It’s over, Royals. It’s really, truly over.
This was your chance to save yourselves. The impossible task of beating the Indians, who had won 21 straight games, was before them. But if they could somehow manage to do just that two or even three times this weekend, they would still have a ray of hope in the Wild Card race.
Then Friday night happened. What an absolute, monumental disaster that was.
The Indians beat the Royals, 3-2, in 10 innings. The last 30 minutes, every single thing went wrong for Kansas City. I know this because I watched it happen. The Indians have won 22 straight baseball games. The Royals picked an awful time for one of the season’s biggest heartbreakers to date.
They had chances. Oh boy, did they have chances.
Mike Moustakas hit into a double play to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. Cleveland responded with a Lonnie Chisenhall RBI single.
In the sixth, Eric Hosmer roped an RBI double to re-give Kansas City a lead at 2-1. That advantage held all the way until there were two outs in the final inning.
I can’t even write this I’m so mad.
Ned Yost removed Kelvin Herrera from the closer’s role a week ago. One week ago. Because he was doing terrible and was potentially hurt. So tonight, he decides that the slimmest possible cushion against a team that hasn’t lost since in three weeks was the best time to relaunch Herrera. Shockingly, it didn’t work when Herrera blew the save, his fifth of the year, on a Francisco Lindor two-out RBI double. Alex Gordon, who plays because defense, couldn’t make the catch on a ball rocked just over his head off the left-field wall. That sent things to extras.
That’s now FOUR times since August 29 that Herrera has entered a game to convert a situation, and he’s been unable to do it all four times. Two blown saves, two injury-forced exits. What a disaster.
I get it, I get it. “Who else is Ned supposed to throw out there then?” The answer: literally anybody else. If you’re removing him from the closer’s role because of performance, you can’t put him back in there because “we had no other options” a week later. If he’s out, he’s out. If he’s out because he can’t handle it or is in a rough patch, there is no smart scenario to try it again in these circumstances.
Jake Junis did well. He gave up one run in 5.2 innings. He would have gotten the win had Kelvin Herrera not bombed for the millionth straight time. Seven hits and just one strikeout were enough to keep the Indians at bay. Then Mike Minor and Ryan Buchter got the next seven outs, and suddenly the Royals were three outs away. Whoops!
Kelvin Herrera sucks. Brandon Maurer sucks too; I don’t know who sucks more or less. But Ned Yost said Maurer was going to close by committee and that Herrera was no longer the closer. So... like... why didn’t you do that? This is the same manager that said he was going to bench Alex Gordon and then played him in the next, like, 10 games. I don’t even need to tell you how annoying it is.
Then Jay Bruce hit a walk-off against Brandon Maurer because hahahaha screw it all.
Tomorrow, if you’re for some reason still watching: Jason Vargas against Trevor Bauer at 6:10 pm. But don’t do it. They’re dead. It’s over. Do something better with your time.