KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 14: Salvador Perez #13 is helped off the field by Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals after the two collided while trying to catch a Mark Trumbo of the Los Angeles Angels foul ball in the second inning at Kauffman Stadium on September 14, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
This was a vintage September baseball game with thirteen pitchers used in the ballgame, and only two relievers pitching at least an inning of baseball. Jason Bourgeois was the leadoff hitter, the Angels had three catchers appear in the game, and something called a "Nick Maronde" was allowed to play. There was even game-thread madness with hidden game-threads, multiple game-threads and game-threads from another dimension. It was the kind of clubhouse confusion Dayton Moore sought to avoid when he refused to call up Kila Kaaihue many moons ago.
For a September game with pretty much nothing on the line, it was a fairly interesting game. The Royals took an early lead on solo dongs by Billy Butler (his 26th, and first in 25 games, but still ten short of Balboni's magical number) and Mike Moustakas (his first in 23 games, and just his fourth off a lefty). But Chen fell apart in the fourth, giving up four runs on a myriad of bunt singles, walks, hit batters, and base hits. The Royals would battle back with a Frenchy home run and would eventually take a 7-5 lead before Kendry Morales tied the game with a two-run homer and Jeremy Jeffress walked in a run with the bases loaded to give up the lead for good.
You know, a lot of focus has been on how crummy Luke Hochevar has been this year, but let's not overlook how bad Bruce Chen has been. Hochevar is third worst among all AL pitchers in ERA among those that qualify for the ERA title - Chen is fourth. Chen is the fourth worst AL pitcher in OPS allowed. He has given up the fifth most home runs. He has the sixth fewest strikeouts of anyone that qualifies for the ERA title. He has the fifth worst FIP among qualified starters. He is the sixth least valuable ERA qualifier by WAR. He has been one of the worst pitchers in the league this year. And he will be paid $4.5 million for it. Trust the process.