Royals Report: Joakim Soria 8th Inning Choke Sums Up Season
By John Viril
KC Royals reliever Joakim Soria entered Thursday’s game with a 2-0 eighth inning lead and promptly surrendered a 3-run home run. The Kasnas City Royals lost 3-2 on Thursday afternoon in Tampa Bay.
The pathetic Kansas City Royals fell to 51-57 with the 3-2 loss, and now trail the Cleveland Indians by 11.0 games. The Rays improved to 44-63 and remain in last place in the AL East.
The KC Royals were poised to take three out of four in Tampa Bay, leading 2-0 in the eighth inning when Joakim Soria came into the game. The set-up man, who signed with the Kansas City Royals last winter for three-years and $27 million, showed he was worth approximately two cents by surrendering a three-run home run to shortstop Brad Miller.
The toothless KC Royals offense then failed to score against Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome in the ninth despite singles from Paulo Orlando and pinch hitter Lorenzo Cain.
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Of course, Soria’s failure followed a top of the eighth inning in which the Kansas City Royals loaded the bases with one out against Tampa Bay reliever Brad Boxberger, only to see Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon strike out. That eighth inning, in which the KC Royals offense could have broken open the game, followed by Joakim Soria’s blown save is a microcosm of the the 2016 season.
Alex Gordon gave the Kansas City Royals a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run in the fourth inning. For awhile, it appeared as if Gordon’s blow would be enough to secure a 3-1 series win over the Rays with Ian Kennedy pitching 6.0 shutout innings. However, Soria gave up the lead run for the 10th time in 46 games.
Soria’s ERA is now a horrendous 4.50, which is completely unacceptable for a so-called shut down reliever.
The Kansas City Royals raised slim hopes from their fans by winning their first two games of August, which were their first back to back wins since June. The KC Royals followed that two-game win streak with a humiliating 12-0 loss on Wednesday night, and a painful 3-2 choke on Thursday.
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At this point, I don’t think even Dr. Pangloss from Voltaire’s satirical masterpiece Candide could hope that the Kansas City Royals will be playing meaningful games come October. [note: Dr. Pangloss is famous in literature for his ludicrous optimism: “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”]