Good things and good news are in short supply around the KC Royals, who found themselves out of Sunday’s game against St. Louis almost as soon as it began, lost to the Cardinals 7-2, and ended the weekend swept by their cross-state rivals.
The loss dropped Kansas City to 1-5 on what is sizing up to be a disastrous homestand. The Royals begin a four-game home series tonight with the Astros, who are 70-47 and lead the American League West. KC is 49-67 overall, 4-9 in August, and owns the AL Central cellar.
The Royals, unfortunately, are in danger of becoming a reasonable facsimile of the team that shattered its 2021 dreams with a 7-20 June. And little good happened to them over the weekend, both on and off the field.
The Cardinals ran roughshod over the KC Royals all weekend at The K.
St. Louis’ three-day domination of Kansas City started Friday evening. Starter Jack Flaherty, activated earlier in the day from the Injured List, shut the Royals out for six innings on just two hits, and the two back-to-back solo homers Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill touched KC starter Mike Minor for in the fourth accounted for all the runs the Cards needed. But they scored four more for good measure and won 6-0.
The Royals’ offense made an appearance Saturday night, but St. Louis’ was better, scoring twice in the fifth to take its first lead of the game, and pulling away with four in the seventh and three in the ninth for a 9-4 victory. Notably, but unfortunately, Greg Holland’s slide continued—he gave up the Cards’ ninth inning runs and has now surrendered eight earned runs in his last four appearances (three innings). His ERA is 5.79.
Sunday was worse. Second-year starter Kris Bubic, who held these same Cardinals to a single run and struck out four in 4.2 innings a week ago at Busch Stadium, had nothing. St. Louis battered him for seven runs before Manager Mike Matheny had seen enough and replaced him with one out in the second inning. And Kansas City’s offense sputtered again, with Salvador Perez’s 30th homer of the season constituting the only real noise the Royals made in losing 7-2.
The two things most responsible for KC’s poor season—unreliable pitching and the club’s nagging inability to hit when it counts—plagued the team throughout the weekend. Kansas City pitchers gave up 22 runs and 31 hits; the Royals left 22 runners on base and were 4-for-20 (.200) with runners in scoring position.
Sunday’s news about an injured player wasn’t good for the KC Royals.
Kansas City sent five-tool shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, whose various injuries have forced him to the sidelines for all but 10 games this season, to Triple-A Omaha on a rehabilitation assignment almost two weeks ago. Little went right for Mondesi—he last played for the Storm Chasers Tuesday and, after going 0-for-3 that night, was 3-for-27 (.111).
Things didn’t get better Sunday when the KC Royals revealed they’ve called Mondesi back to Kansas City after he had oblique tightness. Nothing more appeared to be publicly known as of late Sunday evening but, per mlb.com Royals beat writer Anne Rogers, Matheny said ending Mondesi’s season now hasn’t been discussed, and that the club had Mondesi return to town to for evaluation:
"“Is there something we can do here, one for the peace of mind of the player and two for the peace of mind of the organization? Get a closer look…without having to go through other channels at the Triple-A level. Get him in here, get a look, make sure where we are and then put our game plan for moving forward.”"
This latest development could, of course, constitute nothing more than a hiccup in Mondesi’s recovery and delay his return only briefly. On the other hand, oblique injuries can be troublesome, and any step backward could cast even more doubt on Mondesi’s readiness to play again in 2021. Either way, Sunday’s news wasn’t good.
The weekend wasn’t kind to the KC Royals. They lost three times and received troubling news about a star player.