The 2014 version of the Kansas City Royals (3-4) is looking remarkable similar to the 2013 edition. – all pitching, no hitting. The Royals fell 1-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays (5-4) in a duel between two outstanding young talents.
On the Mound
Yordano Ventura was simply everything we wanted to see. He threw 6 innings of scoreless, 2-hit ball, striking out 6 and walking none. He changed speeds beautifully, hitting 100 mph or higher three times, and throwing his off speed stuff at around 84 mph. Those waiting to watch him pitch had just about every expectation met.
Then came the 9th, the game knotted at zero. Truthfully, the defense lost this game. One batter reached one a weak grounder to short – a routine play for Alcides Escobar. Mike Moustakas cut in front of Escobar (not in the good way but in the way out of position way), fielded the ball, and couldn’t get the ball out of his glove. Salvador Perez promptly let a pitch get away, and the runner moved to second.
This was the first of two pitches Perez missed in the inning, both of which should have been easy plays for a defender of his renown. He was having trouble with his glove, so maybe he should have used his back up. They were scored wild pitches but a Gold Glove catcher should have fielded them both.
At the Plate
Really, all you need to know is that three times, the Royals had the bases loaded, twice with 2 outs, and they failed to score a run. Eric Hosmer‘s double play was bad enough, but Danny Valencia, in his second bases loaded opportunity of the game, struck out looking without ever removing his bat from his shoulder, except to argue with the home plate umpire over a clear strike on strike three. Absolutely unforgivable.
Valencia left 6 men on base in the game, Butler and Gordon three each. And recall Hosmer had an inning ending double play with the base loaded. When the heart of your order can’t drive in runs, you are not going to win ball games.
Norichika Aoki had 3 hits but struck out twice, and didn’t look good doing it. Perez had two hits and a walk, his 7th of the season. Mike Moustakas finally got his first hit of the season in the 9th inning.
This and That
Over the years, Dayton Moore has collected dime-a-dozen utility infielders like they were valuable rare coins. It is inexcusable and unforgivable that the Royals do not have a real utility infielder on their roster. It just doesn’t make sense. It is absolutely horrible roster management.
It boils down to not trusting Mike Moustakas, your franchise third baseman, to hit, and having to carry a guy like Danny Valencia instead of constructing a roster the correct way. The fact that Moustakas has proved the Royals’ misgivings about his bat correct is a whole other matter.
The Royals should be on the phone today, trying to trade Mike Moustakas to the Diamondbacks. The D-Backs should be interested. Moustakas is quite the hitter in Arizona. He sure can’t hit in Kansas City.
The Royals have now gone 7 games without a home run, the longest stretch in franchise history. Nice roster, Dayton!
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
There are no doubts or misgivings about this pick. Yordano Ventura was magnificent. He deserved better than the no decision he received.
Chris Archer was nearly has terrific as Ventrua. Of course, Archer had the big advantage of facing the toothless Royals batters. He went 7 innings, allowed 6 hits, while striking out 4 and walking 2. He was the more efficient of the two starters, throwing 91 pitches in 7 innings to Ventura’s 95 in six innings.
The Rays only had 2 hits before the 2 in the 9th, and no one had more than one.
Jeremy Guthrie (1-0, 6.35 ERA) was the recipient of the Royals lone offensive onslaught of the season thus far. He will attempt to be the first 2-game winner. The Rays will start former Kansas City farmhand Jake Odorizzi (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who pitched 6 shout out innings in his only other appearance of the season. Odorizzi made 2 starts for the Royals in 2012 before being included in the James Shields/Wil Myers deal.
|David DeJesus LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||.238||.762|
|Wil Myers RF||4||1||1||0||0||3||.194||.523|
|Ben Zobrist 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||.281||.785|
|Evan Longoria 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||.364||.993|
|James Loney 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||.222||.609|
|Desmond Jennings CF||4||0||0||0||0||3||.242||.736|
|Matthew Joyce DH||2||0||0||0||1||0||.400||1.150|
|Jose Molina C||2||0||0||0||0||0||.000||.000|
|Logan Forsythe PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||.150||.427|
|Ryan Hanigan C||0||0||0||0||0||0||.294||.929|
|Yunel Escobar SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||.167||.485|
|Norichika Aoki RF||5||0||3||0||0||2||.360||.949|
|Eric Hosmer 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||.240||.665|
|Salvador Perez C||3||0||2||0||1||0||.476||1.274|
|Billy Butler DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||.208||.519|
|Alex Gordon LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||.231||.584|
|Danny Valencia 2B||4||0||0||0||0||2||.125||.250|
|Mike Moustakas 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||.045||.205|
|Alcides Escobar SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||.167||.408|
|Jarrod Dyson CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||.000||.000|
|Joel Peralta, W (1-1)||0.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||5.40||8||4|
|Grant Balfour, S (2)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||0.00||18||13|
|Greg Holland, L (0-1)||1||2||1||1||0||1||0||4.50||26||18|