Tigers Bomb Jason Vargas in Royals Loss


Sep 19, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers second basemen

Ian Kinsler

(3) celebrates with

James McCann

(34) after hitting a two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that opened the biggest series for Kansas City Royals baseball in 29 years, the Tigers pummelled the Royals 10-1 at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night.

If Friday was a “statement game” for the Royals, then the message they’ve been dying to tell America is that, “We don’t belong in the playoffs, the A.L Central, or even major-league baseball. We enjoy being losers.”

They were that bad.

The Royals did not play well in any phase of the game—-hitting, pitching, and defense were all embarrassing. About the only thing the Royals did well all night was bench coach Don Wakamatsu‘s dugout lineup card. When the penmanship of your bench coach is the only good thing the national TV crew from ESPN can say about you, you know it’s been a bad night.

The loss drops Kansas City to 83-69 and 1.5 games behind the Tigers in the A.L. Central with 10 games to play.

On the Mound

Jason Vargas wet the bed in the first inning, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits. It didn’t really get any better. Vargas only lasted 3.1 innings, giving up 9 hits, and 5 earned runs with 1 strikeout. Vargas left the game trailing 5-0 in the 4th inning and took his 10th loss of the season (11-10).

Casey Coleman replaced Vargas in the 4th and was even worse than Vargas. Coleman lasted a mere .2 of an inning, allowing 4 hits and 4 runs with 1 strikeout. He finished off the 4th inning, but could not get anyone out in the 5th.

Louis Coleman finished the 5th inning after Casey Coleman failed, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run.

Liam Hendriks entered in the 6th and pitched 2 scoreless innings while allowing 2 hits.

Aaron Crow added a scoreless inning in the 8th despite allowing 2 hits.

Tim Collins got some work at the major-league level for the first time since June 16 by pitching a scoreless 9th.

At the Plate

About the only good thing you could say about the Royals hitting performance was that they didn’t get shut out. However, their only run came in the 8th inning after the Tigers had hung 10 runs on the board.

Royals hitters were so bad on Friday night that they would have struggled to hit in a slow-pitch softball league.

Johnny Giavotella scored Kansas City’s only run after leading off the 8th with a double down the left-field line.  He eventually scored on Jayson Nix’s sacrifice fly.


Nori Aoki continued his hot hitting, going 2 for 3 with 2 singles.

Overall, the Royals plated one run with 7 hits (5 singles, 2 doubles).

This and That

The game was nationally televised on ESPN. Announcer Jon Kruk engaged in such exhaustive pre-game preparation that he informed fans in the early innings that Kauffman Stadium used to be a multi-sport facility that also hosted football games. He later, lamely, explained that he thought all of the artificial turf stadiums from the 70’s were multi-sport venues.

Perhaps Kruksie thought that big, honking stadium across the parking lot was an alien space ship sent to deliver him a clue.

Good job, Jon. We can certainly see why ESPN has given you the chance to wreck chairs in media booths across the league by sitting on them.

Nori Aoki is 13 for 16 over his last 4 games. That’s ridiculous.

Alex Gordon started off the game poorly when he allowed Miguel Cabrera‘s fly ball to fall despite it hitting his glove. Gordon had to chase the ball to the wall, which allowed Ian Kinsler to score Detroit’s first run.

The Royals fell to 5-12 against the Tigers this season.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Francisco Pena gets our nod. Note that Pena was only one of 2 Royals position players not to appear in the game (along with Josh Willingham). However, anyone who participated in this debacle does not deserve any kind of positive recognition.

More from Kansas City Royals

The Tigers

Justin Verlander pitched his best game of the season for the Tigers, going 7.1 innings while allowing 7 hits, 0 walks, and 1 earned run with 4 strikeouts. Verlander picked up his 14th win of the season (14-10).

Up Next

The Royals and Tigers continue their series Saturday afternoon. Kansas City will send James Shields to the mound in what amounts to the biggest game for the franchise in 29 years.

Shields needs to live up to his nickname of Big Game James and turn around the momentum. Detroit will counter with ace Max Scherzer. Game time is 12:05 PM CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.