Kansas City Royals fans have seen their favorite team go on long losing stretches where the losses that pile up are virtually indistinguishable from each other. An example: Today, the Royals lost a game to the Oakland Athletics. The Royals’ starter, a much-hyped member of the 2018 draft class, gave up a bunch of runs and was chased from the game. Meanwhile, the Royals’ offense was anemic and failed to capitalize on opportunities. I could have been referring to either game from this weekend, but today’s specific result was a 6-3 loss.
Let’s start with the offense, which went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Andrew Benintendi and Carlos Santana hit solo home runs in the third and seventh innings, respectively, but the Royals were unable to push more than one additional run across.
The real reason for the anemic offense is that, frankly, the Royals have a bunch of crappy hitters. The fifth through eighth spots in the lineup—Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier, Kelvin Gutierrez, and Michael A. Taylor—failed to notch a hit or work a walk. It’s hard to score runs when half of your lineup records outs like it’s going out of style.
As for Kris Bubic, well, this one screenshot is your 1000 words on his start:
This was the pitch that Matt Olson hit for a home run. It’s hard to hurl worse pitch in Major League Baseball. It was one of three off Bubic for the day, who kept laying fastballs and changeups right in the middle of the zone for Oakland to tee off of.
The only other thing of note today was that MLB umpiring crews continue to fail at basic replay review. Santana was ruled out on a play at first base, and after clear as day replay that showed Olson was off the bag, the umpires reviewed the play...to say that Santana was still out. I’m generally pro-replay, but if you’re gonna get it wrong half the time to protect umpires, maybe don’t have replay anymore.
Royals got screwed so bad. Matt Olson’s foot wasn’t on the bag lmao— Athletics Rants (@AthleticsRants) June 13, 2021
MLB replay is such a joke
Matt Olson's foot was completely off the bag. And yet, the call stands. Carlos Santana is out at first. Merrifield on second with one out in the top of the fifth.— Anne Rogers (@anne__rogers) June 13, 2021
All told, the Royals have lost eight of their last nine. They have serious issues with their rotation and their offense, and it’s not clear that there are any good solutions. At 30-34, the Royals have matched their season low for games under .500, and are 10.5 games out from the first place Chicago White Sox. Tomorrow, the Royals will travel to Kauffman Stadium to play the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox.