There’s honestly not a lot to say about this game. Jonathan Heasley had even less control and velocity than normal, leading him to allow seven runs on seven hits and two walks without a single strikeout. It’s hard to say whether the weather was more of a factor or if he was just tired from the long season or perhaps injured, but his fastball was hovering around 90 after averaging 93.6 coming into this game. The TV broadcast crew, consisting of Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc, asserted that young players should just learn to pitch through such drastic drops in velocity, but those are almost always signs of impending, if not current, injury.
Still, watching the game, it seems just as likely that Heasley was pitching afraid. Not of the Tigers hitters - though he had every reason to fear them - but of whether the next pitch was going to cause him a lower-body injury. There was heavy rain for most of the game and the Royals were obviously affected by it. Multiple players slipped and slid at various points but they also moved more slowly to avoid such slips and slides which helped the Tigers take extra bases. The Tigers hit three triples in the game; it was the first time they’d done that since 2012. Heasley also slipped while throwing a pitch early on and its easy to imagine that his velocity may have taken a dive because he was pitching more tentatively than normal.
The Royals were notably playing better after the All-Star Break but have now lost seven of their last ten games. They look very nearly as bad as they did at the beginning of the season. Still, I’ll take Nick Pratto striking out over Carlos Santana doing it every day of the week. At least in 2022.
The Royals managed a measly four hits. Salvador Perez collected two of those. Two of the runs they scored were unearned after the Tigers threw away a fielder’s choice hit by pinch-hitter Nate Eaton in the seventh inning. Bobby Witt Jr. and Nicky Lopez accounted for the other two hits. Bobby’s double was the only extra-base knock.
Collin Snider had a rough relief outing but Amir Garret, Carlos Hernández, and Anthony Misiewicz pitched scoreless innings with at least a strikeout a piece. That’s about all of the good to come out of today’s game.
It seems borderline irresponsible for the game to have been played under the conditions that it faced. It’s a miracle, given the pouring rain, that no players were injured. At worst, the game likely should have been called after the fifth inning with the Royals down 8-2 and unlikely to come back with rain that had been coming down hard for several innings at that point. Still, the short-staffed umpire crew - the fourth umpire was unable to make the game because inclement weather affected his travel plans - saw fit to keep the players out there through seven and a half innings. They should be ashamed.
The Royals will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 PM CDT. Brady Singer will take the mound for KC. The Tigers will call on swing-man lefty Tyler Alexander.