For three innings, there was a baseball game being played at Kauffman Stadium.
Then there wasn’t.
Starting for the Royals, Dillon Gee made it through two innings without yielding a run before getting a demoralizing dong hung of the three-run variety to deep left center from Khris Davis. The Royals battled back in the bottom of the third, matching the three runs Gee allowed in the top of the frame with a rally built upon a two-run Paulo Orlando double. An out later, Kendrys Morales singled Orlando in and the Royals were back in business.
In the next frame, business shuttered, the power was turned off, the soil turned fallow, the pipes burst, and raw sewage turned the ground to a mushy stew of excrement. The Royals yielded three more runs, Gee to Brooks Pounders to Scott Alexander to Chris Young.
6-3 was not entirely insurmountable. Young gave up a run in the fifth to make it 7-3. Still feasible. Not ideal.
The five-run sixth, however, rendered a lead from which no Royals team was ever coming back. As if 12-3 wasn’t enough of a disaster, Alec Mills - who has to feel like the fates are conspiring against him after his second disastrous big league appearance in as many chances - gave up four more runs in the top of the ninth to drive the score to a miserable 16-3.
Luckily for the Royals, there are only nine innings in a baseball game, so Oakland was stuck at just 16 runs.
The crazy thing is that the Royals actually drove Oakland starter Ross Detwiler from the game after the fourth, as his pitch count was over 80. It didn’t much matter when six Royals pitchers proved completely unable to finish off any A’s.
Jim Mora once answered a question about his squad making the playoffs with the incredulous question-answer, “Playoffs?!?” This game spurs the same reaction when trying to assay the Royals’ chances at making a run at the Wild Card.