The 2018 Royals have done something that before the season would have seemed impossible: match the 2015 team’s loss total... before the All Star break. Three seasons ago, the Royals lost game no. 67 in the final week of September. This year, they lost game no. 67 on July 13th.
And they did it in a game that feels like it started in 2015 because it took so freaking long to complete.
The Royals lost to the White Sox, who are also 30 games under .500, for the sixth time in eight matchups this year. They lost 9-6. Whatever.
Brad Keller had nothing on Friday night. When you’re a guy that doesn’t rely on a ton of strikeouts, so a pitch-to-contact type, you’re going to have nights like this. Keller was tagged for seven hits and five runs while getting just eight outs. The White Sox came right at him, scoring three runs in the first inning and two more in the third to knock him out of the contest.
Down 3-0, the Royals cut into Chicago’s lead in the third inning, as a walk and a hit by pitch put two men in scoring position for Salvador Perez. He hit a sacrifice fly. Then Jorge Bonifacio scored on a wild pitch. 3-2, Chicago.
In the seventh inning, down 7-2, the Royals chased James Shields by stringing together three straight hits with two outs. Adalberto Mondesi, who hit after Outcedies Outscobar tonight because Ned Yost is a professional troll, hit a single before Whit Merrifield hit one too. Bonifacio scored them both with a double to left. After Shields was knocked out, the Royals were unable to do any further damage.
Shields, a Royals hero now in the twilight of his career, put together a night that was better than his stats show. He allowed four runs in 6.2 innings, but it was two until his final pitch of the game. For a guy that entered with an ERA north of 4.50, the Royals should have done more damage.
Kansas City’s final chance came in the eighth inning, when Lucas Duda and Hunter Dozier opened the inning by getting on base. Following a groundout, Escobar plated a run on an error (LOL), and All Star snub Whit Merrifield drove in another on an RBI single to make it 7-6. But the tying and go-ahead runs were stranded in scoring position. The White Sox then hit a two-run homer in the home half of the eighth and that was that.
Then Joakim Soria got the 1-2-3 save to further kick the Royals squarely in the ass.
Alcides Escobar is so awful. He was 0-for-4 tonight with a team-leading 3 left on base. He’s hitting .198 and he’s still on pace for the worst OPS season in the last 24 years of professional baseball. Keep trotting him out there, Ned. Any of the other 29 teams out there would have released him a month ago.
The Royals are an unbelievable 26-67. Tomorrow, they’ll try to even the series with a 1:10 pm first pitch. I’m sure you guys are rearranging your plans to catch that contest.