Apparently James Shields is such a dominant force that he not only silences the bats of the other team, but those on his own team as well. That, my friends, is presence.
Kansas City has now lost four straight James Shields starts. Four games where Shields has given up six runs in 31 innings and the Royals are 0-4.
Shields had the audacity to allow a two out two run first inning home run to J.D. Martinez and then nothing else for the next six. While he was not at his best, there were several long outs (this just in, Lorenzo Cain can play some centerfield), Shields finished his seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Another outstanding pitching performance wasted and this one against the worst team in the game.
The offense was all a little too familiar to many of us. Lorenzo Cain had one hit, but was caught stealing. Chris Getz, inexplicably inserted as the lead-off hitter, reached base twice, but was picked off first after walking to lead off the eighth inning. Alex Gordon singled and walked, but had an excuse me check swing ground out to the pitcher with two on and two out in fifth. Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas were a combined zero for 11.
The only offense came from an unlikely pair. Jeff Francoeur tripled and George Kotteras doubled. Thus endeth the Kansas City offense.
If losing 2-1 to the Astros in a James Shields start was not bad enough, Kelvin Herrera pitched the 8th. He did not allow a home run, but did allow a two out walk followed by a double. Does a good rightfielder, you know one that can go back on a ball, catch it? Maybe. Did it really matter? Doubtful. The Royals already had scored their run for the night.
Listen, this team looks lifeless. It feels like there needs to be a shakeup. It might be an overreaction to losing two of three to Houston. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but something needs to change. Even if it just change for the sake of change.