5th Inning Dooms Royals, Lose 8-3

Sarah Davis

Back-to-back games when the Royals scored one run in very important games. The difference? Yesterday’s game was a shutout, and a shutout is a win 100% of the time.

The A’s scored eight runs today, so you can’t tell me that they missed Cespedes…. For today at least. Today, they had no trouble scoring runs against a troubled Royals defense.

At the beginning of the fifth inning, it looked like Kansas City was well on their way to another 1-0 defeat against the newly revamped Oakland Athletics. Jason Vargas cruised through four innings even throwing a perfect game in his first game back after suffering a ruptured appendix three weeks ago.

In the third inning, Kansas City managed a run against Jon Lester on an Alcides Escobar single, a Nori Aoki walk, and two sacrifices by Erik Kratz and Lorenzo Cain. That would be all that the Royals could muster up until the seventh inning when they put two meaningless runs on the board to bring them within five runs.

The fifth inning is what wreaked havoc for Vargas and the Royals, and would eventually boot Vargas from the game. On paper, it says that Vargas surrendered seven earned runs, but Vargy was actually really….good. After a defensive miscue by Billy Butler on an infield pop-up, and two other defensive disasters by Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon, the A’s put eight runs on the board in the fifth inning. Only Gordon’s was ruled an error, which leads to seven earned runs being charged to Vargas.

Aaron Crow gave up the other run. In the last 11 innings pitched, Crow has given up six earned runs, and is the proud owner of almost a five ERA. What started out as a zero ERA all the way up until May18th is now 3.13 ERA.

I could sit here and tell you all the ‘should’ve, would’ve, and could’ve’ plays that were supposed to happen, but at the end of the day, it’s a loss, and a very inexcusable fifth inning from Royals players.

The Boys in Blue will wrap up the series in Oakland tomorrow starting at 3:05 central time. They will send out ace (or whatever else you would prefer to call him) James Shields to battle against Scott Kazmir. Kazmir is a lefty, so I would expect to see Christian Colon, who came off of the bench today to get the start for Mike Moustakas tomorrow.

The best we can hope for today is the Tigers, Indians, Blue Jays, and Angels all lose. The likely event of all four of those teams losing is not likely.

Royals Come Back, Win 6-3

Sarah Davis

After standing pat at the trade deadline, Royals fans spent the latter half of today in a bit of a foul mood. A team with a lot of holes, and admittedly so, made absolutely no attempts to make this team better, but still has high hopes of making the playoffs. Sounds crazy, right? That’s because it is.

Tonight didn’t get off to a dazzling start, but it finished as one for Yordano Ventura. Danny Santana (something about Santana’s that just like to hit against KC) homered to lead off the game. The other Ventura run was unearned, and came off of an E5 throwing error on third baseman Mike Moustakas.

Yordano Ventura got off to a rocky start allowing the leadoff home run, but was solid afterwards. Ventura scattered four more hits while striking out seven batters in seven innings of work.

Kansas City tied the ballgame in the fifth inning with two runs on back-to-back doubles, and a fielding error on Eduardo Escobar. The Royals would put four more on the board to take the lead back for good in the seventh. The Royals are trying this new thing called ‘frenzy hitting’ and, call me crazy, but I think it might be working. Lorenzo Cain got things started in the seventh inning with a double to left field. With two on after a Mike Moustakas walk, Alcides Escobar tripled to score both of them. Jarrod Dyson then singled in Escobar, and would eventually come around to score on two stolen bases, and a throwing error.

Game notes: X-rays have revealed that Eric Hosmer has a stress fracture in his hand, and is out 3-4 weeks. Hosmer injured it against Jon Lester in Boston. Lester has since been traded, and we will see him this weekend in Oakland.

Pitching matchups for Oakland do not look good at all. Game one will feature Jeremy Guthrie and Sonny Gray (yikes.) Jason Vargas is set to make his return after being on the DL due to the removal of his appendix. Vargas will face recently acquired Royal killer, Jon Lester. Scott Kazmir and James Shields will round out the series. I must say, folks, the matchups don’t look good for our Boys in Blue.

