RECAP: Royals 1, Mets 2; AWOL Offense

Once again, the Royals forgot to pack their offense. Fortunately, this is only a two-game road trip.

Visiting the scene of the crowning achievement of the Dayton Moore era, the Royals can’t replicate November and drop another one on the road.

Bombs Away, Parts 17 & 18

Ian Kennedy has a home run problem.

After coughing up two long balls on Tuesday night, he’s now surrendered 18 on the season. He’s an equal opportunity gopher ball giver, allowing nine to left-handed batters and nine to hitters from right side. Kennedy is now in possession of a home run rate of 1.98 HR/9, which is the worst among all qualified starting pitchers.

The first one he allowed barely cleared the wall. It was a hanging curve that Asdrubal Cabrera extended and powered to the opposite field. Poor location.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 8.04.02 PM

The second was to Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes hits a lot of home runs. He’s not going to miss a fastball in this spot.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 8.04.56 PM

Kennedy is a fly ball pitcher. Entering Tuesday’s contest, batters put the ball in the air 47 percent of the time against him, the fifth highest rate among starting pitchers. His HR/FB rate stood at 15.7 percent, which, while certainly elevated, placed him 19th among the qualified. It’s below last season’s HR/FB rate of 17.2 percent, which we all assumed would decrease just by regression to the mean. It hasn’t regressed enough.

Thankfully, the home runs on Tuesday were of the solo variety. They’re not supposed to hurt (so we’ve been told), but they most assuredly can.

Long Live The American League

Perhaps the key moment for the Royals offense came in the top of the fifth. A Paulo Orlando single, a Cheslor Cuthbert walk, and a Brett Eibner single against a tiring Hanser Robles plated a run to slice the lead in half. With Kennedy due, the Mets went to their bullpen. Instead of having Kennedy sacrifice to try to advance the runners to second and third, Ned Yost opted to fire his biggest bullet and send Kendrys Morales to the plate. Morales caught a high fastball and hammered it to right. Damn if it didn’t look (and sound) like it was leaving the yard. Alas, it died a painful death in the glove of Curtis Granderson on the warning track. So close.

The Royals still had two opportunities to bring home the tying run, but Whit Merrifield whiffed on an inside pitch and Alcides Escobar grounded out to end the frame.

Removing Kennedy for Morales didn’t work out in the end, but it was the correct move. The Mets were a batter away from flipping their order for the third time of the night. Think back to Kennedy’s last start against Cleveland and all four of his runs allowed were scored after the lineup turned over a third time. For the season, when Kennedy faces a lineup the first two times, he’s limiting them to a .211 batting average with a .366 slugging percentage. When it’s the third time through the order those numbers inflate to a .312 BA and .597 SLG.

Cold As Ice

Someone get me a thesaurus. We’re running out of adjectives to describe this tepid offense.

The Royals offense generated nothing. Bupkis. A scene we are all too familiar with once this team gets away from The K. Whit Merrifield was held without a hit and kept off base, which at this stage in his career is newsworthy. He had reached base in 26 of his 27 starts for the Royals. Eric Hosmer whiffed three times and when he actually made contact, drove the ball about 40 feet. Salvador Perez saw his 11 game hitting streak snapped.

Made all the more depressing that this happened after Bartolo Colon left the game after throwing only four pitches after being struck in the arm by a Merrifield line drive. Robles stepped in and shut down the Royals until he tired in the fifth. From there, it was the rest of the Mets bullpen the Royals couldn’t master.

Up Next

Day baseball with Danny Duffy facing Noah Syndergaard. Going to be difficult to thaw those bats.

Related Articles

1 comment on “RECAP: Royals 1, Mets 2; AWOL Offense”

Comments are closed.