The Royals lost. They disappointed all of the mothers in Kansas City on Mother’s Day. The final score was 6-1, in favor of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Here’s your recap. The Royals scored first on a third-inning RBI single by Alex Gordon. Then the Phillies scored six runs in the fifth inning when Jake Junis absolutely melted down.That was it.
The last time the Royals won a series? April 14. There have been eight series since then. They split a four-game series and lost the other seven.
Junis did well through four innings, but it all fell apart in the fifth. And really, it never should have gotten to meltdown-status. Junis got the leadoff man out before forcing Nick Williams into what appeared to be a groundout, but Adalberto Mondesi bobbled the play for an error. After that, everything unraveled. The next four hitters: walk, RBI single, walk, bases-loaded walk.
This pulled Junis from the game with a 2-1 hole, and Richard Lovelady came in to surrender back to back, two-RBI hits, but he was put in such a terrible position that I have a hard time blaming him. By that point, it was 6-1 and everything was completely over. The Royals didn’t threaten the rest of the way.
Junis’ final line: 4.1 innings, five runs (four earned), five walks, and four strikeouts. His ERA ballooned to 5.77. He’s having the exact same problem that is also plaguing Brad Keller and Jorge Lopez: too many walks and terrible mechanics. Maybe hiring a pitching coach with zero experience as a pitching coach wasn’t the best move after all...
At least Jake Diekman is good. He pitched a good ninth inning. It’s his ninth straight scoreless outing.
POSITIVE: Chris Owings got a hit! He’s now 2 for his last 27! You go, Chris!
Let’s talk about Chris Owings. Remember when Dayton Moore said he wasn’t going to call up Nicky Lopez because he wanted Whit Merrifield every day at second? Well, today, Merrifield started in the outfield. There is no plan. There is no process.
FUN FACT: When Ryan Goins was DFA’d last year, he was hitting .226. That’s 83 points higher than what Owings is hitting this year! Hooray for precedent!
Here’s what any of the other 29 teams would do. They’d call up Nicky Lopez and Bubba Starling immediately, because they are tearing up triple-A and as ready as ever. They’d have DFA Chris Owings weeks ago, because he’s hitting .143. They’d either send down Terrance Gore or move Billy Hamilton. It’s really not that hard. Everyone else would do it. Everyone besides one single team. Take a guess!
The record is 14-27. The 2018 team was 13-28 at this point. Progress!
OTHER NOTES: Alex Gordon had two hits. He’s hitting .296/.381/.542, so that’s been fun. He has 8 homers and 31 RBI on the year in 38 games. Conversely, He had 9 homers and 45 RBI in 148 games back in 2017. He’s essentially hitting at his 2011 rate, which is awesome.
MORAL VICTORY: Bryce Harper didn’t hit a homer against them this series!
Up next: ugh, does it even matter? Texas comes into Kansas City to start a series on Tuesday behind Danny Duffy’s left arm. The Royals are 3-9 against Texas at home since 2014. Joy, joy, joy.