The Royals blew a chance to reverse their poor road fortunes by dropping Sunday’s game 7-2, which turned a potential 4-1 road trip into a mediocre 3-2 excursion. If they can’t beat the moribund Phillies on the road, just who can they handle?
The Kansas City Royals fell to 43-38 on the season, and remain 6.0 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. They also fell a 1/2 game behind surging Detroit, who won their sixth straight game on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Phillies improved to 37-46, and remain 13 games behind the Nationals in the NL East.
The KC Royals squandered a golden opportunity to make up ground on the Indians, who lost their second straight game when they got bombed 17-1 in Toronto. Meanwhile, the Tigers refuse to go away despite numerous reports of their demise.
Starting pitcher Yordano Ventura disappointed right out of the gate, giving up a three-run home run in the first inning after getting two outs and getting ahead of Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp 1-2. Though, to Rupp’s credit, he slammed a 98 mph fastball out of the park. He also gave up a two-out solo home run in the third, before Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost pulled him from the game. Ventura left with the Royals trailing 4-0.
However, Yost didn’t pull Ventura due to poor performance. Ventura was clearly struggling with his right ankle that he turned while running the bases after slapping a soft single to right field in the third inning.
Alex Gordon cut the Philadelphia lead in half with a two run shot in the fifth inning, but “B” squad relievers Dillon Gee and Brian Flynn gave up three runs in the next four innings to give the Phillies a commanding 7-2 lead heading into the ninth inning.
The fact is, the KC Royals just haven’t been able to get it going on the road, despite facing the Cardinals, who are a terrible 17-23 at Busch Stadium and the rebuilding Phillies—who are 18-23 at home. I suppose a winning road trip is a positive, but it’s hard to get too giddy with the Indians going 14-2 over their last 16 games, and the Tigers winning six straight.
Every time it seems like the Kansas City Royals are going to “take off”, their inconsistent starting pitching gets rocked early in a game. I know the Royals won a title last season with less than stellar starting pitching, but they’re just too light in the rotation in a season in which batters are on a near-record home run pace.
Yes, I know I refrained from my typical “5 Things” type of recap, but I just didn’t have that much to say about this disappointing series.