1) Offense Just Can’t Get Untracked
We can cry and complain about tactical choices in the seventh inning all we want, but KC Royals fans need to recognize you’re not going to win many games scoring 1, 1, 0, and 1 runs over your last four games.
The lineup was simply scalding the ball five days ago, and after blowing a win, it seems like the ball has shrunk to a pebble.
Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Wright came into the game with a 5.88 ERA and a career 5.96 ERA to go with his 6.6 K/9 this season. Greg Maddux he’s not. Except the Kansas City Royals hitters made him look that way, managing only five hits, two walks, and one unearned run while striking out four times. Wright lasted 7.0 innings while throwing 95 pitches.
In short, Wright had a terrific outing worthy of an ace rather than a bottom-of-the-barrel starter.
Wright’s track record suggests to me that it’s more about the KC Royals hitters losing the confidence that carried them through the prior ten games after injuries to Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas than it was about Wright.
And that’s one heck of a problem.
Whit Merrifield seems to be the only player continuing to hit, reaching for a club record 15 straight games to begin a Kansas City Royals career. Paulo Orlando stroked two hits, and seems to be swinging easier than the last couple of days. Yet, the KC Royals lost another player to injury when Jonathan Schoop’s attempted relay throw spiked into Cheslor Cuthbert’s elbow.
Early reports indicate that Cuthbert didn’t break a bone and only has a contusion on his elbow, but the Royals might have to make a roster move to add an infielder. Yes, the KC Royals could play Infante at second and Merrifield at third, but the team would be out of infielders in case of injury.
Let’s hope the new guy can provide a spark.