13 straight losses.
6 run lead blown.
Worst team in baseball by 4 games.
The Worst team in the American League by 9 games.
What looked like a dream turned into a horrific nightmare this afternoon for the woeful Kansas City Royals. Amazingly, the Royals staked to a 6-0 lead thanks to back-to-back-to-back homers in the first inning by Graffanino, Berroa and Dougie. Entering the game, those three had only 4 homers combined.
Still, from the happiest of beginnings, clouds gathered: a catastrophic Berroa error fueled a 3 run Tiger 3rd, leading to a much closer game than anyone deserved. Still, after trading spare runs for the afternoon, the Royals hit the 8th up 8-5 and needing only 6 outs to record the 11th victory that has eluded them for two weeks.
Better still, the Royals had been borderline saved by a young pitcher from St. Louis named Bobby Keppel who bridged the gap from a shaky Bautista to the supposedly OK Burgos-Dessens team, all while making his first major league start. Keppel allowed only 2 Hs in 3.1 innings, striking out 4, which is probably like the second highest in game total for a Royal this season.
Instead, the 9 odd remaining Royals fans got to watch Burgos and Dessens completely break down.
Fun, fun. What a roster we've got!
Burgos inherited only one baserunner, and quickly retired Thames and Inge. From this point on, the Royals played like the Worst Team in the history of baseball.
Single. Single. Triple. Lead to a 8-8 game. Amazingly, Dessens came on and flukily retired some dude named Hannahan to end the inning. In the bottom of the 8th the Royals surprisingly did nothing, letting Sanders and Brown strand Costa at first.
The 9th went like this:
Sisco in for Dessens
Fly out (Hannahan again)
13-8 Tigers. Someone kill me please.
So lets get a few things out of the way:
-Lets lose this notion that Elmer Dessens is a good pitcher. His season ERA is now 5.25, even with his fluky start. The quicker Bell starts using him in the 6th rather than the 8th the better off everyone will be.
-Ditto for Burgos. Personally, I loathe the sports radio mantra of "players need to know their roles" almost as much as the Closer Myth. Still, its time to either a) send Burgos to Wichita (because you know they don't use Omaha for anything that matters) to work things out or b) move him into the Gobble/Wood role, or give him the Sisco "we think you're good, kinda" half-fireman role. I don't care what, but personally, I don't want to see him pitch for awhile. His new "role" needs to be not killing the team on a daily basis. Burgos is getting hit, hard and he's not getting outs. The good news is that he isn't walking guys, so maybe its not all hopeless.
-The Royals plan of stocking up on #5 starters as a means to decency is dead. Thanks to one dude being fat (Run), one having a mental breakdown (Greinke), one flat out being the worst pitcher in the League (Mays), one sucking (Elarton) and one being flaky (Affeldt), Denny Bautista and his C+-stuff has stood out as something actually deserving of attention and hope. Forget it. Bautista got no help from Berroa in the 2nd and because he couldn't stay in the game, the Royals ran out of pitchers. In sum, what this management team wanted to do with both the lineup and the staff has failed miserably.
-It isn't effort, its talent. Still, you have to win this game. Up three runs with 4 outs to go, up 6 runs in the first and the Detroit starter already pulled, on and on and on.
-Thank Allah that Bell yanked Dougie out of the 3-hole and only a month too late (!?!??!). Lets all pretend that Dougie's first homer of the season was a result of a new mental/emotional approach being further down in the lineup, and insist that a) Bell be given credit and b) that this move remain in place. If anything else, it means we can more fully focus our attention on Emil killing rallies.
-Don't run anymore Reggie. Race Berroa in the tunnel pregame if you have to, but don't run on I-rod in a game that features 8 homers.
-Mr. Glass, with all due respect and with all undue insolence, if you don't make the move now, you deserve to be investigated for colluding with the rest of the American League. Pretend the Royals are a Wal-Mart that lets workers take extra 15 minute breaks or something if it helps.
-Here's this, courtesy of the AP Story:
Only Boston in 1932, Baltimore in 1988 and Washington in 1904 had worse records (9-36) after 45 games. "I've kind of run out of things to say," said Doug Mientkiewicz, who had one of the first-inning homers. "There's really not much to talk about." Has the ineptitude become baffling? "We passed that point about three weeks ago," Mientkiewicz said.You passed that point about three years ago Minkster.
-I give the Tigers no credit for this game. I don't care how crusty, rusty and wise Jim Leyland is, I don't care what I-rod said in the 3rd or what Inge told the boys in the 8th or whatever. They beat a bad AAA team today, and one managed by a robotic oaf at that. Spare me the Comeback Tigers angle tonight on Baseball Tonight. Speaking of which:
-Our hapless little franchise is about to vomit its way back into the national spotlight again. Headed to NY on a holiday weekend holding a massive losing streak, with about 10 different versions of the Yankees Bad, Royals Sad already potted for any half-bored scribe to build on. As Mr. Weatherstone put it in the comments to the game, this could get very ugly, very fast.