At this point, I really think that most Royals fans hate Joakim Soria more than I hate Peyton Manning's terrible, horrible commercials. And that's saying something.
All evening, Edinson Volquez accomplished the unthinkable: he threw a great game at Progressive Field. However, in a game that could perfectly sum-up the 2016 Royals, the offense didn't show up, and the defending World Series champions lost on a walk-off.
The Indians, against Joakim Soria, because of course, beat the Royals, 2-1 on Tuesday night. RIP Royals playoff odds.
The only mistake Volquez made all evening came in the bottom of the third inning. Carlos Santana, hitting from the left side of the plate, absolutely hammered a fastball for his 33rd home run of the year. Santana, a known Royal killer, is having a career year in every sense of the word. 1-0, Indians.
Kansas City tied the game in the fifth when Salvador Perez hit a double and Alex Gordon drove him in with an RBI single. It was Gordon's 35th RBI of the year.
Volquez' final line: 6.2 innings, four hits, one run, five strikeouts. He used 105 pitches. It was a very good start for him, as he matched Josh Tomlin pitch-for-pitch. Tomlin also went 6.2 innings, scattering five hits and striking out three.
Matt Strahm and Kelvin Herrera kept the game scoreless while the Royals offense was stranding go-ahead runs in scoring position, but Brian Flynn opened the ninth with a walk and a fielding error to put two on. Perez made a terrific play on a bunt to get the lead runner, and that's when Joakim Soria was inserted into a first-and-second, one out situation. He got the first batter he faced out after a comebacker bounced off his foot and rolled right to Hosmer, but Brandon Guyer then hit a pinch-hit double into the right-field corner for a walk-off RBI.
Flynn got the loss. He is 1-2. Andrew Miller worked 1.2 innings of perfect baseball to earn his ninth win; he is 9-1.
WHERE IS WADE DAVIS THERE?
Wait, never mind. I just forgot that part of the MLB rulebook that states closers may only be used on the road if it is a save situation.
....Wait a second, that's not an actual rule? But...but Ned Yost said...
Oh, forget the act. Hey, you guys like stats, so here's a pretty amazing one about how much Joakim Soria has struggled this year in the clutch:
Times allowing the go-ahead or tying run:— Ryan Landreth (@ryan_landreth) September 21, 2016
Wade, 14-16: 10 times, 180 games (#Royals are 5-5)
Soria, 16: 14 times, 66 games (Royals are 2-12)
That is the definition of insanity. Like, the exact definition of insanity. And, I think, the biggest part of that is the Royals record in those games. Even when Wade Davis would give up the go-ahead or tying run, he wouldn't put his team in its final grave. When Soria gives up the tying or go-ahead run, the other team wins nearly every single time.
The Royals are 77-74. They're 1-7 at Progressive Field this year, and they're 6.0 games out of the playoffs.
I'd write more, but there's not a whole lot more to say. This is exactly what the Royals have been doing all year.
Also, for those keeping track, that is the fourteenth time this year that either the tying or go-ahead run has scored with Joakim Soria on the mound. 14.
Tomorrow: Ian Kennedy and Corey Kluber. It's a good matchup on paper.