Games like this always bring me back to a moment in David Mamet's 2001 comedy State and Main. Alec Baldwin plays Bob Barrenger, a dim Hollywood leading man with a Clintonian inability to keep his member in his trousers regardless of the cost to his film or career. On an already troubled shoot in a small Vermont town, Barrenger's unit--which serves as a preternatural divining rod that always leads him right into trouble--puts him in a car with a scheming local teen (played by Julia Stiles). While careening down a local street in the dark of night and simultaneously being orally pleasured by the teen, he flips the love mobile at the titular intersection. As he is pulled out of the car by the blocked and angst-ridden screenwriter (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the first words that come out of Barrenger's mouth are a deadpanned "So that happened."
I suppose the scene is more closely analogous to tonight's game than most.
In one respect, you have the Royals playing the dismal White Sox who trotted their left-handed starter John Danks out to the mound. On the rocky road to recovery from a shoulder injury--and this was the trifecta of a shoulder capsule tear, rotator cuff damage, and biceps tendon debridement--Danks had made 16 starts and in only eight of those starts did he register even a Game Score of 50. But for one start versus Oakland on June 8th in which he earned a Game Score of 77, he hadn't surpassed the mark of 63 before tonight. Facing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the 7-8-9-1 slots (Emilio Bonifacio, Alcides Escobar, Chris Getz, and Jamey Carroll), Danks had no problems working past the Royals' seven hits and one walk. Only registering two strikeouts, Danks was helped out by the Royals, particularly Chris Getz and Jamey Carroll. In the third inning, already down 2 - 0, Getz led off with a single to shallow right. With Jamey Carroll at the plate and Eric Hosmer standing in the on-deck circle, Yost and the Royals decided to small ball their way to defeat by putting on the hit-and-run despite the fact that Carroll hasn't exactly hit the ball well since coming to Kansas City. With Getz rounding second and on his way to third, Carroll's first-pitch swing sent the ball squarely into Alejandro De Aza's glove in shallow center who was afforded the luxury of taking a handful of steps toward the first base foul line before tossing the ball back to first, doubling up Getz. Eric Hosmer followed the double play with a rifled single. In the bottom of the eighth, Getz once again singled to lead off, only this time he was picked off as he erred too far from first against the southpaw and was picked off on a borderline move to first. Danks went eight strong innings, allowing just eight baserunners and erasing three of them on the basepaths, Getz twice and another on a Billy Butler GIDP.
Much like Bob Barrenger had no business being in that car getting pleasured by a teen, the Royals--a team that believes themselves to be in the playoff picture--had no place getting completely shut down by a roughly replacement-level 2013 John Danks, letting him collect his second-highest game score of the season while going eight innings for only the second time this season. The Pale Hoes managed only two runs off of Ervin Santana, one a solo dong hanging in the first by Gordon Beckham--who must have gotten his home run swing down before getting on the plane to Kansas City--and the second coming on a wild pitch that went through one of the signs behind home plate with Paul Konerko on third. Those two runs were all Chicago would need.
In the big picture, the Barrenger situation and response have their applicability to the season on the whole. The Royals tricked themselves into pursuing the 2013 campaign by little heed to what they should have done, letting their baser instincts lead them astray and throwing prudence to the wind. Having now lost six of their last eight with three of those losses coming at the hands of teams who comfortably find themselves in last place, Dayton Moore was found early this morning in an upturned car in a quiet New England hamlet. When pulled out of the vehicle in a bit of a daze, the first words that sprang forth from his mouth were, "So that happened."