Royals vs Indians: Rare Bullpen Fail Mars Ventura’s Debut


The Kansas City Royals’ (79-72) bullpen is so good, it has become shocking when it has a bad night. Such was the case Tuesday night when the bullpen turned a 3-1 lead going into the 7th, into a 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians (82-69). It was a loss Kansas City could ill afford.

Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

The ending ruined a sparkling and encouraging Yordano Ventura debut. The 22-year old battles some nerves at times but performed as well as could be hoped for a kid being thrust into the limelight of a playoff chase. For the most part, Ventura threw free and easy, going 5.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3.

He got into a little trouble in the 6th, but after Will Smith relieved Ventura and walked his only batter, Louis Coleman struck out Ryan Raburn to end the inning.

Inexplicably, Ned Yost chose to remove Coleman to start the 7th. Kelvin Herrera promptly struck out Lonnie Chisenhall, then hit Yan Gomes, and then grooved a ball to Michael Bourn that was promptly turned into a triple. A long fly  ball from Nick Swisher scored Bourn. Game tied. Why take out Louis Coleman? The move made no sense.

Wade Davis walked his first batter, never a good thing, then his defense failed him. Eric Hosmer bobbled a ball at first that should have been a double play, and Gold Glove left fielder Alex Gordon made a rare misread on a fly ball to left. It carried farther and faster than Gordon anticipated, and nicked off his glove for a double. The winning run that should have been erased scored because of the two misplays and the walk.

Luke Hochevar allowed a final nail in the proverbial coffin (most likely the death of our playoff dreams) when Bourn homered in the ninth.

At the Plate

The Royals had nine hits and walked 4 times but just couldn’t string enough base runners together after the 3 rd to muster any runs. Five hits and 1 walk over the last 6 innings spelled doom for the offense.

Mike Moustakas and Jarrod Dyson were the only Royals with 2 hits.

This and That

I have been very hard on Ned Yost lately. Maybe I’m being too hard on him now. He has a deep and well rested bullpen, mainly because he has been reluctant to go to them as often as he sometimes should. It’s just because it doesn’t seem as if he has any feel for situations or his personnel. There was no reason to pull Coleman. He did the right thing yanking Smith after one walk. Why did he allow Herrera to stay in after hitting a batter?

Herrera has been terrific since his second recall on July 19th. Counting last night, he has thrown 29.1 innings. He has struck out 39 and walked only 6. He has allowed 23  hits, and most importantly, he has surrendered just one home run. His ERA is 2.76 in 28 appearances. Those are good numbers. I’m not saying Yost shouldn’t use him; that would stupid and petty. I’m just saying if Herrera hits his second batter in a 3-1 game, in a playoff race, get him out and go to the next guy.

Who knows what would have happened if Yost would have left Coleman in for another inning, or if he had pulled Herrera after the hit batsman. It just seems like most moves Yost makes right now are the wrong ones.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

It is a pretty easy choice for this game – the rookie making his debut, Yordano Ventura wins his first of hopefully many Player of the Game.

. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers

Corey Kluber just lasted 4.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks.

Michael Bourn was huge late in this game, hitting an RBI triple in the 7th and an icing on the cake insurance home run in the ninth.

Up Next

Well folks, if ever the Royals needed to go on a long winning streak, it is now. Any losses to Cleveland tonight or Texas this weekend will probably do it for the Royals playoff dreams. Veteran Bruce Chen (7-3, 3.11 ERA) gets the call for Kansas City while rookie Danny Salazar (1-2, 2.66 ERA) will go for Cleveland at 7:10.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (88-63):The Tigers march on. Miguel Cabrera and Don Kelly each homered in the 6-2 win over Seattle. Anibal Sanchez struck out 10 in his 6.2 innings.

Minnesota Twins (64-86): Brian Dozier had 3 hits and 2 runs scored while Trevor Plouffe had 2 hits and 2 RBI in the 4-3 loss to Chicago.

Chicago White Sox (60-91): Jose Quintana pitched 6 innings, yielding 1 run on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. Addison Reed earned his 38th save of the season.


  1. TEXAS RANGERS (82-68, O GB)
  2. TAMPA BAY RAYS (82-68, 0 GB)
  3. CLEVELAND INDIANS (82-69, .5 GB)
  4. BALTIMORE ORIOLES (80-70, 2 GB)
  5. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (79-72, 3.5 GB)
  6. NEW YORK YANKEES (79-72, 3.5 GB)