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Close But Still Dismal

Billy Butler continues to play like an actual real life major league player.  One of eight or so, on the Royals' roster.
Billy Butler continues to play like an actual real life major league player. One of eight or so, on the Royals' roster.

Barring a major comeback by Cleveland tonight (they currently trail Minnesota 10-1), the Kansas City Royals have officially become the worst team in the American League. It also appears they are still digging in some perverse pursuit of the actually atrocious Houston Astros.

The Royals had chances today and, gasp, a lead at one point. They scored runs in the 8th and 9th innings to make it interesting and even got a decent start out of Bruce Chen. Still, there was an error, a ball lost in the sun, the catcher dropping the ball as he started to throw out a baserunner, an out on the bases, a sacrifice bunt turned into a fielder's choice with no out recorded anywhere, and a pitcher simply forgetting to hold the runner at first.

It was bad baseball. Foolish looking baseball. And it was not the first time Kansas City has played that way in the last two weeks.

Lineup construction can be overrated, but I'm not sure I get the logic of resting Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain on the same day. Losing Mike Moustakas to a sprained knee (day to day, MRI pending, storm clouds gathering) after one at-bat made the batting order even more problematical.

After Alcides Escobar tripled in Alex Gordon to bring the Royals within one in the 8th withjust one out, the Royals found themselves with Chris Getz, Billy Butler and Betancourt coming to the plate. A Getz groundout followed by an intentional walk to Butler led to a Betancourt groundout and Escobar remained mired at third.

The Moustakasinjury was, obviously, unforeseeable, but why not rest Cain or Perez (or both actually) on Sunday against King Felix? The injury still puts Getz in the middle of that 8th inning, but likely not Betancourt had Cain been in the lineup from the beginning.

Of course, if the team had a starting rotation that did not require carrying eight relievers, than Ned Yost would have had an extra bat at his disposal in the 8th. Not that he would have used it, but it would have given us something to discuss.

Jose Mijares pitched as though he was checking Twitter between pitches to see if he had been traded yet and Jeff Francoeur saw 17 pitches and swung at 8 of them, but he did actually have a hit and struck out only once. All in all, that's a good game for the Frenchman....if you are grading on the curve (which I think they do in France, by the way).

This team has reached the point where one has to wonder whether someone like Wil Myers should be called up to get major league seasoning or held in the minors to protect his service time because the Royals are going to be bad again in 2013.

Hey, at least they scored more than one run for a change.