MLB: Kansas City Royals at Philadelphia Phillies

RECAP: Royals 2, Phillies 7; Twisted

When Yordano Ventura takes the mound, one thing is certain: You will be treated to a performance that is Shakespearian in scope. Whether that performance is drama, tragedy, or farce, it is up to the writer.

Sunday, Ventura borrowed from all genres in less than three innings. There was the early trouble with a three-run home run. The settling in an inning later. The bizarre baserunning play that resulted in a twisted ankle. And the Royals decision to send him back out to try to pitch deeper into the game.

The Phillies did Ventura a favor, swinging early to start the third inning. Three pitches equaled two outs. Yet Cody Asche, the third batter in the inning, wasn’t so aggressive. He took the first strike, passed on a couple out of the strike zone, fouled off a couple, then launched one into orbit.

The Royals generally get high marks (deservedly so) for their medical staff. I can’t imagine why anyone in that dugout thought it was a good idea for Ventura to return to the mound for the third inning after he rolled his ankle. Robbed of the ability to push off the rubber with his right leg, he clearly wasn’t the same pitcher. Can you spot when the injury happened?

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The concern isn’t so much about the ankle. It’s about the adjustment of mechanics, no matter how subtle, to relieve some of the pressure against the injury, that can cause damage to the arm. Never mind the injury rendered Ventura incapable of repeating his delivery. (Not that he’s doing this on the regular, but following the injury there was no hope he would be able to remain consistent in his mechanics.) It just didn’t seem like the smartest play to send a pitcher back out who was struggling to push off the rubber.

This is Ventura. Brilliant on occasion, at times frustrating, always interesting. The fear you feel ahead of a Ventura start is akin to stepping onto a roller coaster for the first time. You don’t know how you’re going to react. It could be packed with¬†thrilling moments, or you could vomit all over yourself.

Ventura’s¬†next start will be at the Globe Theatre.

WPA Play Of The Game

It’s not so much that this one was over early, but the big hurt was provided off the bat of Cameron Rupp. I mean, this isn’t a horrible sequence.

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Ventura was pitching Rupp away. He got the looking strike on a curve for pitch two. Rupp swung and missed at the third pitch, a 97 mph fastball. Ventura went fastball again for the fourth pitch. Drew Butera set up in the same spot. Ventura missed up above the zone. Didn’t matter. Rupp has no problem with that pitch.

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If Rupp is going to hit a home run, it’s going to come one a pitch up and away. And that’s what Ventura served.

That home run tilted the game in the Phillies favor by 25 percent. There was certainly enough time for the Royals to rally, but that would depend on scoring some runs.

Silent Bats

Not much on the offensive side of the ball. Alex Gordon homered to pull the Royals within two at the time, but they were never able to mount a serious threat for the rest of the game. Gordon was the only Royal with more than one hit. Kendrys Morales was silent. Whit Merrifield struck out three times. Alcides Escobar extended his hitting streak which means we’re a few more games away from his permanent return to the top of the order.

Up Next

The Royals visit Toronto for the first time since last October for a three game set against the Blue Jays. Edinson Volquez takes the mound for the Royals against Aaron Sanchez. First pitch is 6:07 Central Time.

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