Heartbreak. That’s all that comes to mind as the Royals lose on a walk-off breaking ball in the dirt.
The Royals got the scoring started in the first inning after Carlos Santana got a one-out walk (shocker), Andrew Benintendi continued his good May with a single up the middle. After a passed ball which advanced both runners, Salvador Perez hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track in center to score Santana giving the Royals an early 1-0 lead.
As I mentioned in the pre-game game thread, Singer needed to improve on his ability to handle adversity and he had that from the jump after Tim Anderson led off with a single up the middle. Singer got the next batter, Adam Eaton, to roll over into a double play. However, trouble was not avoided when Singer then walked Yoan Moncada and then allowed a Jose Abreu single. With runners on first and third, Singer got rookie-of-the-year candidate Yermin Mercedes to ground out to Nicky Lopez.
Still with a 1-0 lead, the Royals threatened again in the fourth inning with runners on first and second with one out after Salvy singled and Soler walked. Unfortunately, Dylan Cease then got Kelvin Gutierrez and Michael A. Taylor to pop out.
Cam Gallagher worked an incredible at-bat that started 0-2 to a leadoff walk to start the fifth. After a failed bunt attempt, manager Mike Matheny calls on Nicky Lopez to execute a hit and run. Lopez grounded out to first base. Thank goodness Lopez put the ball in play because I am just going to assume Gallagher would have been caught stealing at second. With a runner on second and one out, Whit Merrifield hit a sacrifice fly. Santana then stranded Gallagher at third, swinging and missing at a high fastball.
In the bottom of the fifth, Singer retired the first two batters on ground balls. Anderson then hit a seeing-eye single. Anderson would then steal second. Adam Eaton was then up. After a failed bunt attempt and battling off multiple pitches. Singer left a 84 MPH slider middle-middle and the struggling right-fielder (4 for his last 34) didn’t miss it. Sending a drive over the right-center fence giving the White Sox a 2-1 lead.
Trying to get the lead back, Benintendi led off the 6th inning with a single. Cease then attempted a pick off to first and sailed his first basemen moving Benintendi to second base with no outs. With Perez up, Benintendi then tried to steal third, however Salvy popped it up causing Benintendi to return to second with one out. Jorge Soler then thought he got his third home run of the year when he flew out to left center, moving Benintendi to third. That ended Cease’s day (5.1 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 3K). Coldi Heuer took over and stranded Benintendi at third when he got Gutierrez to ground out to third.
After a 1-2-3 inning from Singer in the bottom of the 6th, the Royals were off and running in the top of the 7th thanks to back-to-back singles to lead off the inning from Taylor and Gallagher.
After failing on his first attempt, Nicky Lopez did successfully complete the sacrifice bunt, moving the two runners to second and third with one out, down by one run. Aaron Bummer then came in to face Merrifield who is career 0-7 off of Bummer. On a 1-2 count, Merrifield hit a ground ball to Jose Abreu who was playing in, but could not get the handle of it. Everyone safe, Royals tie it and Whit gets an infield hit. Next batter, Santana hit a long sac fly, caught by a leaping Adam Eaton giving the Royals a 3-2 lead.
With the lead in the bottom of the 7th, Singer heads back out there. He struck out Leury Garcia pushing him to 98 pitches which is a season high for Singer. Nick Madrigal then got a one-out hit ending Singer’s day, 6.1IP 7H 2ER 2BB 7K 102 pitches.
Greg Holland came in and struck out Anderson. Holland then follows that with a four-pitch walk to Eaton. Stranding two runners when the veteran got Moncada to pop out to shallow left. Keeping the Royals lead at 3-2.
Holland stayed out there for the bottom of the 8th. An Abreu single and Mercedes long at-bat walk put Holland in another high-pressure situation. Yasmani Grandal then struck out and Andrew Vaughn grounded out, advancing both runners to second and third. On a 0-2 count, Holland makes the impossible to strike out Nick Madrigal, to check his swing and pepper the ball barely in fair territory. Holland bounces off the mound and makes the play throwing from foul grounds. Holland finished with 42 pitches, the most for him in NINE years.
After a 1-2-3 top of the 9th, Matheny called on Wade Davis to close the door. Because of a lot of work recently, it is assumed Staumont and Barlow were unavailable today. And sadly we did not get a “Wader, check please” call from Rex Hudler.
Anderson led off with a ground rule double. Eaton’s sacrifice bunted Anderson over to third. Moncada came in clutch for the Sox, singling to center tying the ball game. Davis then hit Abreu with a lazy, arm side curveball. With runners on first and second with one out, Mercedes gets a single to right field. Moncada from second, runs through his third-base coach’s stop sign trying to score the winning run. Merrifield in right field then comes up and fires a strike to home, gunning down Moncada for the second out of the inning. Abreu advanced to third on the throw.
A couple pitches later, Davis throws a breaking ball in the dirt that was blocked but bounced away from Gallagher. Jose Abreu barreled down the third base line trying to win the game. Gallagher picked up the ball and dove towards home to tag out Abreu. Abreu delayed his slide to avoid the tag, and touched home to win the game.
The replay is tough to see if the Abreu was truly out or safe, but we do know what side Mike Matheny is on.
This is the maddest I've seen Mike Matheny after a #Royals loss: "I have to make a point that if we're going to us video replay there needs to be some accountability... Very obvious. I don't know what they're doing... It's just wrong. Something needs to be done about it." @KCTV5 pic.twitter.com/dp5nDuYdRu— Jared Koller (@JaredKCTV5) May 16, 2021
Unbiased, was Jose Abreu out or safe?
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