They did so well for so long. And yet the moment Brandon Maurer entered, you just knew things were about to hit the fan.
Cleveland beat Kansas City, 3-1, with a walk-off home run by Yan Gomes in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Royals took a lead into the eighth inning and promptly allowed runs in each the eighth and ninth frames. They lost despite allowing just four hits.
But don’t worry, the Royals’ inept offense did plenty of things themselves to put the team in a position to ultimately lose. They have now scored 8 runs in 6 April games. They are just as atrocious as Brandon Maurer.
First inning: Jon Jay led off with a walk. Inning ended with a double play.
Second inning: The first two men singled. Inning ended with a double play and a foul out.
Third inning: Three straight singles. Inning ended with Jay being gunned down at the plate.
They finally scratched a run across in the fifth inning when Jon Jay blasted a two-out RBI triple off the center field wall, scoring Cam Gallagher. 1-0, Royals.
Hey, how about some positive! On a fridgid, miserable day in Cleveland, officialy marked as the coldest game in Progressive Field history, a Royals starting pitcher came through with a splendid performance.
Jason Hammel did his part in the Royals’ quest to win consecutive 1-0 games. He handled the Indians’ offense with ease, surrendering just three hits in 6.0 innings of work. He needed 88 pitches to work through his 18 outs. The starting pitching, through seven games, has been fantastic.
Cleveland’s offense finally broke through in the eighth inning, but they did it without getting a single hit. Bradley Zimmer led off with a walk against Tim Hill. Ned Yost went and got Justin Grimm, who did a great job pitching to contact, but was ultimately let down by his defense. Zimmer stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and Grimm got Jason Kipnis to bounce back to the pitcher. Grimm then fired the ball wide of first, resulting in Kipnis being safe.
After that, Grimm got yet another ground ball back to the pitcher, but Zimmer was running on contact, so he scored on the RBI groundout. The Indians tied the game at one run apiece.
Then gas can Brandon Maurer entered, walked a guy, and gave up a walk-off home run to Gomes. Here’s a stat for you:
Royals home runs hit: 2
Brandon Maurer home runs allowed: 2
He is absolutely, positively awful. I cannot believe that Ned Yost continues to throw that guy into winnable games, and then when Maurer screws it up time after time, the team acts surprised. And before you point out that there aren’t a ton of options out there, don’t. Anybody. I want anybody before I want Brandon Maurer. He sucks. He absolutely sucks.
Maurer has the mechanics and “stuff” of a guy that should be a shut-down closer. Instead, he’s a gas can.
Mike Clevinger was fortunate to allow just the one run. He put 11 men on base in his 7.1 innings of work, but he did a good job making pitches when he needed to. Cody Allen picked up the win for Cleveland by pitching a scoreless ninth inning (1-0). Maurer took the L; he is 0-2.
Up next: the Royals come home to start a series with the Seattle Mariners. Felix Hernandez and Jakob Junis will duel tomorrow night at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch is at 7:15 pm.