Royals Recap: Long Balls Damage Ervin Santana; Bats Still Ice Cold; Panic?


It’s too early to panic, right? For any other fan base in the country, two losses wouldn’t be any reason for a lump of anxiety to be forming in the pits of our stomachs, right? Then why does my gut feel all cramped after the Kansas City Royals dropped their second game in row to start off the 2013 season to the Chicago White Sox? The past 27 years of history should have us prepared for the worst. Why aren’t we better prepared?

Apr 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) climbs the wall to try and catch a ball hit for a home run by Chicago White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo (not pictured) in the fourth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-2. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, it is too early to panic. There is a whole lot of season left. When following the Royals, there is always this sense of doom and gloom when things start to go awry. The reason is because for the past 27 years, at some point, things do go awry. It is almost always sooner rather than later, and no matter how optimistic we feel going into a season, those past failures are all too real. So far, in the two losses in Chicago, the first being 1-0, and the second, 5-2, things have gone just as some of us feared. The bats have been ice cold and yesterday, Erivn Santana couldn’t keep the ball in the park.

On the Mound

In six innings yesterday, Ervin Santana only allowed 5 hits and 1 walk. He tstruck out 8 hitters. These stats don’t look too bad, do they? Unfortunately, the walk came right before the 3rd home run Santana served up on the day. That’s right – 3 of the 5 hits against Santana were of the round trip variety, continuing a disturbing trend from 2012, when he gave up 39. A longer look at these numbers would leave one to believe he is throwing strikes but gets wild in the strikeout and leaves balls up and in the middle. Luckily, the Royals can bring in Luke Hochevar to put out the fire. Oh wait, that’s Luke Hochevar, not Luke Skywalker. My bad. No force in the world can make Hochevar be effective pitcher. He gave up a home run of his own in one inning of work.

At the Plate

The Royals’ bats still haven’t arrived from the desert. They may have been lost when the plane that was transporting them went missing, somewhere over Area 51. For the second game in a row, the Royals hitters forgot to show up. They scraped together 5 hits and a pinch-hit walk. The White Sox obviously felt sorry for Kansas City; they committed three errors and tried to let the Royals have some runs. KC only took advantage for one unearned run. No single Royal hitter deserves positive mention here.

Player of the Game

This is going to be a daily item for the recaps. I forgot to declare James Shields the POG in the first game despite the loss. In the second game, with few candidates, I am going to give the nod to Miguel Tejada because in a pinch hit role, he took a one out walk to load the bases. It wasn’t his fault the front-of-the-order guys who batted behind him couldn’t take advantage. His patience showed good leadership in a key situation.

This and That

Alex Gordon nearly made on the most spectacular plays of all time. Dayan Viciedo drove a ball deep to left field. Gordon scaled the wall, and hanging at the top from his waist, lunged for the ball. It went off the very end of his gloves before dropping for a home run. Gordon gave it everything and almost made the game changing play.

Up Next

At 1:10 on Thursday, Jeremy Guthrie will take on Gavin Floyd in the finale of this season opening series. While it is very early to declare a game a must win, the Royals can ill afford to drop 3 full games behind the rival White Sox.

The White Sox

Jake Peavy was fantastic in his first outing of the year. He allowed 1 earned run (and one unearned run) on 4 hits. He struck out 6 and didn’t issue any free passes in 6 innings. Five relievers combined for 3 scoreless innings to secure the win. Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo, Alex Ramirez, and Tyler Flowers each homered. It was Flowers’ second on the young season.

AL Central

Detroit Tigers: The Tigers closer by committee plan turned sour quickly as Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke each allowed a run in the 8th and 9th to lose the game late against the Twins.

Cleveland Indians: Mark Reynolds hit an 11th inning home run to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays and keep the Indians unbeaten in their first 2 games.

Minnesota Twins: Young shortstop Eduardo Escobar came up with a 2-run, 9th inning double, to beat the Tigers in a walk off fashion. Escobar entered the game in the 8th as a defensive replacement.