Detroit lost today to Chicago, and the Royals now sit four games back of the AL Central lead. Need I remind you: Detroit acquired David Price, and the Royals acquired absolutely nobody. Unless you count Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, Raul Ibanez, and Erik Kratz a big acquisition, this trade season was a bust.

Trade deadline comes and goes…


So another July 31 trade deadline comes and goes.

Around Kansas City – at least for the last couple of years – most Royals fans have just come to refer to this day as just another day… because it sure hasn’t felt like anything special ’round these parts.

While other teams are grabbing sluggers or starting pitchers or bullpen help or buckets of balls the KC Royals – knowing better than anybody else in baseball – are once again dancing with what brung them. Of course this is what GM Dayton Moore had already said was going to happen so it really shouldn’t have been a huge shock to anybody.

I can’t speak for the Royals. I can’t speak for Dayton. I’d like to think there is a modicum of intelligence there somewhere and he realizes this isn’t truly a playoff caliber team right now but by his actions it appears that really isn’t the case. It appears he really does believe it is. Either that or the purse strings have been closed and him telling us that there was money available there for a deal wasn’t true. But then again there were other executives from other clubs – you know the guys that actually tell the truth – that said there was no money there.

In the end it really doesn’t matter. I mean of course it would have been nice to make a deal. It would have been nice to hold out hope that something good might happen for the fans of this city. I’d say good for the Royals but at this point I don’t care. They have buried themselves by these moves… it’s the fans that really deserve better.

But here’s the thing. Here’s the issue. Last year Dayton traded away Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi (no we are not going to rehash this again, just stay with me) and he told us all that we were going all in. That the time to step up was now. He said we needed a starting pitcher and he got the guy he wanted with Big Game James Shields. Most everybody in Kansas City knew that he was a 2-year rental but that didn’t seem to matter with most fans if we just made the playoffs. We also acquired Wade Davis who Dayton told us was going to be a good starter as well. Of course many people in Kansas City knew that wasn’t going to be the case, but he could be a good reliever… and a good reliever he has been. Unfortunately he also came with a HUGE pricetag starting the 2015 season – a contract he signed when Tampa thought he was going to be a starter as well – so most likely he’s not going to be around either next season unless he redoes his contract.

Going into this season everybody knew there were holes that needed to be filled. 2nd base and right field were probably the most glaring of those holes. So Dayton went out and acquired Omar Infante and Nori Aoki. Most everybody knew who Infante was… and he’s an ok 2B that’s nothing if not consistent. Nobody but fantasy baseballers or hardcore fans knew who Aoki was and most of them told the rest of you that he just wasn’t that good. Of course Dayton and the Royals disagreed. They told everybody that would listen what a great baserunner he was, what a great outfielder he was and what a great leadoff hitter he was. He has been none of that and by this trade deadline it was widely reported the Royals were once again wanting to find themselves a right fielder.

So what does all this mean? What it means is that in 2 seasons the Royals acquired Shields, Davis, Infante and Aoki and put those 4 players around the ‘core’ group of players that were already on this team… a core group of players that for the most part are nothing special. Yes there are a few decent guys here and there or guys that do things well. Perez looks like a star. Gordon is very consistent in the outfield. But at pretty much every other position you have guys that just haven’t proven themselves. What you had was a team that needed a strong player or 2 or 3 added to really put them over the edge.

And in 2 seasons we got… Shields, Davis, Infante and Aoki. That’s not the injection this team needed. And to make matters worse in 2 trade deadlines since this all started Dayton hasn’t done one thing.. not ONE thing to further inject something into this team. Sure last season he acquired 101 30-something infielders to rotate in and out of the organization and this year he’s brought in another dozen or so 30-something (or 40-something) players that don’t have a spot on the club but they were all available so he acquired them.

I know Dayton told us this was it. I know Dayton said it was time for these guys to step up. But he’s been saying that for 2 years now. He’s been saying these guys were it, they needed to prove something, they needed to be the guys we won or lost with…..

I just think most Royals fans were hoping he really didn’t mean that. That there had to be something else. If you’re so close, so close to finally getting to where you want to be… if you’ve gone all in and traded away minor league depth – the future of this club – and acquired 2-year rentals on pitching and 30-something players that don’t have a lot of time left… shouldn’t you actually make sure you get the most out of your investment that you can?

