The Royals lost both games on the road against the Oakland Athletics. Their record now stands at 18-16 on the season.
Matchup: Luke Hochevar vs. Trevor Cahill
Result: 12-3 Loss
Matchup: Brian Bannister vs. Josh Outman
Result: 7-2 Loss
The starting rotation threw 7.2 innings with a 11.73 ERA, 1.96 WHIP and 4 SO.
In 8.1 innings of work the bullpen posted a 2.16 ERA, 1.80 WHIP and 6 SO.
For the series, the Royals hit .209 (14/67) while drawing 5 walks and striking out 13 times. They left 13 men on base while scoring 5 runs. In the series they hit 1 2B, 0 3B, and 3 HR. They hit .222 (2/9) with runners in scoring position.
Contending teams need to beat up on the inferior opponents that they face. Getting swept by the Angels was excusable because LA will probably win the AL West and the Royals were competitive in all 3 games. The Oakland series is another matter. Not only did the Royals lose both games against an inferior Athletics team, they weren’t competitive in either game. The series was a complete breakdown for Kansas City in all phases. On top of the pitching and offensive issues, they also committed 3 errors and allowed 6 unearned runs.
The bad news is that Soria is on the DL, Meche has a creaky back, Hochevar was a disaster in his first start and now Bannister has a stiff shoulder.
The future looks grim doesn’t it? Now for the good news, after a 5 game losing streak, they are still 2 games above .500 on the season. If Bannister or Meche needs to spend time on the DL, Sidney Ponson can step in and eat some innings. It sure beats Ponson eating up space in the bullpen. Some more good news is that the Royals return home to Kansas City to start a 4-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. The cherry on top of the sundae is that Zack Greinke will be pitching Friday night. A team is never as bad as they appear during a losing streak just like a team is never as good as they appear during a winning streak. At the very least, Hochevar will be better in his next start on Sunday.
My preseason prediction was for the Royals to finish 77-85. Despite the losing streak and the doom and gloom attitude of most fans, they have still surpassed my expectations to this point.