Well I hope everybody is excited for more Alcides Escobar, because he just signed a two-year extension.
I expect to see that announcement Friday after Adalberto Mondesi, a young and talented shortstop, made two errors in the series opener against the Yankees. That’s not the sort of performance you can afford to have when you’re on pace for [checks notes] 105 losses.
As it was, those two errors made Jakob Junis’ night look worse than it was (and it wasn’t his finest outing by any means), and that led [altogether now] a Royals loss, of the 7-2 variety, in the House that Ruth Built and Jeter Sublet For a Few Years Before Becoming a Slumlord in Miami.
The bad news, somehow, was even worse for the Yankees than it was for Kansas City. In the first inning, Junis hit Aaron Judge with a fastball right on the wrist, causing Judge to exit early in the fourth inning. I hope he’s okay, because honestly, the Royals already broke Shohei Otani and if they keep breaking baseball’s priceless treasures, I’m gonna be upset. Didi Gregorious moved him with a double, Giancarlo Stanton scored him on a sac fly, Aaron Hicks walked and then Gleyber Torres’ hopper to Mondesi ate him up and Gregorious scored too.
Sonny Gray kept the Royals off-balance the first two innings before Kansas City’s first big chance. With one down, Brian Goodwin and BERTO singled, while Rosell Herrera walked to load the bases with two down.
Mike Moustakas struck out. Not the impression one hopes to make on a potential employer.
Junis got out of a jam in the third, when Judge singled, Stanton walked and Hicks singled. Torres hit a grounder to Mondesi again, only this time he made a clean pick to start a 6-4-3 double play. End of threat, end of inning.
There would be no such luck in the fourth. A one-out Neil Walker single was followed two pitches later by a run-scoring double from Austin Romine. However, after a Brett Gardner ground out, it seemed like Junis was on his way safely out of the inning.
But Mondesi struck again, throwing away a Miguel Andujar grounder. Romine moved to third. Gregorious hit the very next pitch out of the park. Three-run blast. 6-0 game.
You know how this is going to end, but let’s put another 400 words into it anyway?
Goodwin coasted a one-out double in the fifth and Whit Merrifield coaxed a two-out walk. Rosie struck out swinging, making the Royals a collective 3-for-their-last-29,837 in two-out situations with men on.
Junis, still out there to start the fifth, surrendered back-to-back singles to Hicks and Torres to start the frame before Greg Bird brought Hicks home with a sac fly. Junis, STILL OUT THERE, gave up a single to Walker before striking out Romine… then exiting for Tim Hill, who struck out Gardner to end the frame. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m watching the same game.
The Royals runs came in the sixth via two-run Salvador Perez homer; Mike Moustakas led off with a double, and Salvy brought him in with a blast to center. Might’ve been the last time those two meet at the plate after a homer. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Brandon Maurer tossed an inning of scoreless relief in the seventh, proving that he’s the man you want in the game when his team is five runs ahead or five runs behind. Zach Britton made his debut in the eighth, which is what you want from your new acquisition if you’re the Yankees, let him ease into his time in pinstripes.
In the ninth, Jorge Bonifacio singled and was forced out on an Alex Gordon bouncer to third. Goodwin struck out, BERTO singled and Merrifield singled… only Gordon blew through the stop sign and was out by five feet at the plate to end the game.
Gonna be a fun road trip!
Your Tweet of Despair
Me: we might have broken Aaron Judge’s hand…
My daughter: “The #Royals are so broken that we’ve broken other teams…”
— Janette Reinke, LMFT (@janettereinke) July 27, 2018
The Bright Spot: Goodwin continues to be delightfully Not Abraham Almonte, which is always going to win me over. Getting two hits is just icing on the cake.
The Nadir: After getting one hit in the Detroit series, Gordon started this series by going 0-for-4 and making the last out at home plate. Good start!
The Next Step: Brad Keller and CC Sabathia is going to be an interesting pitching duel Friday. Keller had one of his best outings against the Twins in his last start, and Sabathia has been off since before the All-Star break. None of the Royals can hit Sabathia (Alcides Escobar .133, Gordon .100, Moustakas .091) but none of the Yankees have seen Keller. If a win is getting stole in the Bronx, it’s here.