In the awful movie "Fever Pitch", Jimmy Fallon's character doles out his Red Sox season tickets to his buddies, but jokes one buddy can have the leftovers as punishment for his boorish behavior. That punishment? Red Sox versus Royals.
The Royals lived up that that joke this weekend, with only a great eighth inning on Saturday night to save them from a four game sweep. One day the Royals will be more than just a team to fill the schedule for the Yankees and Red Sox. Today was not that day.
Danny Duffy turned in one of his best performances as a Major Leaguer on Sunday. I have his Game Score as 55, the third highest total of his short career behind his seven inning win against the White Sox on July 19th (Game Score of 63), and a six inning loss to the Tigers on July 7 (61). Duffy was actually pretty efficient with his pitches against the patient Sox, throwing 62 strikes among his 102 pitches.
Johnny G. got some offense going in the seventh when he led off the inning with a gritty triple. Sal Perez followed with a gritty walk, battling from an 0-2 count to stretch Lester's pitch count and induce the free pass. Then Moose gritted through a two-strike count to lace a solid single off the lefty to put the Royals on the board. Ned then decided to play for one run instead of going for a big inning, and asked Alcides to bunt, which he failed to do, striking out in the process. Lee Judge immediately issued demerits and the Royals predictably ended the threat.
Then the bullpen imploded. Aaron Crow hung a fastball to bookstore-owner Carl Crawford and Louis Coleman gave up three in the eighth to pretty much put things away. At least Tim Collins got to pitch on his birthday. He also gets a free Krispy Kreme donut, so he has that going for him. Which is nice.
Those high-priced Red Sox did the Royals in. Darnell McDonald - released by six teams in his career - had three hits, including a home run. 2008 6th round draft pick Ryan Lavarnway also collected two hits, including an RBI double.
Meanwhile, the first five hitters in the Royals lineup with 0-18 with six left on base.
The Royals have dropped eight of eleven since promoting Salvador Perez. Save us Jason Kendall, you're our only hope.