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Royals Lose 15 - 4 in Odorizzi's Debut, Eliminated From Playoffs

A photo capturing the last time Jake Odorizzi was to have smiled in his life.
A photo capturing the last time Jake Odorizzi was to have smiled in his life.

For five innings, everything came up Odorizzi. The Royals led 1 - 0 thanks to a particularly impressive hanging of dong by Adam Moore in his first at-bat as a Royal. Odorizzi worked through the flailing Indians lineup with an encouraging efficiency that at least gave one the impression that he would take great pains to keep his pitch count down. He was far from overpowering, but he seemed to have good command and allowed just three base-runners through the first five innings, allowing two Shin-Soo Choo singles and issuing a walk to Jack Hannahan while striking out three.

His third time through the line-up was an entirely different story. After recording the first out of the sixth by getting Choo to fly out to right center, he left the ball up in the zone to four straight Indians, who tripled, singled, homered, and singled before Ned Yost was forced to gesture to bullpen for relief. Francisely Bueno cleaned up Odorizzi's mess, limiting the damage to three runs.

Unfortunately the Royals bullpen looked positively 2000 in the seventh inning, an inning in which they were called upon to record four outs thanks in part to Alcides Escobar mishandling a ball while the Royals had caught Michael Brantley in a run down. It was actually one of two Royals errors in the inning, with Jeff Francoeur throwing a ball home errantly and being charged with an error as Jason Kipnis came around to score on the overthrow thanks entirely to the ball getting well-past Adam Moore. By the time the seventh was over, the Indians had tagged on an extra five runs, rendering any attempt at a rally that the Royals would mount moot.

The Royals would plate three more runs over the bottom half of the last three innings, but that would be all the hometown nine could muster on their way to eliminating themselves from playoff contention and crushing the collective spirit of the Greater Kansas City Metro Area who were gathered around their radios with baited breath hoping that for just one more day the Royals would be playing a game with meaning.

Given the opportunity to show once again what the Royals had gotten in return for Zack Greinke, Ned Yost called upon Jeremy Jeffress to attempt to throw a second inning of relief, only to watch Jeffress end up being completely unable to do anything right, laboring his way through what ended up being six earned runs charged to Jeffress over the course of the two-thirds of an inning he was able to complete before handing the ball over the Louis Coleman who continued on down the path that the Royals relievers before him had traveled.

All in all, an encouraging game turned into a revolting one in four excruciating innings.

In the long run, it's probably best to condition Odorizzi to expect disappointment.