Royals Report: 8-0 Loss Continues September Slide From Contention
The KC Royals lost their third straight game to last-place Oakland by falling 8-0 on Wednesday night. After their strong August put them back in contention, their inability to close out games in September has destroyed their post-season hopes.
The Kansas City Royals are now 74-71 after their 8-0 loss on Wednesday. They sit five games behind the Orioles for the second AL Wild Card position with 17 games to play. Kansas City will need a ridiculous winning streak to have any realistic hope of a playoff spot. The Cleveland Indians appear virtually out of reach with a 10 game lead in the AL Central.
The Kansas City bullpen has blown five seventh inning or later leads in September, including four by Joakim Soria. Add five more wins to the KC Royals record and they would be tied with the Orioles. They would also still have an outside shot at running down the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
Their latest failure came as former Kansas City farmhand Sean Manaea shut out the Royals over 5.0 innings, allowing three hits, 1 walk while striking out five. Relievers John Axford, Liam Hendriks, and Chris Smith held KC scoreless the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, the Athletics beat up on KC starter Yordano Ventura plating two runs in the first inning on a two-out double by Yonder Alonso, and three runs in the third inning on Marcus Semien‘s two-RBI double and Bruce Maxwell‘s RBI single. Ventura lasted only 4.1 innings and took the loss (10-11).
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The A’s added yet another crooked inning by scoring three runs against rookie reliever Kevin McCarthy in the eighth inning.
The Royals really were never in this game. They looked like a tired and beaten team. The energy and belief that they had in August just hasn’t been there as the last place A’s are driving in the final stake into Kansas City’s season.
I guess it’s pretty hard to maintain your energy or belief when your manager keeps making the mistake of entrusting late leads to Joakim Soria.
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The sad thing is that the Kansas City Royals have, at times, shown why they were a championship team last season. The key problem has been the bullpen’s inability to dominate like it did in 2014 and 2015. Their 5.96 ERA in July helped fuel a horrendous 7-19 month. Blowing six late-inning leads since August 31 has squandered the team’s 18-4 August rally.
But, in the end, Kansas City just hasen’t shown enough consistency.