Remember when Scott Barlow was good? Remember the last three weeks when we thought Jake Diekman might be good? Ah, fun times. Once again, the Kansas City Royals bullpen blew the game, tonight’s meltdown leading to at least eight unanswered runs and a loss to the Boston Red Sox. Final score TBD.
Not everything was terrible. It seemed that way this week when the 27-year-old breakout star Hunter Dozier went to the IL. During his injury, the Royals turned to Cheslor Cuthbert to pick up the slack, and to his credit he really has done so. After Alex Gordon poked a line drive through the right side of the shift for a double, Cuthbert yanked a cutter on the inside corner of the plate to left field for a pretty homer.
The homer was Cuthbert’s second in four games. For reference, Cuthbert hit five home runs in the big leagues in 88 games from 2017-2018. It was a nice thing to see, certainly, and something worth keeping an eye on as he gets more playing time.
And the starting pitching was pretty good, despite poor starting pitching for most of this year. Really, that’s really just putting it mildly. Kansas City starting pitching has been as disastrous as it would be to let a blind man operate a robot with a five-second input delay in an attempt to cut the word ‘zoom’ into Jarrod Dyson’s hair. However, Glenn Sparkman has been an oasis of sanity in the crazy pitching desert that the Royals are currently wandering. Sparkman was really solid tonight, mixing up his arsenal over his 5.1 innings, striking out a pair and only allowing one walk. On the year, his ERA is a comfortable 3.77. Nice!
Sparkman’s line did include one run, but that wasn’t entirely his fault, because the Royals bullpen happened. Sparkman gave up a leadoff double to Mookie Betts and then squeezed a routine fly ball out of Andrew Benintendi. With one out, Ned Yost removed Sparkman in favor of Scott Barlow, who proceeded to lose his conception of what a ‘strike zone’ was. When he did find this famous ‘zone,’ his pitches were meatballs. And so J.D. Martinez crushed a triple that was barely not a home run, so much so that the Red Sox challenged it to be so. Rafael Devers walked. Xander Bogaerts hit a sac fly. And then Brock Holt cracked a double to right field.
And, just like that, the Red Sox had acquired three of them baseball points to the Royals’ two baseball points. Eduardo Nunez then crushed a three-run homer off Diekman and, well, that was that. To put it further out of play, Kevin McCarthy gave up a pair more runs in the top of the ninth, and when he walked off the mound it was 8-2 Red Sox. Wheeee!
After tonight’s game, the Royals record is somewhere between horseshit and dogshit. Tomorrow, they’ll play the Red Sox again, and then will some other different team much better than they are in the next series. Enjoy your evening!