There were plenty of lead changes here. The corpse of Miguel Cabrera, who was hitting .190 entering this game, hit a homer in the second. The Royals scored two in the bottom of the third on a two-run single by Carlos Santana. Then, in the fourth, the pendulum swung back when Detroit scored two runs against Mike Minor.
Everything got more interesting in the sixth. With the Royals down 3-2, Ryan O’Hearn evened the score by lining an RBI single into right field. Then, Michael A. Taylor/Tater smashed a two-run bomb to left that almost cleared the bullpen. It’s his fifth big fly of the year.
Then came the seventh inning of hell.
Minor began the seventh by giving up hits to the first two Tigers. He was pulled for Tyler Zuber, who poured gasoline on the fire by giving up a single to load the bases. The Royals caught a massive break when Jacoby Jones was thrown out at home trying to score on a wild pitch, but Zuber gave the baserunner right back by walking the next hitter to re-load the bases. He struck out Candelario, so with two outs, the bases remained loaded and the Royals maintained their 5-3 lead. It looked like they were going to get out of it.
Mike Matheny called for Greg Holland to replace Zuber, with Miguel Cabrera looming in the on-deck circle. Holland worked the count full... and then piped one right down the middle to one of the greatest power hitters in MLB history. Cabrera may be slower than the average fan seated in section 407, but his raw power remains, as he cranked a 405-foot grand slam into the Sonic Slam seats. 7-5, Detroit. Hashtag Matheney’d.
Like... I’m not sure it’s Mike Matheny’s fault. He clearly acts like Greg Holland is better than he is. At the same time, I’m not sure who else he was supposed to use there. Tyler Zuber was awful. Wade Davis is awful. Kyle Zimmer was coming off his IL stint. Jake Brentz isn’t the right call with Cabrera coming up. Holland was good enough the other day in Chicago, you’d think he’d be able to get a .190 hitter out. It doesn’t seem like a great idea, but I’m really not sure who else he was supposed to put out there instead. Maybe Scott Barlow if you think he can go four outs, I guess.
Mike Minor continues to be a mystery box. He gave up 10 hits and four runs, but he was also sort of good with eight strikeouts. His ERA remains an ugly 5.14, but he was in line to win the game before the bullpen imploded the next inning. Like, his WHIP is 1.19, and his ERA is over 5.00! That... shouldn’t be the way it is. Every time he puts a guy on base, he scores, it seems.
The Royals did not threaten in the last three innings, contrary to Steve Physioc being all “don’t touch that dial, folks, because the Royals still have 9 outs left!” My theory for why the Royals lost this game lies in the decision to put Steve Physioc on the TV. They gave this terrible announcer a microphone and the bullpen immediately poops itself. The Royals are, unofficially, like 3-200 over the last decade (and 0-4 this year!) when Steve Physioc calls games on TV. The team should lock him in a closet and leave him there until the season ends. The demand for earplugs in the Kansas City area would dramatically and instantly decrease.
The Royals are 20-23. They have lost four straight against the terrible Tigers. Tomorrow, they’ll try to even the series at 3:10 pm, as Brady Singer gets the ball. It might rain. Cue the gif.