Shouldn’t you be playing these last 2 seasons out like it’s your job in the line?

Shouldn’t Royals fans expect better?

Royals Edge Twins, Win 3-2

Sarah Davis

It was looking like another game that would require Danny Duffy to throw a shut out just to even qualify for a win.

Danny Duffy made one mistake pitch four innings of Wednesday’s matchup against the Twins. Duffy left a fastball up to Josh Willingham, and he hit it a very long way. Duffy settled down until the fifth inning when he put two on with one out. Ned Yost decided to pull the plug and go to recently acquired Jason Frasor. Frasor would get out of the inning with no damage done.

Danny Duffy pitched a very respectable game: 5.2 innings, one earned run, and four strikeouts. Duffy did give up six walks tonight which elevated his pitch count. Duffy threw 105 pitches, that in which only a little over half of them were strikes. He didn’t have a bad outing, but it’s definitely not what Royals fans are used to seeing.

Danny Duffy now leads the rotation in ERA at 2.42, but is 5-10 this season. Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up. The Royals have given him no run support.

As for the offense tonight, they did not show up until the sixth inning when they decided that it might be a nifty idea to score some runs for their pitcher who just labored through 5+ innings, and only allowed one earned run.

With one out in the sixth inning, Salvador Perez doubled in Omar Infante, and advanced to third on a wild throw by Eduardo Nunez. Alex Gordon then drove in Salvy with a double of his own, as did Mike Moustakas.

The other Twins run was given up by none other than the wonderful (sarcasm) Scott Downs. Downs now has a 5.51 ERA on the year.

Tonight was a very boring ballgame, and I was clearly not entertained. I hope the Royals will do a better job tomorrow when the send Yordano Ventura to the hill to face Kevin Correia.


I will be breaking down all Royals trades right here. That’s assuming if Dayton Moore gets off his rear end and makes a trade. Just please don’t let it be for Emilio Bonifacio.

Royals Fall Short of Comeback, Lose 2-1

Sarah Davis

Legend has it that if you score more runs that the other team, you’ll win the game. The Royals must have missed that.

It was a horrible quality start for James Shields, if that makes sense. Shields threw an average of 20.67 pitches per inning. While Shields went six complete innings, and only allowed two runs, he wiggled out of jam after jam, and was a bit out of control with his location.

The umpires certainly didn’t do the Royals any favors. In the top of the fifth, interference was called on second baseman Omar Infante, and Sam Fuld was awarded third base. Nothing would come out of it as Shields would wiggle out of that jam too.

Shields couldn’t get out of the third inning without a run when Josh Willingham sacrificed in Danny Santana (Ugh. Another Santana.) Danny Santana scored the other run in the fifth inning, and that would do it for the Twins.

Kyle Gibson has dominated the Royals all season. Gibson continued his success tonight when he pitched seven scoreless innings, and only allowed two hits.

Kansas City didn’t score their loan run until the ninth inning. With no outs, Omar Infante doubled off of the left field wall. Eric Hosmer dumped one into left field to give him his 46th RBI of the year. That would be as far as the Royals rally would come as the next three batters went down in order against All-Star closer, Glenn Perkins.

The Royals did not lose any ground in the AL Central race after Detroit lost to Chicago, but they now sit 3.5 games back of the second wildcard spot.

Phil Hughes and Danny Duffy will square off tomorrow at 7:10 for the second game of the series. Let’s hope that, for once, we can provide some run support for Mr. Duffy.

Aoki, Butler Lead Royals Over Tribe, 7-5

Sarah Davis

In the middle of the second inning, I thought the game was over. The Indians had a five run lead, and the offense looked to be dormant. Kansas City started chipping in the third inning, and tied it in the fourth.

Carlos “The One Man Wrecking Crew” Santana, and the Cleveland Indians put a five spot on the board in the second inning.

The inning scoring in the second inning started with a Carlos Santana big fly to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. With two outs, it would appear to the Royals that Guthrie had limited the damage. Alas, the Indians would go on to score four more runs that inning to give starter, Zach McCallister a five run lead.

