GOODYEAR, AZ - It was a somber scene in the Royals' post-game clubhouse on the Goodyear side of two split-squad games Tuesday. The Royals suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Shelley Duncan.
"Shelley single-handedly crushed our spirits," said a teary-eyed Irving Falu after the game. "We're just not used to losing like this."
In fact, the Royals are not used to losing at all. The team has not suffered a loss since the famed Pavano/Chen duel on September 28, 2011. The game ended 0-1 and that was the last time (until now) that team has felt the agony of defeat. The Royals haven't forgotten about the loss; memory of it has inspired them to win every game since.
Bruce Chen recalled the loss: "We remember how losing that game made us feel. We felt like the laughing-stock of the league. That's just not us. We're winners!"
The usual jester, Chen--not in action today--offered his analysis of his one-loss team: "As of today? I'd say there's clearly a chink in the armor, but it's certainly not me. We've got to get things figured out if we're going to get back on the winner's train." Chen's optimism permeated, "Yosty will get us back on the right track."
Ned Yost could not be found for questioning.
On the other side of the desert, Max Ramirez fumed, "What I did today; that's what winners do. But ya know, it's just not enough unless every player on the team is a winner."
Ramirez, who is battling Billy Butler for the everyday DH position, continued his hot-hitting ways by crushing two home runs and bringing home four RBIs. "I did all I could do, but at the end of the day, we're just .500 on the day."
"You've just got to make adjustments, put on your winner's cap again, and get back out there tomorrow," said Royals' left fielder Alex Gordon. Alex was 0-3 on the day and is batting a pedestrian .250 on the season. "But... there's really no way to prepare your team and your fans for a loss like this. Not the Royals, anyway."