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Ramírez’s right-field rockets ruin Royals roadtrip 8-3

Plenty of baserunners but few runs for Kansas City

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Guardians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City failed to cash in on plentiful baserunners and had no answer for José Ramírez as Cleveland took the series with an 8-3 victory.

The Royals began the game with a two-out rally. MJ Melendez and Salvador Perez each put nice swings on inside fastballs for consecutive singles. Michael Massey put together a very impressive plate appearance - after going down 0-2, he battled back to run the count full, fouled off four straight pitches, then spat on a curveball in the dirt to draw a walk. With the bases loaded, Freddy Fermin ran the count full before popping up on ball four, ending the inning without a run.

The bottom of the first was the Alec Marsh experience. After striking out one of the toughest hitters in baseball to punch out in Steven Kwan, Marsh walked Andrés Giménez on mostly non-competitive pitches. Giménez stole second base but that was soon rendered moot. Marsh served up an absolute pie to Ramírez that was begging to be crushed. Ramírez obliged him, yanking it into the right field stands to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead. More trouble ensued with a single and a HBP, but Marsh managed to end the inning without further damage.

Cleveland got another in the second on a bloop single from Kwan that scored Gabriel Arias. Arias was initially called out on a good throw from Kyle Isbel in center, but the out was overturned upon review. In the third, Marsh got two quick outs and looked like he might manage a clean inning. That’s when the wheels fell off. He loaded the bases with two walks and an infield hit. Having needed 75 pitches to record eight outs (and allow ten baserunners), Marsh was pulled for Jonathan Heasley. He promptly walked Kwan on five pitches that - you guessed it - were mostly non-competitive, pushing across another run.

The game was essentially over at that point. In the fourth, Heasley joined Marsh in the Guys That Have Given Up a Dinger to José Ramírez on July 26, 2023 Club. He also allowed a homer in that inning to David Fry, whom I had never heard of prior to this game. Williams only managed four innings as he was solid but not particularly efficient. Kansas City got on the board against Nick Sandlin in the fifth with a Maikel Garcia RBI double.

The Royals loaded the bases again in the sixth, this time with one out. Naturally, Isbel popped up and Garcia lined out to end the inning without a run. MJ Melendez homered in the ninth, which was cool, but Kansas City didn’t do much of anything else and fell 8-3.

Some nuggets:

  • Something something Raid the Zone: this is the 11th game this season in which Kansas City has issued at least eight walks. Only the White Sox have more such games this season.
  • Dylan Coleman sat 95.2 with his fastball. Slightly better than his season average, but way down from the 97.5 he averaged last year. When a 26-year-old abruptly loses that much velo, I tend to assume they’re hurt.
  • Nick Pratto and Drew Waters have combined for 146 plate appearances in July. 57 of them have ended in strikeouts. If they were qualified, they would have the highest and second-highest strikeout rates in baseball this season, respectively.
  • The offense went 1-11 with runners in scoring position. The Royals continue to be the worst team in baseball in such situations, posting a 75 wRC+ as a team with RISP.
  • The Royals are 4-10 in games that I recap this season and have lost seven straight. That is still somehow a better winning percentage (.286) than their overall record (.279).

The loss drops Kansas City to 29-75. They will mercifully get a day off tomorrow before welcoming Minnesota to Kauffman Stadium for a three-game set starting Friday night.

Alec Marsh: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Gavin Williams: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Michael Massey: 2-4, 2B, BB

José Ramírez: 3-4, 2 HR, BB, 3 R, 3 RBI