Strange, strange night in Cleveland.
I'm not sure how this is possible, but I'm convinced the Royals did the unthinkable tonight, they lost the same game at least three times. To wit:
- The first loss was a bland 6-1 defeat on the road. Just hours after I wrote that "we should all shut up" about Sidney Ponson, our beloved Sidney was awful, burying the Royals early. Ponson couldn't do anything tonight, and frankly, he was lucky to only allow six runs.
- The second loss materialized somewhere in the middle innings, when it became clear that the Royals were having a day of bad luck on a borderline historical level. The Royals grounded into double plays in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth. That's right, they grounded into a double play in six straight innings. Perhaps the best, or rather worst part, was that the Indians weren't even sending ground-ball pitchers out there for most of the game. According to my records, it was the most GIDPs in a game not involving Derek Jeter since the Spanish-American War. When the Indians somehow failed to extend their lead in the middle innings and the Royals rallied in the eighth, all those double plays revealed themselves to be secret game losers.
- The third loss came in the eighth and ninth inning. Despite really having everything go completely and utterly against them, the Royals had pulled to within 6-5 with just one out in the top of the eighth. With two men on, the latest candidate for most hated Royal, Miguel Olivo grounded into a, you guessed it, double play to end the inning. Instantly, the Royals' chances of winning dropped back from a reasonable 27% to a much lower 14%. (Of course, somewhere in Hackin' Miguel's mind, he blasted that ball out of the stadium.) Still, it was 6-5, and the Indians couldn't have been exactly confident. In the bottom of the eighth however, Juan Cruz picked a bad time to allow his first runs of the season, surrendering a crucial two-run homer to Victor Martinez. As such, when DeJesus homered with two outs in the ninth, it was of little use. The Royals have now lost back-to-back one-run games in which they've not used their best reliever.
So when you break it down, the Royals managed quite the trifecta: a typical "the starter sucked" loss, a quirky vintage bumbling Royals loss, and a minor heartbreaker.
Not a bad night's work for a drizzly night in the Rust Belt.