In the broadcast edit of Major League, Winston Churchill opined, “These guys stink.” As is often the case, Churchill’s words are applicable to the Royals’ recent on-field performance.
Sure, Jason Vargas wasn’t Cy Vargas tonight, but the three earned runs he allowed would hardly have been the death knell for a team not mired in this dreadful offensive funk. Vargas’s counterpart, the decent if far from great Miguel González had the luxury of facing a Royals squad that rolled over and let him retire twelve in a row (Alex Gordon broke the streak with two down in the seventh) with nary a whimper. Though the bulk of tonight’s starting lineup was on the field when the 2015 season ended with the Royals as World Champs, these Royals are a far cry from that squad.
Vargas let Matt Davidson hang dong in the second inning, and given the Royals’ pitiful run production thus far this season, it seemed like the Royals were sunk upon digging themselves a 1-0 hole. Then Whit Merrifield reached on a two-out error in the top of the third when Todd Frazier booted a routine grounder. Moustakas punched a double through to right, and with Merrifield off on contact with two outs, the Royals improbably tied the game at one apiece.
That 1-1 tie was not long for this world.
In the bottom of the third, Moustakas lost balance as he was trying to put Tim Anderson out at first. He airmailed the throw into the stands, and Anderson was awarded second on the two-base error. Anderson stole third and was driven in on a two-out broken-bat José Abreu single after Vargas nearly escaped the inning unscathed.
That put the Royals in an obviously insurmountable 2-1 deficit. Chicago scored some more runs. Vargas’s ERA rose from 0.44 heading into tonight’s game to 1.40 heading into his next one, ceding three earned and four total runs. For some reason, the game plan seemed to be that Vargas needed to be working up in the zone. It didn’t exactly work. Peter Moylan looked like an earthling when he came in to throw baseballs in the sixth, yielding a bunch of poorly struck hits. Travis Wood pitched. That sentence says things on its own without further description.
The White Sox scored more than two runs. This means the Royals lost.
Does knowing the score of the game matter? Will it make your life better? Has hope been obliterated yet?
Before broadcast television censored his statement, Churchill assessed the team in Major League thusly: “They’re shitty.” Uh-huh.
Hell, there’s no point in waiting to see how this plays out. The Royals were losing 12-1 with two outs in the sixth and a runner aboard. It’s safe to say they lost. Do something better with your life than wondering what happened in this game.