Our Kansas City Royals pulled off one of the biggest comebacks and strangest wins of the season last night at the K. Its actually hard to write about these games because so much happens that turns out to be important, and chances are, anyone who checks the box score actually examines what happens because of the eye-popping score. As such, its hard not to feel robotic going back over things. Here's all you really need to know, "Whhhhhhhhooooooo Hooooooooo" (or whatever your yell of choice is). Now, on with the post.
As you surely know by now, the Royals took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, only to see the Rangers score 11 runs the next two innings. Kyle Snyder allowed 10 runs to score, although the unearned run rule saved him some indignity, as only 5 runs were "earned" by the Rangers. Its hard to feel sorry for a guy when he allows more hits than runs during his time on the mound. Lets all just consider this another young player ruined by the Royals until served further notice.
So there we were, down 11-4 and already into the bullpen. Affeldt allowed 2 runs in 2 innings, which looked like Warren Spahn compared to Snyder, but the Royals still had a long, long way to go...
At this point, it may be helpful to consult the invaluable fangraph probability graphic.
As you can see, the Royals went from having an outstanding chance of winning the game to having almost no chance (less than 10%) in just two innings. What the Royals truly needed was a big inning, something to get the game back into reach and to possibly get deeper into the Texas bullpen. Out of nowhere in the third, thats exactly what they got.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Emil Brown walked which turned out to be one of the bigger plays of the game. From there, the Royals responded: single-single-double-single for four two-out runs. They actually had a chance for more after a Grudz single, before Minky ended the inning with a roller to first. 11-8.
Affeldt worked a scoreless top of the fourth, and the Royals added another run in the bottom of the inning thanks to -- you guess it -- more singles.
From here, the Royals really started to control the game, buoyed by, surprise, the bullpen. Sisco would work two scoreless innings and the Royals just kept coming with their pesky singles. After a 5th inning homer from DeJesus, the Royals had pulled to 11-10. In the 7th Royals produced a walk-out-error-single-out-double-walk-homer sequence that netted 6 runs. Once again, it actually could have been more. After the Stairs homer, Brown and Teahen both singled, giving Angel Berroa one more chance to do something. He didn't, making his second out of the inning.
The Royals used six pitchers in the win, including good efforts from Dessens and Burgos. Seeing Burgos have a decent appearence was nice... well, if I could still care about such things.
In total the Royals had:
Which raises the question? Is the Texas defense really that bad?
Royals Review All-Star Choice Mark Teahen was 4-4 with a walk, raising his OPS .062 points during the game, transforming his season line from .204/.242/.376 to .237/.279/.402 in the process. Don't look now, but after his 3-5 Minky is now hitting .276, lifted by a .421 average in June. In short, everyone in the lineup did something which helped produce a run, even Angel, despite his damnedest efforts not to be productive in anyway.
All in all, a huge win for the Royals as they head into the Sluggers Birthday celebration this weekend. Its important that we get some innings out of Wood tonight, considering the state of the bullpen.