I’ve seen a lot of stupid stuff in my time as a fan of the Royals. I’ve seen lots and lots of bad hitters become Babe Ruth against these guys. I’ve seen them make lots of mediocre soft-tossing left handers look like annual Cy Young contenders.
But this April, I think I’ve seen the single stupidest, weirdest, strangest, and most unbelievable thing I can remember in my lifetime fandom of the Royals.
Matt. Freaking. Davidson.
He is a .224 career hitter. But after homering twice tonight, he has hit SEVEN home runs in four games at Kauffman Stadium. This ALREADY breaks the record for most home runs hit at Kauffman by an opponent in one year, and it’s April 27th.
SEVEN HOME RUNS. He has TWO against everybody else!
Per @BHIndepMO on Twitter, he is hitting 164/292/311 with two home runs against everyone else, and he’s hitting over 500 with 7 home runs against the Royals this year. He’s almost out-homering the Royals at Kauffman Stadium this year (7 to 8). I’ve never seen anything like it.
Ok fine here’s the game story that I wrote when things were tied:
The Royals, who are so used to falling into early holes, jumped to a quick start in the first inning. Mike Moustakas banged his eighth home run of the year, a 438-foot bomb to left-center field, to open the scoring. It was as impressive of a home run as I’ve personally seen Moustakas hit. Hitting with power to the opposite field used to be so difficult for him, but he muscled the pitch he hit out over the wall with ease.
After Moustakas’ homer, Salvador Perez, Lucas Duda, and Jorge Soler strung together three straight base hits to make it 2-0, but the Royals couldn’t do any further damage. Stranding runners to end innings has been a real issue for this team, as they left two men on to end each of the first three innings. This is one night removed from putting the leadoff man on in each of the last seven innings and only scoring two runs, so it’s not like this is an unfamiliar issue.
Danny Duffy was unable to hold the lead, to everyone’s surprise. The second inning was weird, as the White Sox scored two to tie the contest on a walk, a triple, and a bizarre sacrifice groundout to the pitcher where the runner scored. But the fourth inning that saw Chicago plate two more and take a 4-2 lead looked awfully familiar. The White Sox continued their unbelievable power surge that’s only apparent at Kauffman Stadium. Matt freaking Davidson hit a home run. Water is wet.
After the White Sox took the lead, the Royals’ offense stalled to the tune of two baserunners in the next three innings. Eventually, in the seventh, they finally broke through to tie the game. Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas opened the inning with consecutive singles. Salvador Perez lined a bullet to center field that advanced Merrifield to third, and he scored on a wild pitch. Two ABs later, Jorge Soler hit a ground ball to short that should have ended the inning, but shortstop Tim Anderson made a bad throw that left Soler safe. The error allowed Moustakas to come home and tie things up 4-4.
Duffy was approaching 90 pitches through four innings, but he was able to stabilize a bit and get through six frames. He allowed four runs and six hits in 6.0 innings, needing 106 pitches to get his 18 outs. He struck out three.
The Royals’ bullpen did a fabulous job in relief of Duffy, too. Now that certified gas cans Justin Grimm and Brandon Maurer are out of here, the pen’s numbers as a whole will begin to look much better. Kevin McCarthy, Brad Keller, and Kelvin Herrera all put together scoreless frames in the 7-8-9 innings. None of them needed more than 10 pitches.
Tim Hill took over in the 10th and also worked a scoreless frame, working around a two-out double. But then the 11th happened. Matt Davidson hit a two-run home run and somebody else scored too. 7-4. Final.
These two teams are absolutely awful. The White Sox are 3-17 against everybody not named the Royals, and they’re 4-0 against teams named the Royals.
Here are your things: The winner was Gregory Infante (1-1). The loser was Tim Hill (0-1). The save went to Joakim Soria (3).
Also: Matt Davidson has 7 home runs in 4 games at Kauffman this year. Alex Gordon has 7 home runs in his last 98 games at Kauffman.
The Royals are 5-19.
Tomorrow: the Royals will play in their third double-header in the last 11 days. Trevor Oaks, who was acquired in a three-way deal back in December that sent Joakim Soria out of town, makes his MLB debut by starting the first game, which starts at 1:15 pm. Erik Skoglund will get the ball in game two, a 7:15 first pitch.