Kansas City would put one run on in the bottom of the third inning, but the real damage would come in innings four and five. After an Alcides Escobar RBI single to cut the lead to 5-2, Nori Aoki would hit a 2-RBI triple to bring the Royals back within one run. Aoki would dash home on a pass ball.

In the sixth, with Salvador Perez aboard, Billy Butler, for the second day in a row, mashes a go-ahead two-run home run to put the dagger in Cleveland.

Determined to get Jeremy Guthrie his sixth win of the year, Ned Yost sent Guthrie out for his sixth inning of work. Guthrie got two outs in the inning before Yost decided to pull the plug and go to Scott Downs. Downs would finish Guthrie’s inning, and Guthrie would finish with five ER, and four strikeouts through 5.2 innings of work.

With the trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland, Cleveland’s hopes for avoiding a series loss were dwindling. Between the three of them, they allowed one hit, and sat down four Indian batters via the strikeout.

Carlos Santana continues to be a thorn in the side of Kansas City. Santana is 6-11 with four RBIs in the series thus far.

After being benched to start the game tomorrow, Billy Butler has hit two go-ahead two-run homeruns. Both of them were 420+ feet homeruns.

Eric Hosmer continues to sit with a hand contusion after being hit by a Jon Lester pitch in the Boston series. Raul Ibanez and Billy Butler have filled in at first while Hosmer is recovering.

Kansas City will go for the sweep tomorrow against Cleveland. The Royals will send Bruce Chen (2-2, 5.80 ERA) out to the mound to keep their winning streak alive. The Indians will counter with Danny Salazar (2-4, 5.12 ERA) in hopes to avoid a sweep, and fall to three games under .500.

I would not expect a pitching duel with both guys having ERAs over five. I would, however, expect Ned Yost to send his ‘Surrender Sunday’ lineups out to play. Somebody should really tell Ned that those games count too.

Royals Take Game One, 2-1 in Extras

Sarah Davis

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t planning on a recap due to the fact that my brother took my dog to live with him, and yes that made me very, very sad. It was about the bottom of the 14th inning when I realized that most of you probably went to bed in the bottom of the thirteenth.

This game didn’t see it’s first hit until the top of the fifth inning when Carlos Santana singled off of Danny Duffy.

The first Royals base runner came in the seventh when Omar Infante singled, but was stranded. The first of two Royals runs came in the eighth inning when Mike Moustakas hit a little league homerun. It was ruled a double and a two-base throwing error, and was charged as an unearned run to Corey Kluber.

The Royals were poised to end the game in the ninth when All Star Greg Holland blew the save for the second time this year.

The score would stand pat for the next five innings. In the bottom of the fourteenth, Lorenzo Cain hit an infield single to get things started for Kansas City that inning. Cain then stole second base for Raul Ibanez to hit him in.

Ned Yost would pinch-hit Danny Valencia for Raul Ibanez. The countering move would be for Terry Francona to bring in John Axford. Danny Valencia would promptly strike out.

Next up would be Nori Aoki. If you told me that the game would be left up to Nori Aoki, I would’ve told you that you were lying. Nori Aoki singled in Lorenzo Cain to give the Royals the 2-1 walkoff victory against the Indians.

Josh Tomlin will face Yordano Ventura later today in game number two. Let’s hope there is a better offensive production from the Royals.

Royals End Skid, Beat Sox 7-1

Sarah Davis

Alert the presses: The Kansas City Royals scored seven runs tonight.

Without Eric Hosmer (hand contusion) and Lorenzo Cain (rest) I was afraid that that would be a tall task for Kansas City. Alas, it was not.

Mike Moustakas got the scoring started with a solo homerun in the second inning. The White Sox would rally in the fourth inning with a “Big Donkey” Adam Dunn homerun.

The game would be all Royals after that. The Royals would score six (!!!!!) runs after that. Back-to-back doubles by Billy “The Base-Clogger” Butler and Raul “Too Cool For You At 42” Ibanez started off the Royals four run sixth inning.

