Clearly the Svengali routine that Bruce Chen performed over the phone with Jeremy Guthrie a couple weeks back had effects lasting at least into the eighth inning tonight. The totality of the effects, however, were unimaginable until tonight, as it was revealed tonight that the player who Guthrie was hypnotized into becoming was sapped of his powers the instant he walked to the mound, in effect becoming the pitcher that Guthrie had been.
Zack Greinke was neither the Greinke of 2009 nor the Greinke of 2014 tonight, as the Royals not named Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Alex rattled off hits against their former ace. Sans an impressive dong hanging courtesy of Salvador Perez, the Royals got to the prodigal son behind an attack that consisted of eight singles, a Perez double, and an Alcides Escobar triple that would have been a double at most were it not for Yasiel Puig overpursuing a fly ball down the line in right on a bum hip. Puig had troubles regaining body control, eventually bounced off the wall, gathered himself and the ball, and threw a laser into the cut-off man down the line, holding Escobar to a triple. Of course, Dyson followed with one of his three singles, plating Li'l Hercules for the Royals fifth and final run.
Of course, Jeremy Guthrie was lights out through the first seven frames tonight because Chen invoked the dark arts. The powers imbued by the dark arts however clearly have their temporal limitations. This is the easiest explanation for why the Stormin' Mormon stopped storming in the eighth inning. Guthrie yielded merely a pair of runs before being bailed out by Wade Davis, who induced a Puig ground out to get out of the inning without allowing Hanley Ramirez to score from second.
Over the first seven innings, Guthrie was lights out, allowing just four hits before the three-hit eighth. He walked no Dodgers and struck out five over 7 2/3 innings. The Dodgers swung early and often, handing over their pride and patience at the behest of the Svengali.
While we can explain Guthrie's success, it is much harder to understand why the Royals' offense continues to be able to score runs off of former Cy Young Award winners while getting shut down by the Chris Youngs, Jamey Wrights, Chase Whitleys, and Chris Tillmans of the world.
With the 5 - 3 victory--Greg Holland gave up a solo shot to Adrian Gonzalez in the ninth--the Royals closed the gap on the idle division-leading Tigers to two games.
Tomorrow the Royals face the best pitcher on the planet, Clayton Kershaw. Either they'll score 50 runs or get perfectoed.