Last night, the Royals lost 1-0 to the Miami Marlins. You knew that. Maybe you didn't know that was the fifth time the Royals participated in a game this year where the score finished 1-0.
By my quick count I have the Royals playing five 1-0 games last year, including on the final game of the season to the Tigers. In 2011 they had just one 1-0 game. That, too, was in the final game of the year. A loss to the Twins.
The Royals are now 23-18 in one-run games on the season. The 23 wins is tied for the most in the American League with the Cleveland Indians. The Pirates also have 23 in the NL and the Diamondbacks lead all of baseball with 25 one-run wins.
Opening Day in Chicago. The game is played in foreshadows. Big Game James Shields against Chris Sale. Shields goes six, striking out six allowing eight hits. Sale throws 7.2 innings with seven whiffs and seven hits allowed. Tyler Flowers leads off the fifth with a home run against Shields. Ballgame.
Flowers is currently slugging .348 on the season.
The Royals traveled to Atlanta for a two-game set against the red-hot Braves, winners of 12 of their first 13. The Braves crushed the Royals 6-3 the night before in the Kelvin Herrera Homerpalooza game, but were stymied by Wade Davis who threw seven masterful innings in what is still his best start of the season.
The Royals scored their run in the top of the fourth on a two-out Jeff Francoeur single, which brought Alcides Escobar home from second. Greg Holland struck out the side in the ninth for his third save of the season.
The Royals opened the de facto second half of the season by playing a game with the same score as they opened the first half of the season. Except this time, the Royals were the victors.
Ervin Santana pitched into the eighth before he was pulled. He finished with 7.1 innings, two hits and six strikeouts. His Game Score of 79 was his highest of the year to date.
In this one, Alex Gordon led off the Royals half of the first with a single. Gordon stole second after an Eric Hosmer lineout and scored on Billy Butler's single. And that was it. Three batters, one run and the game was pretty much over. Detroit had a total of three baserunners all game.
Another 1-0 game against the White Sox. Another 1-0 game with Chris Sale throwing for the opponents. And another 1-0 win for Wade Davis who allowed four hits and three walks in 7.1 innings.
The Royals run came in the sixth following singles from Hosmer and Butler to leadoff the inning. After a Salvador Perez flyout, Lorenzo Cain doubled to bring home Hosmer for the game's lone tally.
August 13, 2013
Bruce Chen continued his amazing second half, blanking the Marlins for seven innings. We know how this one turned in the tenth.
I don't know why, but all these 1-0 games really stand out in a season of some pretty memorable games. Maybe it's the circumstances. Opening Day. The first game post All-Star break. Wade Davis shutting down a hot Atlanta team. I've found as I've seen more baseball it's easier to appreciate a finely pitched ballgame. Give me 1-0 over 10-8 any time and I'll be a happy baseball fan. Give me a 1-0 win and I'll be even happier.