The Kansas City Royals didn’t quite notch the league’s first combined perfect game this afternoon, they did something at least as interesting: win a 7-0 shutout versus the evil St. Louis Cardinals while climbing to a record of 17-38. Yes, 17-38. I am not joking.
It started with Josh Staumont, the opener, who promptly notched three consecutive strikeouts. It then continued with Mike Mayers, who has done very well in a Royals uniform. Mayers pitched a solid six innings, lowering his ERA on the year to 1.35.
Since the Royals used an opener, one of the more interesting factors of this game was that Kansas City ended up with a sort of stealth perfect game watch. It wasn’t until about the fifth inning that the internet really realized what was happening. It did lead to this hilarious Jon Heyman tweet, precisely one pitch before the perfect game ended:
Just to prove I am not a jinx, KC has a perfect game going https://t.co/rVLEzYVAuZ— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 29, 2023
Mayers surrendered two singles in the eighth inning, but Taylor Clarke was able to coax three consecutive popups to end the threat. Cardinals fans were clearly not pleased by that series of events. It was wonderful.
On the offensive side of things, the Royals struggled much like they had all season for most of the game: they couldn’t quite get the big hit they needed with men in scoring position. Ultimately, and fortunately, it just didn’t matter, because there’s no way you won’t score a bunch of runs if you end up with as many baserunners as the Royals did.
There is a lot to talk about, and I’m not going to do a play by play here. They scored a run in the third inning and another two in the fifth inning, one of which was due to some #wheelz exhibited by Salvador Perez off a MJ Melendez triple:
Kansas City got an insurance run in the eighth to push their lead up to four runs from a Nicky Lopez single (one of four on the day for him), a stolen base, and a Vinnie Pasquantino single (one of three on the day for him). But it was the ninth inning where the Royals got another three runs, with Bobby Witt Jr. and Michael Massey smashing home runs. The Royals could have scored even more, but pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out and pinch-hitter Matt Duffy flied out.
In one of the most enjoyable games all year—if not the most enjoyable game—the Royals also ascend to 17-38, in a delightful tribute to the Lorenzo Cain/Fetty Wap/2015 World Series days. Now, Fetty is in prison and the Royals are on pace for 100 losses. Life comes at you fast. Regardless, it was a fun game, and I would be happy if the Royals did this more often. Especially against St. Louis.