Mar 31, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis (17) walks off the field after being relieved against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning of an opening day baseball game at Comerica Park. Detroit won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Errors, Bullpen Doom Royals in 5-3 Loss to Indians

Sometimes, there are games like tonight’s. Games where, every time a team takes the lead, the opponent answers back immediately, seizing the momentum once again, then winning the game late. That exact scenario happened tonight, as the Cleveland Indians rallied to defeat the Kansas City Royals 5-3.

Apr 22, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar (2) reaches for the ball as Cleveland Indians left fielder Michael Brantley (23) steals second base in the sixth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals got the scoring started in an unconventional way, at least for them – by hitting home runs. With one out in the second, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas hit consecutive solo home runs, giving the Royals a quick 2-0 lead. Cleveland struck right back in the bottom of the inning, as Michael Bourn hit a two out, two run triple into the gap in right center, tying the game.

From that point, both Cleveland starter Justin Masterson and Jason Vargas settled in. Neither team threatened until the top of the sixth inning. There, the Royals took advantage of an error, as Jason Kipnis was unable to get the force out on Billy Butler‘s groundball to short. With two outs, Moustakas struck again, delivering an RBI single to give the Royals the lead once again.

Like last time, that lead proved to be short lived. Michael Brantley singled with one out. After a fly ball for the second out, Brantley took off to steal second. Perez threw the ball away, and the throw skipped past Jarrod Dyson, allowing Brantley to circle the bases and tie the game. Vargas got the final out on a grounder to second, but the damage had already been done.

Overall, Jason Vargas had a solid night, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits and two walks, striking out two batters in his six innings of work. After 100 pitches, the game was handed over to the bullpen, which proved to ignite the Indians offense.

Kelvin Herrera came in for the seventh, and just was not on his game. After a groundout and a caught stealing gave the Royals two outs, Nick Swisher singled to right, then came around to score on a double to deep right center off the bat of Jason Kipnis. Cleveland added another run in the eighth after Wade Davis loaded the bases with no outs, and gave up a bloop single to push another run across the plate to give the Indians the 5-3 victory.

Herrera took the loss, giving up a run on three hits in his inning of work. Hosmer and Moustakas continued to swing the lumber well, as they both recorded two hits in the loss.

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  • moretrouble

    You’d make a fine beat writer, David. I enjoy your descriptions and accounts of games. Thanks.

    • Dave Hill

      Thanks MT. I do my best to watch every game and relay it as I see things. Have to give a lot of credit to my first editor, Robbie Knopf at Rays Colored Glasses, for helping me out with these when I first started writing.

  • unclejesse40

    Well its a long season and I want to give credit where credit is due. Moose is hitting the ball and that is a good thing, no wait its a great thing. I started thinking about this the other day. If Moose started to have a stat like much like Adam Dunn had a couple of years ago I would be cool with that. Basically his batting average would look horrible but he was jacking homers at a good clip, scoring runs, and getting on base when pitchers start to try to work around him. The other area of credit I have to give is to GMDM, another one of the pitchers that I was championing, Josh Johnson, went under the knife for TJ. I get it that the Padres get a 4 million dollar year out of him next year but after TJ that won’t amount to much. Phil Hughes also didn’t impress me much at all in the game against the Royals the other day. While Vargas has looked sharp this year. And finally the other thing that I am seeing this year is that bullpens are fickle, and while one year they might be great, that doesn’t guarantee that they will be the next year. So if you can move bullpen arms for other areas of club need, you really should. I still think this bullpen is going to figure it out but I wonder what type of a prospect we could have gotten for a David Lough and Wade Davis package this off-season? Like always David and all the guys at Kings of Kauffman good work and keep feeding my Royals addiction. Go Royals.

    • moretrouble

      Nice comment Jesse. Yes, DM has certainly gotten lucky with Guthrie and Vargas. I disagree about the bullpen, but that’s a matter of opinion. I think that bullpen is a key part of the club and I’m pleased they have kept that bullpen intact. I do see your point of view, though.

    • RBTGT

      There is no comparison between Adam Dunn and Mike Moustakas and never will be.

      Adam Dunn has a career AVERAGE OBP of .366. (To say nothing of his 444 career home runs) Moustakas has a career average OBP of .292. That difference is like the size of the Pacific Ocean. Adam Dunn has walked over 100 times in his career 8 times. No Royals player has drawn even as many as 90 walks in the past 23 years and nobody has walked 100 times since Kevin Seitzer did it in 1989.

      There haven’t been eight 100 walk seasons in Royals franchise history:

      Most Walks in a Single Season, Royals History
      1. John Mayberry 1973 – 122
      2. Darrell Porter 1979 – 121
      3. John Mayberry 1975 – 119
      4. George Brett 1985 – 103
      4. Paul Schaal 1971 – 103
      6. Kevin Seitzer 1989 – 102

      If Dunn had played his entire career with the Royals, he’d occupy spots 1,2,4,5, & 6 on the above list.

      I don’t know where or how anybody could formulate the opinion that anybody with a current season slash line of .159/.224/.377/.600 is “hitting the ball”, either.

      In Mike Moustkas, you’re watching a player that his playing his way out of the game and if he wasn’t a 1st round draft pick that Dayton Moore is desperately clinging to along with his own job, Moose would probably already be in the minors, which is frankly where he belongs.

      The guy is a complete bust. Mike Jacobs, somebody the Royals gave up on and outright released, to give you an idea, has career numbers that blow Moose’s away and he is currently languishing away, at age 33, in the minor leagues.

      • unclejesse40

        I would agree that currently there is no comparison, what I was trying to say was that Batting Average isn’t always the best determination for how well a player is doing. Dunn looked like crap if all you did was look at batting average. I would love it if Moose hit more like that. Moose has a huge mountain to climb in my opinion before he proves he is an everyday third baseman, but I am going to look at more than just batting average to do that. It appears that you are too, but many fans don’t.