. Improved pitching could push the Royals toward .500 and create excitement about a franchise that has been an afterthought for 15 years.