Is it time for Dale Sveum to be reassigned to catching instructor?
The Royals managed just three hits off 35 year old Chris Young, a pitcher released in spring training by the Washington Nationals, as Dustin Ackley singled home a run with two outs in the ninth to give the Mariners a 2-1 win. Young dazzled the Royals with hanging breaking balls and 85 mph fastballs, basically throwing it up there and letting the Royals get themselves out with pop ups and strikeouts by swinging at pitches above their chin (looking at your Eric Hosmer). Pedro Grifol stands validated once more.
Jason Vargas gave a vintage 2014 Vargas performance. He kept hitters off balance and sprinkled 10 hits over 8.2 innings of work without walking anyone. He gave up a run in the third when Brad Miller led off with a bunt single, then James Jones singled him to second. Cole Gillespie (the Mariners lineup is just loaded with superstar studs) drove Miller home with single to shallow center to put Seattle on the board.
Alex Gordon atoned for disappointing Paul Rudd last night with a glorious dong to deep right to tie the game, his ninth home run of the year, a team high. Salvador Perez would follow with a single, but would be thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. Justin Maxwell, just up from Omaha, followed that up with a single, but would be stranded at third. Those would be the Royals only three hits of the day.
Vargas was left out in the ninth inning of a 1-1 game, and retired the first two hitters, but he would be left in to give up a double to Kyle Seager, an infield single to Stefen Romero, and the game-winning single to Dustin Ackley. This is why the Royals have a thirteen-man bullpen, so they can never use them.
Jarrod Dyson walked in the ninth off closer Fernando Rodney to give the Royals a glimmer of hope, but Eric Hosmer quickly snuffed it out with a game-ending double play. Eric's OPS is now down to .652, or just above Norichika Aoki's, and he is hitting .193/.224/.312 over his last 26 games. We mocked Rany Jazyerli for suggesting Eric Hosmer be demoted to Omaha a month ago, but now it appears that may have to become a reality.
Ugh, of course we follow up a long winning streak by dropping the first two to Seattle. Its up to Yordano to prevent the sweep. Feels like old times.