On Monday, the Royals got beat. No other way to put it. They got beat. And that’s fine. It happens. Sometimes a team is on and you’re not and strange things like a 19-1 game happen.
On Tuesday, the Indians got a couple of bloops to fall, tacked on extra runs with solo homers, and managed to make the plays in the field to keep the Royals from cashing in on some opportunities.
But, geez, tonight, the Royals beat themselves.
As a staff, the Royals walked thirteen batters. When you walk that many players, you shouldn’t win. To compound the problems, the Royals gave up five stolen bases, often without a throw. In the tenth, Matt Treanor had a passed ball that went to the backstop and Adrian Beltre took an extra base, going from first to third.
That the Rangers didn’t score more than the five they managed is partly a miracle.
And if it wasn’t enough, the Royals gave away outs too. A couple of double clutches – one by Alcides Escobar to start a double play attempt and one by Melky Cabrera on a throw home – could have been two more outs.
Oh, but it didn’t stop there.
Mixing up the lineup and batting Alex Gordon leadoff was a decent choice to shake things up while not being too crazy. It allowed Eric Hosmer to come up to lead off the bottom of the ninth and he tied the game with one swing, his first homer at Kauffman Stadium.
After the game Ned Yost hinted that Neftali Feliz may have balked on both throws* but it’s inexcusable to get caught in that situation. They have one job at that point and didn’t do it. Without even putting the ball in play, the Royals gave up two outs and lost their #4 and #5 batter in the process.
*“He balked” may have been the direct quote.
Alex Gordon came up with Mitch Maier on third and nobody out and walked. Melky Cabrera then popped up and Hosmer flew out to left. The Royals scored in the bottom of the eleventh, but after giving up two in the top of the inning (after three walks by Jeremy Jeffress), it was too late.
Danny Duffy‘s first major league start had impressive moments and displayed things to work on. He didn’t command his curveball consistently and his control wasn’t great. After the game he mentioned he was pretty amped up. Hitting 95 and 96 mph with regularity, he looked every bit like the kind of prospect that could make an impact right away.
He walked six over four innings and racked up 94 pitches. He did strike out four batters and only allowed two runs despite the walks. With his other eight outs, he got seven via the ground ball and the only air out was a pop up right behind first base. The Rangers hits were a bloop to left and soft line drive to right by Endy Chavez along with two singles by Andres Blanco.
He also showed a willingness to throw any pitch at any count and location. The stuff is there, and if his trip to Kansas City is more than just a spot start (which I suspect it will be), he should make improvements and have a better game next time out.
The Royals have lost five in a row and it hasn’t really been fun to watch. Tomorrow’s a new day and a new chance to get a win.
It’s got to turn around at some point.