We Royals Review writers have a Slack channel that we use to share ideas back and forth from time to time. During today’s game as Kevin McCarthy came out, the chat started lighting up:
“Who has today’s recap?”
“I think it’s about time for another mad lib...”
So we hashed it out and sterlingice and I came up with this:
Today, the Royals jumped out to a (runs) lead in the (number) inning. (Starting pitcher) wasn’t exactly unhittable, but he was good enough to keep them in the game. The surprising Royals offense was led by (insert unlikely offensive hero). However, the bullpen was not up to the task, yet again. (Insert gas can reliever) gave up (number of too many runs) runs and took the loss. However, it was a team effort as (insert other crappy relievers) also contributed to the team’s downfall. The Royals record falls to a woeful (record) with (sad number) of those losses coming at the hands of the bullpen. Tomorrow, the Royals face (optimistic opponent) as they try to (banal baseball cliche for hope).
So let’s try that out on today’s game.
Today, the Royals jumped out to a 2-run lead in the seventh inning. Jorge Lopez wasn’t exactly unhittable, but he was good enough to keep them in the game. The surprising Royals offense was led by Hunter Dozier. However, the bullpen was not up to the task, yet again. Wily Peralta gave up two runs and took the loss. However, it was a team effort as Kevin McCarthy also contributed to the team’s downfall. The Royals record falls to a woeful 2-5 with four of those losses coming at the hands of the bullpen. Tomorrow, the Royals face the Tigers again as they try to salvage the series.
Yep. That’ll do.
Jorge López didn’t seem to have his best stuff today but he managed to go six innings and only allow a pair of runs. He would have been in line for the win if the bullpen were capable of preventing runs from scoring. In López’s defense, he did appear to get squeezed particularly hard in the second inning when he was forced to throw more than 30 pitches even though he only allowed a single run.
Tigers starter Matt Moore pitched three scoreless innings but injured his right knee while attempting to field a Billy Hamilton bunt single in the third inning. Daniel Norris came on in relief and initially looked pretty good before allowing Whit Merrifield to extend his hitting streak with a solo shot in the sixth. Jorge Soler hit his own single-run blast in the seventh and Hunter Dozier, who had launched balls that would have been home runs in many parks to center in his previous two at-bats, capped off the Royals’ scoring with a mammoth two-run jack to left, later in the inning.
Enter the Royals bullpen.
Kevin McCarthy gave up three hits and would have allowed even more than three runs if Alex Gordon hadn’t gunned down Josh Harrison at home. McCarthy was replaced by Wily Peralta with men at first and second and one out. Peralta got an out but walked the bases loaded before he hung a 2-2 changeup to three-time Tigers’ minor league player of the year Christin Stewart. Stewart did what one does with hanging changeups and banged it off the right-field foul pole for a lead-taking grand slam.
Kyle Zimmer was allowed to pitch the eighth inning and despite giving up a hit and a pair of walks - meaning he has now walked an alarming five in two-plus innings - he didn’t allow any runs. Shane Green collected his sixth save of the season; he leads all of baseball with the stat and has appeared in every Tigers victory so far.
Martín Maldonado and his started at catcher for the seventh straight game. He has a 56 wRC+ now which is decidedly ungood. Still, at least that choice isn’t as baffling as sending Chris Owings and his -25 wRC+ back out there for the seventh straight day, and batting sixth no less. But hey, Frank Schwindel got his first big league hit, congratulations to Frank the Tank!
Tomorrow the Royals finish the series with the Tigers. Staff ace Brad Keller will face off against Tyson Ross. It will be interesting to see which reliever will be allowed to take the loss.