They handed out replica World Series trophies at The K on Saturday. The Royals played like it was 2009. What a disconnect.
Blown double play opportunities. Botched rundowns. Missed cutoff men. The only thing this one was missing was a Very Special Guest appearance from Jose Guillen. Games like this are best forgotten. But the webmaster says we must recap. Apologies in advance.
WPA Play of the Game
Strangely enough, it’s the lone Royals highlight of the game: The Salvador Perez home run in the bottom of the second that tied the game. A half-inning after the Orioles took a 2-0 lead, Perez got a belt-high fastball on the inner half and crushed it. That home run was worth 21 percent on the Royals Win Expectancy meter. It made you think that it would be business as usual at The K. That feeling didn’t last long.
Scoring Early And Often
Kris Medlen did not have it working on Saturday. After two relatively good starts, the wheels fell off in the second when he served a center-cut fastball at the knees that Chris Davis clobbered to lead off the inning. He retired the next two batters, but a walk and back to back singles plated another run.
The same scenario was played out in the third when Medlen walked Adam Jones who came around to score after two more singles.
The fourth inning held promise, but was derailed by a poorly executed double play pivot turned by Omar Infante. The Royals want you to believe surgery has Infante healthy. You don’t need a medical degree to disagree with their assessment. Far too often in the small sample size of the first three weeks of the season, Infante’s arm has frequently been al dente.
The Orioles are a good offensive team. If you want to give them bonus opportunities, do so at your own risk. Especially Manny Machado. That’s not going to work out so well. Medlen couldn’t survive the fourth. Dillon Gee entered the fray, coughed up his inherited runners, but otherwise pitched well. By this point, the Royals Win Expectancy had been reduced to eight percent. Not tonight. Not their night.
The Took The Fun Out Of Fundamentals
One of the joys of watching this team is how they just seem to do everything right. Hey, even the best can’t perform at the peak every night. The scars are still there, though. I may have developed a some sort of twitch when Alcides Escobar ran Davis back to first after he dropped a base hit down the right field line, only to throw the ball to Eric Hosmer, who could just watch helplessly as Davis scooted freely to second when no one covered the bag. Sniff. That bouquet carries a hint of 2009. It was not a very good vintage. Best you shove the cork back in the bottle and dump it in the sewer.
The Royals close out the homestand, sending Yordano Ventura to the mound against Mike Wright. It’s a 1:15 start time. That’s the thing about this great game. A stinker Saturday, a chance for redemption Sunday.