As per usual when watching a game on Facebook, I found myself wishing I was instead watching MLB.tv, a thing I rarely wish for owing to the fact that MLB’s streaming service is butt. I have quality internet, yet the actual game view is choppy. There’s too much made of the whole “Boy, ain’t this neat we can watch a game on the Facebook?” quality, which nobody should care about because Facebook is only used for baby pictures and for geriatrics to spread vitriolic nonsense they found on Breitbart to one another. Facebook is scum. I resent baseball for making me use it to watch the Royals.
And yes, I know it means a day without Ryan Lefebvre (or worse, Steve Physioc) or Uncle Rex Hudler and for that I should be a little more grateful. But I’m not. Deep down, part of me enjoys Ryan and Rex’s daily confab, even if half the time I’ve no idea what Uncle Huddy is talking about or where it’s coming from or even where this particular story is likely to end. He’s everyone’s weird uncle who gets by on charming stories and duende. Scott Braun, Dan Plesac and Kris Medlen were nice, but they weren’t Uncle Huddy.
Among other nice things, the Kansas City Royals showed they remembered how to score runs again in a 5-4 win against Milwaukee to split the series and move to the hallowed halfway (to 50 wins) mark.
Brent Suter and Danny Duffy treated fans to an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel through five innings—well, Duffy did. Suter got to face a Royals team that didn’t look much different from the avatars of despair that came in all the June games before, mustering only three singles through the first six innings, with Whit Merrifield’s desperation double attempt—only to be thrown out legging for second—a sign of how desperate things had become.
When Big Jesus Aguilar (his Christian name) clubbed a homer in the bottom of the sixth, it looked like it would be more than enough to put Kansas City away.
The Royals broke through in the seventh, first on a Mike Moustakas homer that landed mid-bullpen to the delight of the 30 or so Royals fans in attendance. A sequence of single-walk-single to Salvador Perez, Hunter Dozier and Alex Gordon loaded the bases with nobody out. Here’s the part where I’d normally tell you that the Brewers quickly turned to their bullpen, which quickly solved the problem and limited the Royals to just the Moustakas homer.
But that wasn’t the case today. Jeremy Jeffress did replace Suter, and he did get Alcides Escobar to tap back softly to the mound for an easy out at the plate. But when the Brewers went to Josh Hader to face Adalberto Mondesi, the Artist Formerly Known as Raul Jr. drove a single into left to score Dozier and Gordon, stole second with Lucas Duda at the plate (whose sac fly scored Escobar) and scored on Whit Merrifield’s single.
Hader, who spent the entire season pitching like post-broken arm Henry Rowengartner, was undone by the Royals of all teams. The same Royals team that had not scored more than four runs in a game since June 4, scored five in the seventh inning and four against Josh Hader, who is compared favorably to Andrew Miller, Walter Johnson and Jesus Christ, depending on reports. Get your Papa Johns, Greater Kansas City residents!
I could stop this recap right here, because it’s all downhill from that point. Except it’s not!
Some of it was though. In the ninth, Tim Hill walked, gave up a single and then a three-run Brad Miller homer, while also managing to help Perez get hurt enough to leave the game (Jeffrey Flanagan and Rustin Dodd report he’s fine, but please give him a day off anyway). Suddenly it’s 5-4 with a cold catcher and here comes [checks notes] Wily Peralta to save the day.
Somehow it worked! Peralta got Eric Thames to strikeout before Erik Kratz singled out of the reach of a diving Whit Merrifield. Ryan Braun’s subsequent grounder to Mike Moustakas was turned by Whit at second to Dozier at first… with Braun initially ruled safe. Bill Duplissea, continuing a string of coming up clutch, pushed for the challenge, which the Royals won. Ballgame.
Unusually Happy Tweet of the Game
Bill Duplissea needs a raise. #royals
— Cassie M. Hale (@its_me_cassie) June 27, 2018
The Bright Spot
Danny Duffy’s last seven starts:
43.2 IP, 32 H, 38 K, 21 BB, 2.68 ERA, 21.5% K rate, 0.8 HR/9#Royals
— David Lesky (@DBLesky) June 27, 2018
The ninth inning really shouldn’t have been that difficult.
The Next Step
Let’s go to the West Coast! I can’t wait to fuel up on coffee and Red Bull to watch Ian Kennedy either take a hard-luck loss or get his face kicked in (there appears to be no other kind of Kennedy start anymore) by Marco Gonzalez and the Mariners.