In the past, I’ve used recaps to hammer Dayton Moore and JJ Picollo for their incompetence at putting together a professional baseball roster. While they could be blamed every day, today’s recap will shift more focus to enemy number one of today’s Royals/A’s game: Mike Matheny.
Matheny and the Royals let down dads everywhere on their special day, getting blanked by the Oakland A’s 4-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Brady Singer pitched well for 5.1 innings. He left with two on and one out in the fifth, which was an stupefying decision because Mike Matheny watched as he put two on without making a change. Singer struck out the third man of the inning, and that’s when Matheny decided Singer’s day should be up. Jose Cuas, who has nine professional innings under his belt, gave up a big three-run bomb to Sean Murphy. The homer turned a 1-0 lead into a 4-0 advantage for the As.
I personally thought Singer was squeezed quite a bit by the home plate umpire for most of the afternoon. He was at 82 pitches when he was yanked by Matheny. It was a terrible decision, and it cost them. Singer was always going to be your best shot to get out of that inning unscathed.
Of course, it really wouldn’t have wound up mattering, because the Royals didn’t score and the A’s already had a run at the time of the controversial move. Dayton Moore’s offense managed exactly three hits. Three. Two singles by MJ Melendez and a double by Hunter Dozier, and that was it. They did walk five times as a team, which is basically a week’s worth for this franchise.
Mike Matheny is the last guy that anyone would want managing a rebuilding team. He’d rather play the veterans because they’ve “earned it” as the losses just keep piling up. We hear all the time about how young this team is, yet today they started a 33 year-old second baseman, a 32 year-old catcher, a 30 year-old first baseman, a 36 year-old DH, and a 31 year-old center fielder. More than half of their starters today were aged 30 or older. This isn’t a young team. How in the world is Kyle Isbel not getting playing time? We’re going to be saying the same things about Edward Olivares here in a few days when he’s healthy enough to re-join the big-league team, too. You’re keeping Vinnie Pasquantino in Omaha because you have to have Ryan O’Hearn on your roster - a man that has five ABs since May 27. Whit Merrifield is a -0.7 WAR player? Oh but his streak, so he must play! And I don’t care what Carlos Santana’s average is the last two weeks - WHY IS HE ON THIS ROSTER? It’s such gross mismanagement.
Stop listening to Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler when they excuse the losses because “the Royals are a young team!” They’re not. They’re just a bad one. And even if they were a young one, being young does not mean you automatically have to be bad, either. But that’s neither here nor there. Somebody should ask Dayton Moore why teams like Toronto and San Francisco and Chicago can be terrible and then be back in the playoffs three years later. He wouldn’t have an answer, and that’s why he should be fired.
This team hasn’t done anything well, but there are few things it’s done worse than play on Sundays this year. There has been one Sunday that the Royals haven’t lost on this year - one. That was the Colorado comeback on May 15.
There’s very little of note about this effort, as the 23-42 Royals are now 19 games back of .500. Dayton Moore said on the pregame show that his approach to focus on character when filling out a roster has “probably” cost the team some wins over the years. Everybody in Kansas City should want this man far, far away from their baseball team. His job is to win baseball games. If he’s openly admitting that he believes his strategy could be infringing on that, we can just add it to the list of reasons why he needs to go.
Up next: there are still 97 more of these games. The road trip continues with three more late-night starts on the west coast. The Royals will go at the Los Angeles Angels tomorrow night at 8:38 pm. Kris Bubic opposes Noah Syndergaard. Remember him?