We're not even done with the month of April and the Royals have toyed with our emotions more than a jilted ex-lover. They had momentum going into the last roadtrip, then promptly got swept by Minnesota. They righted the ship by sweeping the Astros. They looked pretty decent on another short homestand. But to quote the movie "Waterboy" - "oh no, we suck again!"
The Royals had a real chance to poke their head above the rest of their mediocre Central Division peers with a good showing in Cleveland, but instead dropped two of the first three close contests in the series before laying a turd in the finale. Indians starter Corey Kluber made quick work of some anemic Royals hitters, striking out eleven with no walks, and sprinkling in just four hits and an unearned run on a Nick Swisher error. Kluber threw just over 100 pitches, with just 26 balls all day.
Bruce Chen, to his credit, did his part by giving up a five-spot in the fifth. Here's how that inning went down:
- Carlos Santana doubled to deep right center
- Michael Brantley singled to shallow center, Carlos Santana scored
- Ryan Raburn walked, Michael Brantley to second
- Yan Gomes singled to shallow left, Michael Brantley to third, Ryan Raburn to second
- David Murphy singled to shallow left, Michael Brantley and Ryan Raburn scored, Yan Gomes to second
- Mike Avilés sacrificed to pitcher, Yan Gomes to third, David Murphy to second
- Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to shallow left, Yan Gomes and David Murphy scored
- Michael Mariot relieved Bruce Chen
LOL, Terry Francona, you are adorable, bunting in the middle of a blowout inning like that.
For the third straight start, Bruce Chen failed to pitch into the sixth inning and you have to feel like he is on borrowed time in the starting rotation. With an ERA at 7.45 and with Danny Duffy looking pretty nasty out of the pen since being recalled from Omaha, a change may soon be in order.
Other notes from the game:
- The Royals are 0-1 in games in which Brett Hayes has started. Little known fact: Brett Hayes is the Royals backup catcher. He played today. His next start will likely be just after Memorial Day.
- Michael Mariot was fairly impressive in slop time with four strikeouts and no runs to get the last 11 outs. At the very least, it saved our bullpen.
- No full-time first baseman has hit .300 with a slugging-percentage under .400 since Gerald Perry did it for the Atlanta Braves in 1988. Eric Hosmer is hitting .301 with a .373 slugging percentage. He struck out three times today.
- For the first time in the series, Nori Aoki did not strike out. He is still on pace for 115 strikeouts, which would more than he had his first two seasons in the big leagues combined.
- The Royals seemed to mail it in over the later innings, striking out four times looking with just one hit in the three frames.
Well, onto Baltimore for what I'm sure will be another hot streak before we suck again. Quit playing games with my heart.