Think back on the glory days.
Think of the walkoff hit that brought the Royals within a game of first place. Think about that rookie pitcher picking up his second win.
Think of last Thursday, when the Royals were 12-7. After a three game sweep at the hands of the Rangers, the Royals dropped the second of a three game series to the Indians.
That’s bad enough, but they weren’t even in this one from the start.
After getting lit up against the Rangers, Jeff Francis was looking to rebound. Thirty-nine pitches, seven hits and five runs later, and the Royals were buried in the first inning.
Francis wasn’t hitting his spots but the Indians were getting a bloop here and a seeing eye single there. The one big hit in the inning was a double by Orlando Cabrera that scored three runs.
The best the Royals could muster was a pair of solo homers by Jeff Francoeur (which extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying sixteen games) and Mike Aviles. Alex Gordon didn’t even get a hit, so his 19 game hitting streak was snapped (though a leaping catch by Shelley Duncan stole a hit from him and Gordon at least walked once).
The Royals changed up their lineup a bit, leading off with Jarrod Dyson and putting Gordon at first while Kila Ka’aihue got benched. Dyson got his first hit of the year on a Baltimore chop, but otherwise he didn’t contribute anything on offense.
No, there just wasn’t a lot of good coming out of this one for the Royals. They left eight runners on and never really threatened to get back into the game.
If there’s anything to take out of a loss like this, the bullpen came in and got outs. After Francis left in the fourth inning, Nate Adcock came in and struck out his first two batters, then getting a lineout to strand Shin Soo Choo at second base. He worked a perfect fifth and came back out in the sixth.
Grady Sizemore led off with a double and moved to third on a grounder to second. To set up a double play, Ned Yost called for an intentional walk of Choo, which might have worked except when pitching to Duncan, Brayan Pena allowed a passed ball that scored Sizemore from third and moved Choo to second. He then stole third while Adcock seemed to tweak his knee at the end of his delivery. Despite the setback, he struck out Duncan and got a fly out from Hafner to get through it.
Joakim Soria worked the seventh (he hadn’t pitched since saving the game last Tuesday. He walked Orlando Cabrera to start off but got a double play ball and a pop out to leave with a scoreless inning. Jeremy Jeffress worked a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts.
Alcides Escobar got two hits.
That’s something, I guess.
In the meantime, think happy thoughts. I’ll start you off – the Omaha Storm Chasers are 12-7.