Jorge Soler

RECAP: Soler hits ball to Saturn, Royals lose anyway

It’s Friday, which means roughly three-quarters of the 18 of you who read this on Saturday morning will be doing so through the lens of the previous night’s mistakes.

Speaking of mistakes, they were made against Jorge Soler and Mike Moustakas by the Texas Rangers on Friday night, but those mistakes ultimately didn’t matter in an 8-4 loss in the Lone Star State.

Moustakas’ 11th slam of the season put things on solid footing for the Royals early. It’s not been the easiest trip for Moustakas—he entered Friday 2-for-15 on the road trip—but he remains one of 10 players league-wide with 50 hits, 10 doubles, 10 homers and 30 RBI and gave the Royals an early lead.

And Eric Skoglund had a two-run lead for almost two batters before surrendering a solo blast to Shin-Soo Choo’s Corpse. And while it’s fun to play “Who says no to Danny Duffy for Shin-Soo Choo aka baseball’s version of gout for cellulite?” the honest answer is that the Royals would pull the trigger on Choo (one fewer year of commitment, still semi-productive) for Duffy (extra year commitment, unclear if still any good more than once a month) in a vacuum. In the real world, Duffy matters in Kansas City in a way Choo could not, and for a franchise whose attendance is rapidly cratering, Duffy remains something of a draw every five days, especially if he can somehow start to turn it around. Choo would be a novelty for about a week, and then Just Another Guy.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah, baseball game.

In the third inning, Delino Deshields led off with a triple, scoring on a Nomar Mazara ground out. That kicked off a stretch of three innings where Texas scored at least once an inning, beginning with the Deshields-Mazara combo in the third, a Ronald Guzman two-run dinger in the fourth and a two-run Mazara blast in the fifth. Jurickson Profar’s double one batter after Mazara’s homer ended Mr. Skoglund’s day after 4.1 innings and six earned, including three homers given up. His ERA is 6.70.

As for Kansas City, Soler homered during this time and while goofing on Soler is fun when Soler is (pick any of a number of dingusy things Jorge does), and despite the fact that he was 1-for-13 on the trip entering the game, watching Jorge Soler send baseballs into orbit is the only abject joy I feel like I regularly find with the Royals. He hits baseballs like he thinks they’ve wronged his family going back generations, and I respect the hell out of that.

Of course, by the end of Skoglund’s night, it was 6-3 Rangers and the Royals bullpen was heading in to fan the flames. I could stop right here but I feel compelled to finish this out because I’m a professional and you may need to take a large poop in the morning and I don’t want you to run out of reading material.

Because I’m a giver, that’s why.

And there are things I can say about Brian Flynn because he was good! I mean, he was Brian Flynn good; he didn’t make things worse, he struck a couple guys out and he gave the offense a chance to make up the deficit (it didn’t, because reasons). One could do worse than Brian Flynn.

And after 2.2 innings, the Royals did! Blaine Boyer. Blaine Boyer (COPY PASTE WHATEVER FORMER CRAP YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT BLAINE BOYER HERE, IT’S ALL THE SAME, TIME IS A FLAT CIRCLE). He gave up two runs in the eighth, the first on a Guzman triple (scoring Robinson Chirinos after a leadoff walk); Guzman then scored on a DeShields single to bring Texas’ night of offense to an end.

There also was a run-scoring Ramon Torres double in the seventh that does not really bear comment, aside from a “Hey, good for him.”

The Royals actually loaded the bases in the ninth, all with two outs. Jon Jay walked. Whit Merrifield singled. Moustakas walked. Things looked promising!

Salvador Perez worked a 3-1 count from Keone Kela. It was now or never. Kela unfurled a heater that caught the fat part of the plate. Perez swung, lifting a drive to center…

That DeShields settled under to end the game.

The Bright Spot: Flynn’s been working longer (five outings of two-plus innings of his last eight); maybe he’s turning into this year’s Mike Minor, who started for Texas Friday evening.

The Nadir: Skoglund has had better days. So has Salvy, whose flyout to end the game was part of an 0-for-5 evening that dropped his average to .244. Maybe batting average isn’t everything, but also maybe hitting .244 isn’t very good.

The Next Step: I am so excited to see Bartolo Colon throw pitches tomorrow I can’t stand it. And that’s a phrase you’ll never hear me say about Ian Kennedy unless he gets traded to the White Sox.

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