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Royals Vs Mariners: KC Eliminated From Playoff Contention

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The hope finally fades. Another game in which the Kansas City Royals (83-75) were shutout, coupled with the the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians going on timely 6-game winning streaks, eliminated the Royals from wild card race. The Royals were whitewashed 6-0 by the Seattle Mariners (70-89).

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Ervin Santana pitched beautifully early in the game, throwing 4 scoreless frames to begin the ballgame. Things unraveled in the 5th as Santana gave up 3 runs on 3 hits, all of which were for extra bases, and a walk. He allowed a fourth run the next inning.

Will Smith surrendered 2 more runs toward the end of the game as the finals nails were pounded in to the Royals’ playoff hopes.

At the Plate

For the second straight night, the Royals offense failed to show up in the most crucial of games. In the last two games, with their backs against the wall, the Royals hitters produced zero runs and just 10 hits total. In those 18 innings, they walked just one measly time but struck out 20 times.

This and That

In a nutshell, these two games highlight just what is wrong with the Royals. They have made an incredible, exciting, dash into playoff contention in the second half. The last two months have been as exciting as any in decades as far as the Royals are concerned. I am personally grateful for that. I have loved the fact that I was watching every game (which I do every year) but there was a reason to do it. I was watching the  scoreboard every night pumping my first with every key loss by a competitor and groaning at every win. I love this team for that.

The fact remains that Kansas City is probably the least fearsome hitting team in the American League. They have 34 less home runs than the team with the next fewest in the American League. They have only hit 106. They are tied with the Chicago White Sox for the lowest Slugging Percentage – .377.

What is worrisome is that over the past several years when the Royals weren’t hitting home runs, at leas they hitting doubles. Not so in 2013; they have 249, good for only 12th in the AL. Last season they had 295 doubles, and 131 home runs. In 2011, they 325 doubles and 129 home runs.

There is no threatening bat in the line-up. Last year, with 29 home runs, Billy Butler looked like he may be emerging into that big bat. Billy Butler was worse this year than he was in 2010, when he was 24 years old. The only thing Butler has increased in a positive way is his base on balls as he is at his career high of 79. Butler has also accounted for 27 extra outs as he has grounded into 27 double plays, 19 in the second half. It will be the second time Butler will lead the majors in that category.

It is not all Butler’s fault. Kansas City desperately needs another big bat in this line-up, preferably two. We shall see what happens.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Nope!

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The MARINERS

Hisashi Iwakuma did not allow a run in his last 3 starts, covering 23 innings. In five September starts, he only allowed 3 runs over 35.2 innings, and those all came in one outing. He finishes the season with a 2.66 ERA. He 185 strikeouts and only 42 walks in 219.2 innings.

The Mariners pounded out 3 home runs Wednesday, two by rookie Mike Zunino and another by Michael Saunders.

Up Next

The Royals will play out the season with four meaningless games in Chicago. Jeremy Guthrie(14-12, 4.09 ERA) get the first meaningless start since March against Andre Rienzo (2-2, 5.04 ERA). I’m sure the Royals will make him look like an All-Star.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (93-66): Max Scherzer won his 21 st game of the year by going 7 scoreless in Minnesota. He allowed just 2 hits but he walked 6 while striking out 10. The Tigers beat the Twins 1-0.

Cleveland Indians (88-70): The Indians won their 6th game in the row by taking care of the weaker teams in the league, something the Royals struggled with against all those teams but the Twins. Cleveland won 7-2 against the White Sox. Nick Swisher homered and Michael Brantley had 3 hits.

Minnesota Twins (66-92): Kevin Correia pitched well enough to win. The only run he allowed in the game came on an Austin Jackson lead off triple to start the game, followed a Torii Hunter single.

Chicago White Sox (62-96): The White Sox have been struggling all season but they will surely recover in time to win a few games against the Royals to close out the season. The Sox are 8-7 against Kansas City this year, including a 3-game sweep of the Royals in August in Kauffman Stadium.