With the Royals up 3-1, Jarrod Dyson bunts to score Alcides Escobar, and according to the unwritten rules of baseball, you are not allowed to bunt while winning by more than two runs. Mmhhmmm, right.

Omar Infante would sacrifice Nori Aoki in to give KC a 5-1 lead. The scoring outburst would end on a Mike Moustakas two-run bomb to give the Royals a seven (!!!!) run lead.

In short: Mike Moustakas took a good, long look in the mirror, and decided that he can hit balls over the wall not just during BP.

The Royals still lack in one (more than that) department: We still left 14 guys on base. Since the start of the ‘second-half’ the Royals have left 41 men on base.

Before the game, Dayton Moore was interviewed. You know what that means: Writing material for Royals writers everywhere. I’ll give you the gist of it: Our (Dayton and Ned) success is tied together. We’ve got a lot of holes, but we aren’t going to change.

It isn’t exactly word for word, but it’s pretty close. I’m not sure what part of any of those statements actually make sense. You haven’t made the playoffs in either of your tenures. You are also one game under .500 with the current guys on your roster, but you’re convinced that these are the guys that will get your to the playoffs. Crazy, right?

A huge congratulations to Bruce Chen is in order, I think. Bruce Chen has now tied Mariano Rivera for all-time Panamanian wins leader.

The Royals will send James Shields to the hill tomorrow in the rubber game against Jose Quintanna. Quintanna is winless against the Royals in his career, which probably means we’ll lose tomorrow.

Royals Pitching By The Numbers


So I had a long and demonstrative discussion with another member of this board regarding the KC Royals pitching staff.

His position is that we’re the 3rd best staff in the league and that hitting is the only reason we’re losing. My position is we’re the 3rd best staff in the league but that that singular number is very misleading… and we’re not really nearly as good as some people think we are.

He said the numbers don’t lie and I agreed, which is why I’m going to post them here so that everyone can see them.

So here they are (these are as of 7.12):

The A’s team ERA is 3.12 which leads the league.

The Royals team ERA is 3.78 which is good for 3rd in the league.

The Indians have the 10th best ERA in the league with a 3.98 mark.

So by team ERA only… the Royals are 3rd best but that mark makes them over .5 runs per game worse than the leading team but only .2 runs per game better than the 10th best team. In other words the difference between the A’s and the Royals in team ERA is vastly superior to the difference between the Royals and the Indians.

You can look at it by runs allowed as well.

Here Seattle leads the league with 317 runs allowed.

Kansas City is 3rd with 377 runs allowed.

Toronto falls 10th in the league with 409 runs allowed.

So once again the Royals are 3rd in the league, but also once again the difference between the 1st and 3rd place teams is 60 runs, while the difference between the 3rd and 10th place teams is barely over 30 runs allowed.

I’m not going to run through all the numbers but if you look at batting average allowed, on base percentage and slugging you’d find virtually the same thing… the team with the best number in each category is vastly superior to the team in 3rd place (which isn’t always the Royals by the way). But the team in 3rd place is not radically different than the team in 10th place.

The point of this whole exercise – which this other individual wants to argue – is to point out that despite the fact that our pitching staff is good (being in 3rd place in most categories is obviously good) it’s not really nearly as good as this team, it’s announcers and many fans want to make it out to be.

There is just virtually very little difference in this league this year from the 3rd best staff in the league to the 10th best staff.

So if our pitching isn’t vastly superior – and it’s not – then a lot of the emphasis to win has to be placed on the offense to perform and obviously they are not. We can not just pretend that our pitching is going to shut other teams down all the time. They have the ability to do so – but as has been proven so do most other teams (especially against our offense).

Agree or disagree? Your comments are welcome.

Beane’s Take on the Future of Baseball


Billy Bean penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal about where baseball is going. The link below will take you to the article.


-Teams are going to get away from the baseball lifers in the front office and go to people that can interpret “big data” that will now be collected at lower levels.
-Stats are going to quit looking at players in isolation but rather as part of a whole. (I’ve been saying this should be done for awhile, so hooray!).
-Front offices read Twitter and blogs for analysis.

Anyway, it was a good read.