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Royals lose 9-6, are swept by Brewers

This is a team only a mother could love.

Jordan Lyles throws a pitch
Jordan Lyles. That’s it. That’s the caption.
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

This was an ugly, ugly game.

Most obviously, there is the two-error play that led to the complete evaporation of the early lead the Royals had achieved in the third inning. Christian Yelich attempted a steal of second only to see the throw skip into center when Maikel Garcia failed to glove it. That allowed the runner at third to score easily, but then Nate Eaton’s throw from centerfield was offline enough that Yelich was able to additionally race home to score the Brewers’ fourth run of the game.

But the ugliness doesn’t end there.

Jordan Lyles, Eater of Innings, couldn’t escape the third. The Royals, for whatever reason, have decided to prize one pitcher pitching a lot of innings over opportunities to see a bunch of unknowns come in and see if any of them could surprise. Lyles is the epitome of that set of priorities. He now has a 7.14 ERA and this is already the third time he’s failed to pitch more than five innings. Mike Sweeney theorized he might have been tired after the complete game he pitched his last time out, but to that I argue, that’s the only alleged value he brings to this roster! If he can’t pitch lots of innings in consecutive starts, then why is he here?

Also, despite the two errors, all of the runs charged to him were earned. It turns out that the Brewers got enough hits that the official scorer reckoned that he’d have given up those runs regardless.

There was also Hunter Dozier. Who, yes, hit a home run, but also struck out looking and not even prepared to swing his bat as the veteran failed to remember that just because he asked for time doesn’t mean the umpire has to grant it. Finally, there was Rex Hudler making the weirdly sexist comment that if baseball were easy, our mothers would be playing it. Someone should show him A League of Their Own. I bet a lot of those women could have played circles around him.

There was beauty in this game, too. I wrote in the game thread that I expected Andrew Rea to be perfectly capable of shutting down the Royals’ offense by himself. That proved not to be the case as they scored four runs against him in the first three innings and chased him before he could finish the fourth inning.

Salvador Perez hit a glorious golfing home run in the first inning to get things started:

And Bobby Witt Jr. closed out the scoring with his second hit of the day, another solo shot:

Bobby Witt also had a two-run double in the second inning while Hunter Dozier, when he wasn’t foolishly striking out, connected on a sacrifice fly and a solo home run of his own.

The Royals ended up using five relievers out of their bullpen today. Not ideal when they still don’t have a fifth starter on the roster and today’s starter was the guy literally being paid to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

The Brewers ended up giving their mothers an excellent present by sweeping out the trash. The Royals flee from Milwaukee and the cheesehead celebration to take on the Padres for three in San Diego. Things don’t seem likely to improve there.