Comeback Kings: Kansas City Royals walk-off a wild one at the K
Yeah, we had to start this Kansas City Royals recap over several times. Bear with me, I think we hit the high points.
So for eight full innings, the recap of tonight’s Kansas City Royals contest had taken on a tone that was positively congenial, given the nature of the last few days.
Hey, this was a positive step back toward .500. If you’re on the “We’ve got to give this core one more chance to win” bandwagon, this is the kind of game you hang your hat on—a quality pitching performance, timely hitting and a gutty win against a good, veteran pitcher.
Unfortunately, they insist you play nine in baseball and that really did our boys in Wednesday night, as the Tigers dealt the Kansas City Royals a
At a certain point, you quit writing about things that you think will happen and just wait until they do.
That point is when Brandon Moss collects his third hit of the ballgame.
What ballgame? Any ballgame. If you’re recapping a street stickball game in Brandon Moss’ neighborhood and suddenly he’s got three hits, just sit back and wait. To quote World Wide Wes, you can’t chase the night.
And so that’s how the first three paragraphs got rendered moot—following half another story being rendered moot—in Wednesday’s wild 4-3 walk-off win that saw the Kansas City Royals climb back to within a game of .500.
Lost in the shuffle on this night will be another fine performance from Jason Hammel, who went from atrocious to perfectly serviceable third starter faster than you can say, “Put Travis Wood on a rocket ship and fire it toward Neptune.” He recorded yet another quality start—his sixth since June 1 after netting just three in the season’s first two months—thanks to 6.1 innings of four-hit, one-run ball. Sure, he can’t strike anybody out but so what—Jason Hammel is… rejuvenated? Was he good enough in the first place to qualify for rejuvenation? Is he just juvenated now?
Doesn’t matter. He and Justin Verlander (seven innings, six hits, two earned, eight strikeouts) delivered quality performances for both sides, blemished only by an early Tigers run (via Miguel Cabrera strikeout) and a pair by the Royals (a Moss homer and a Mike Moustakas RBI single in the seventh).
Neither would factor into the decision because these bullpens are pretty ghastly.
In the ninth, Kelvin Herrera—reported to have a fever of 102 as recently as yesterday, so sure, put him in—gave up a blast to almost dead center off the bat of Mikie Mahtook, my nominee for baseball player whose name sounds like it was made up by an eight-year old. Herrera was immediately removed, because Ned Yost.
3-2 Tigers. I wondered aloud on Twitter how the bullpen would screw this up. I figured I now had my answer.
In the home half, everything came up Kansas City. Alcides Escobar drew a four-pitch walk with one down, then scored because Brandon Moss elected to party like it was some year when he wasn’t flirting with the Mendoza line. In fact, his RBI double to tie the game in the ninth—his third hit of the contest—brought him up to .200 even for the first time since May 21.
With Moss advancing to third on the Tigers vain attempt to catch Escobar at the plate, he afforded Alex Gordon the chance to do what Alex Gordon is currently doing best—make an out. Gordo lifted a sac fly to center to bring Moss in for the game-winning run as the faithful at the K exploded in appreciation for the comeback.
Next: We for real on this contending thing?
The Kansas City Royals will attempt to salvage an improbable split with the Tigers tomorrow evening at the K. First pitch from Danny Duffy is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. (CT).