Royals Recap: Greg Holland’s 3 Walks In 9th Spell Doom


Greg Holland’s control has been his foible as a pitcher and may lead to his eventual downfall as the closer for the Kansas City Royals. The Royals (2-3) fell 4-3 Saturday night to the Philadelphia Phillies (2-3) after Holland walked the bases loaded to start off the 9th inning.

Apr 6, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Greg Holland (56) delivers to the plate during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Royals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Holland’s meltdown ruined a good outing by starter Luis Mendoza, who went went 6 strong frames, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 7. Mendoza was backed up by perfect innings from both Aaron Crow and Kelvin Herrera. Holland was squeezed on his first batter, Chase Utley, when home plate umpire Jeff Kellog called 4 pitches balls, and all four were close enough to be strikes. Holland fell apart after that, walking Ryan Howard and Michael Young. After getting two strike outs, Holland surrendered a rope to the gap by pinch hitter Kevin Frasden that cleared the bases, and the game was over. If Holland doesn’t find his control very quickly, he won’t be the closer much longer.

At the Plate

The offense wasn’t terrific but it was good enough. Jeff Francoeur was 2-4 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored. Miguel Tejada drove in 2 runs but was picked off third in a key situation that may have proven costly. Billy Butler picked up only his 2nd hit of the year with a double in 4 at bats.

This and That

On Friday, the Royals became only the 3rd team ever, and the 1st since 1930, to go scoreless in the first 4 innings and scoring in each of the last 5.

Player of the Game

Luis Mendoza gets the  nod here with yet another terrific outing by a starting pitcher for the Royals. James Shields, Miguel Tejada, Jeremy Guthrie, and Eric Hosmer have each been the POG once.

The Phillies

Philadelpia won the game by scoring 4 runs on only 3 hits. Including the free passes in the 9th, they walked 6 times. The Phillies struck out 12 times after striking out 8 times on Friday.

Up Next

This loss was a tough one because a victory would have insured at least a .500 road trip. It won’t be easy on Sunday for James Shields as he will face Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels at 11:35 a.m. CT.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (3-2): Reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera went 4-4 with 2 runs and a RBI on Saturday against the New York Yankees.

Chicago White Sox (3-2): Alex Rios hit his 2nd home run of the season as the Sox beat Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners 4-3.

Minnesota Twins (3-2): Right fielder Chris Parmeless went 2-3 with a home run against the Orioles and Justin Morneau was 3-5. Rookie Aaron Hicks took the collar again, going 0-5 for the second day in a row. He is now 1-22 on the season, One has to wonder how long the Twins can go with Hicks at lead off.

Cleveland Indians (2-3): The Tribe was blanked for the 2nd straight game in Tampa Bay 6-0. Alex Cobb shut them out on Saturday while Matt Moore did the honors on Friday.