The KC Royals entered Wednesday night’s contest in the Bronx hoping to pick up a win and earn at least a split in their road series against the Yankees. But, as they say, there’s always tomorrow.
Typically, I share KC Royals Twitter’s general disdain for Jason Hammel and his inability to not get the snot knocked out of himself on a regular basis.
But Wednesday night’s 3-0 loss to the Yankees can’t be pinned on Hammel, who was solid enough in six effective innings. Had any of the KC Royals bats bothered to show up, maybe he even saunters out of the Bronx with a victory.
But alas, the Bronx Bombers one-upped the visitors in a game that wasn’t quite as close as the score indicated.
Hammel got out to a solid start, striking out three in the first two innings. But Didi Gregorious provided all the offense the Yankees would ultimately require with a solo blast in the third to get the Yankees on the board.
The KC Royals got hits in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth but only a two-out Brandon Moss double in the fifth even put a runner in scoring position… quickly negated by a Whit Merrifield groundout.
The usually-reliable Salvador Perez helped the Yankees get their next run. After Gary Sanchez led off the sixth with a single, Perez attempted to gun him down on a steal attempt and one-hopped the throw under Merrifield’s glove. Sanchez scooted over to third and scored on a Matt Holliday sac fly later in the inning.
Another lead-off hit, this one from Gregorious, capped the Yankees night. His double to start the seventh chased Hammel and ultimately accounted for his third and final earned run when Brett Gardner greeted Matt Strahm with a single to score Gregorious.
Hammel went six innings, striking out seven and scattering six hits and walking two.
(Very Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting voice) It’s not your fault, Jason.
I’d say more but frankly, I’m not in the mood. The KC Royals once again displayed all the life and resolve of… things that have no life or resolve, sorry that analogy had promise and then cratered. But you get my drift. It’s not like you can point to any one person—a certain 0-fer or coming up small in big moments—but that doesn’t capture the depth of the sadness. There were no big moments in which anyone could come up small. I’m not sure what’s more discouraging.
For the Yankees, the real black mark on this game happened early, when Jacoby Ellsbury chased down Alcides Escobar’s leadoff liner in the first inning. Ellsbury, crashing into the wall, was forced to leave the contest with what’s being rumored as a concussion and neck sprain. All the best to Ellsbury, who remains a legitimately exciting force when healthy.
The KC Royals and Yankees are set to conclude the series tomorrow afternoon, with Kansas City seeking to salvage the split. First pitch between Miguel Almonte (yay!) and Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. (CT).