Royals Recap: Bullpen, Offense Waste Great James Shields Effort


Note to Manager Ned Yost – When your staff ace, who you paid through the nose for, is pitching a 2-hit shutout, and has only thrown 102 pitches through 8, let him try to finish it out. The Kansas City Royals (17-11) lost 2-1 to the Chicago White Sox (13-17) in 11 innings Monday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

May 6, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) congratulates starting pitcher James Shields (33) after Shields strikes out two batters in the third inning of the game against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

James Shields was brilliant on Monday, competing with heart and enthusiasm for 8 innings. Yost pulled him going into the 9th despite the fact Shields had only yielded 2 hits and 2 walks on the day and had 9 strikeouts. Shields was at the 102 mark on pitch count, only four more than Jeremy Guthrie had when Ned let him pitch the 9th on Saturday in a very similar situation. Greg Holland entered the game and promptly allowed 5 based runners which turned into the tying run. Kelvin Herrera again struggled with the long ball, allowing Jordan Danks to win it with a home run in the 11th. Sometimes, Yost seems to change pitchers just for the sake of changing pitchers. The day before, he pulled Luke Hochevar after 2 perfect innings despite the fact he had only thrown 16 pitches.

At the Plate

The inconsistent offense that thrilled us on Sunday broke our hearts on Monday. The Royals hitters could only scratch out 7 hits in the 11 innings, and only 2 of those came after the 2nd inning. Alicides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Jeff Francoeur, and Chris Getz went a combined 0-17 on the day. Only Alex Gordon had 2 hits.

This and That

Shields had a no-hitter in the 6th. Dewayne Wise broke it up with a soft liner to right.

The loss prevented the Royals from taking over first place in the AL Central.

The White Sox had lost 8 out their last nine games at the “K”.

The defense had its bad moments as well. Jeff Francoeur dropped an easy pop up in the 5th and then didn’t come up Wise’s liner in the 6th that broke up the no-hitter. Chris Getz fumbled a hard hit ball behind  second in the 9th inning that may have turned into a game ending double play if fielded cleanly. In all fairness to Frenchy and Getz, neither of these were easy plays, and were correctly not scored as errors, but both plays should have been made.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

No one else stands out here. It was all about James Shields. His team let him down and he deserved better. He pitched like the ace he is.

The White Sox

It was Danks’ first home run of the season and the second of his career. Chris Sale pitched nearly as well as Shields. He went 7.1 innings, allowing only the one run in the first. He gave up just 6 hits and no walks, while striking out 5. Paul Konerko continues to show his age (37). he is only hitting .225 on the season after an 0-5 Monday.

Up Next

The Royals travel to Baltimore today for a strange, brief, 3-game road trip. Ervin Santana (2-0, 2.00 ERA) faces Wei-Yin Chen (2-3, 3.50 ERA) at 6:05

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (19-11): Stretched their division lead to a full game lead just by being idle.

Cleveland Indians (15-14): Asdrubal Cabrera homered twice and scored 3 runs in the 7-3 win over Oakland. Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 8 in 5.2 innings and earned the win.

Minnesota Twins (13-15 ): The Twins lost in 11 to the Red Sox by a score of 6-5. Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, and Josh Willingham each had 2 hits.