The Royals suffered yet another bullpen disaster on Friday night when Kelvin Herrera gave up a solo home run to Devon Travis to turn a 3-3 tie into a 4-3 loss at Kauffman Stadium.
The KC Royals fell to 51-58 with the 4-3 loss, and now trail the Cleveland Indians by an almost insurmountable 11.5 games in the AL Central. The Blue Jays improved to 63-47 and continue to share the AL East lead with the Baltimore Orioles.
Since the Kansas City Royals July debacle in which the team went 7-19, the formerly lockdown bullpen has become a sieve. Things haven’t improved in August. The night after Joakim Soria blew a two-run eighth inning lead by allowing a three-run home run, Kelvin Herrera squandered a fifth inning rally to earn a 3-3 tie by allowing a solo home run in the ninth.
Oh yeah, the normally dominant Herrera’s failure also wasted a credible performance from no. 5 starter Dillon Gee who lasted 6.0 innings while allowing 3 runs.
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At this point of the season, there isn’t any part of the team that Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost can truly rely on. On a night when arsonist reliever Joakim Soria managed to escape the eighth inning without surrendering the lead despite allowing two hits, Kelvin Herrera gave up a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning.
By the way, it was Toronto second baseman Devon Travis’ second home run of the game.
Of course, the impotent KC Royals offense failed to tie the game in the ninth inning despite getting a two base error from Toronto third baseman Darwin Barney threw past first on Paulo Orlando’s grounder. Orlando then gave back the out when he got thrown out at third base attempting to steal.
Inevitably, Jarrod Dyson followed that failure with a single that would have likely scored the speedy Dyson from second base.
In 2015, the Kansas City Royals were famous for making their opponents pay for the slightest mistake. In 2016, they can’t take advantage even when the other team showers them with undeserved gifts. I’m sure the team is more frustrated than any of their fans, and they don’t have the luxury of venting at their television or at Kauffman Stadium.
The KC Royals have now followed a hopeful beginning to August in which they won two straight games, with three straight losses. Apparently, fatigue, injuries, and regression have hit the team hard since July.
But, it also looks like the Kansas City Royals no longer possess that unshakable belief in themselves that carried them to the 2015 World Series title.