Royals Recap: 12 Left On Base; 4-20 With RISP, 1-Run Loss


The five runs the Kansas City Royals (64-58) put on the scoreboard Saturday night looks like an offensive explosion, but it wasn’t. The Royals still lost 6-5 to the Detroit Tigers (72-51) because of multiple missed opportunities at the plate.

Jul 24, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher

Salvador Perez

(13) at bat against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

The Tigers came out hitting Wade Davis hard and they really didn’t stop until he was removed 3.2 innings into the game. Detroit touched Davis up for 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in his brief stint. Davis was unable to capitalize on his success of his last three starts, over which he posted a 1.96 ERA.

Will Smith came on in the 4th and pitched 2.2 strong innings. The only run he surrendered was on a solo home run to Prince Fielder in the 7th. Kelvin Herrera pitched well for 1.2 frames, then Aaron Crow came on for the 9th. He left a fastball just a tiny bit too far over the plate and Miguel Cabrera (who else) turned it into a walk-off home run.

At the Plate

The Royals generated plenty of base runners throughout the evening, banging out 14 hits and walking 4 times. They just didn’t take advantage of the largesse. For this offense, 5 runs seems like a lot, but not when, as a team, they left 12 men stranded. Ten of those stranded base runners were in scoring position.

The top of the line-up did next to nothing on the night. David Lough, Billy Butler, and Alex Gordon went a combined 3-15 and left a combined to leave 15 base runners on the path. Eric Hosmer was the only one of the  first four hitters at the top of the line-up with a positive night. He was 1 for 2 with 3 walks and left none on. The biggest culprits were Butler, who left 7 on, and Gordon who stranded 5.

The bottom of the lineup did most of the damage. Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas, Emilio Bonifacio, Chris Getz, and Alcides Escobar went a combined 10-21 but they also left their fair share on base  as a group – 13. Bonifacio and Getz each left 4 on.

Salvador Perez did knock out his 5th home run and he drove in 2 on the night.

This and That

The Royals were 4-20 with runners in scoring position. For a group as offensively challenged as this team, that is a whole lot of opportunities to be wasted.

Only 3 of Kansas City’s 14 hits were not singles. Perez’s homer, plus doubles from Bonifacio and Escobar, were the only extra base hits.

Though it seems as if neither Butler or Gordon are getting clutch hits, that isn’t true. Butler is hitting .313 with RISP this season, and Gordon .314. Because this team struggles for runs so much, their failures are spotlighted so harshly. In games like this, it is frustrating for fans, with the team fighting for legitimacy and a playoff spot, when the stars fail to produce in key situations.  We need to keep in mind it is frustrating to those players themselves.

The Royals were given a run when Alcides Escobar foul tipped a ball in the dirt that squirted behind Tiger catcher Brayan Pena. Chris Getz sprinted from 1st to third as the ball went to backstop as the home plate umpire didn’t see the contact. After a umpire pow wow, the call stood. Escobar doubled Getz home and Tiger Manager Jim Leyland and Pena eventually got tossed from the game.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Salvador Perez gets the nod tonight by going 2-4 with a home run. His 2 left on base was one of the lower numbers on the team for the game. Honorable mention to Eric Hosmer, who the Tigers pitchers really didn’t want to pitch to very much.

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers

The Tigers left 9 runners on the base paths themselves but their ability to hit for more power covers up some of their hitting flaws. The Tigers has 4 extra base hits in their 12 hits – 2 doubles and 2 home runs. The difference between winning and losing this game was the difference in extra base hits – one solo home run.

The Tigers’ Slugging Percentage is 61 points higher than the Royals – .438 to .377. Detroit is second in the AL and Kansas City is 14th. Detroit has scored 620 runs, the Royals 487. Power is a big part of this equation.

Up Next

The Royals still have a chance to win the series as Bruce Chen (5-0, 1.62 ERA) must outperform Max Scherzer (17-1, 2.85 ERA) at 12:08. Unbelievably, this may be the best pitching match-up statistically in baseball this season.

AL Central Notes

Cleveland Indians (66-57): Ubaldo Jimenez yielded just 1 hit and 1 run in 5.2 innings. He also walked 5 and struck out 8 will getting the 7-1 win over the Athletics. Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher, two off season free agent acquisitions, each homered in the game.

Minnesota Twins (54-67): Andrew Albers came back to earth on Saturday by giving up 5 runs on 8 hits in 7 innings as he took the loss in a 8-5 against the White Sox. Ryan Doumit, back from the DL, went 2-4, drove in 2 and scored another while hitting a home run.

Chicago White Sox (48-74): Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza each hit home runs in the 8-5 win over the Twins. Chris Sale earned his 9th win on the season by going 7 strong innings, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits.

Wild Card Standings

Tampa Bay Rays (69-52, 0 GB)

Oakland Athletics (69-53, 0 GB)

Baltimore Orioles (66-56, 3 GB)

Cleveland Indians (66-57, 3.5 GB)

Kansas City Royals (64-58, 5 GB)

New York Yankees (63-59, 6 GB)