Royals Recap: Shields Super; YOLOugh Homers; White Sox Play Like 2005 Royals


Jul 9, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields (33) pitches against the New York Yankees during the second inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Six of eight now accomplished on the road to 15 of 20. A solo home run from David Lough, a tremendous outing from James Shields, and a 2005 Royals-like ninth inning from the White Sox led to a 5-1 Kansas City win. It is always nice to beat the teams you are supposed to beat, it’s even better when that team is the Chicago White Sox. Yay.

The Royals are now 49-51 while the White Sox fall to 40-60.

On the Mound

His strike out numbers weren’t great – two in seven innings – and he did allow 10 base runners, but when you go seven innings of no-run baseball then you’ve had an excellent outing no matter what the peripheral numbers look like.

Jose Quintana seemed to be a bit sharper than Shields, striking out five in allowing seven base runners in seven innings. He was also the benefactor of two double plays. Quintana also allowed the big mistake that Shields did not: a solo home run to David Lough.

Back to Shields.

Big Game James is now 5-7 on the season with a 3.09 ERA. If one was a dreamer, and I’m sure all of you are, one would think if the Royals had anything resembling a consistent, productive offense that Shields and Ervin Santana would be competitors in the Cy Young discussion.

Shields case begins with the notes that he is top 10 in innings, strikeouts, and ERA in the American league, but ends with the fact he only has five wins. Six times this season Shields has been handed a loss after having an outing where he allowed three runs or fewer, five of those outings he pitched at least 7 innings. He also has four no-decisions where  he allowed only one run or less.

Had Shields received any kind of run support this season, you’d think he’d be a prominent name in the Cy Young discussions.

At the Plate

David Lough homered. It was pretty.

He also hit what was ruled a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, but the ball was dropped by right fielder Casper Wells. The official scorer ruled Cain would have scored from third anyway so Lough was awarded the RBI.

That was one of the moments in the game where one paused and thought, “Oh, that’s why the White Sox are 20 games under .500.”

Lough, Billy Butler, Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain all had two hits in support of Shields.

Eric Hosmer did not have his best day, going o-for-4 with three strikeouts. Today won’t be easier with Chris Sale on the mound.

This and That

– For the first time in five starts, James Shields finished the first inning without giving up a run. He has a 7.36 ERA in the first inning, and a 2.34 thereafter.

– Cain has just one extra-base hit in his last 77 plate appearances. He’s batting .250/.297/.294 since June 29.

– With the win Friday, the Royals pulled to 5-5 against the White Sox for the season. The Cleveland Indians (5-8) are the only AL Central team KC is not .500 or better against so far this season.

– Last night’s home run allowed by Kelvin Herrera was the first he has allowed since May 22. He had gone 15 straight appearances without allowing a homer until last night’s bomb.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

James Shields. Seven innings plus zero runs allowed equals KCKPOG.

The White Sox

Chicago sits at 40-60 through the “first” 100 games. With impending fire sale coming, one wonders if it is possible the White Sox could lose 100 games this season.

Up Next

Chris Sale will square off against Wade Davis tonight in Chicago. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10. I don’t think it is negative to say the White Sox have the starting pitching advantage in this one.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (57-45): Doug Fister allowed just three hits in eight innings in a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Miguel Cabrera was not in the lineup.

Cleveland Indians (54-48): Ryan Raburn hit a three-run walk-off homer to beat the Texas Rangers, 11-8. Cleveland blew a 7-1 lead before coming back to win.

Minnesota Twins (44-56): Chris Colabello homered in the 13th inning to give the Twins the win over the Seattle Mariners last night.

Chicago White Sox (40-60): I wish Chicago had a second baseman they could trade us.