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Big Game James Shields Busts, Royals Lose

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Sep 20, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Norichika Aoki (23) hits a sacrifice bunt in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on orders of his Village Idiot Manager

Ned Yost

. KC failed to score. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals once again showed they don’t deserve to play in the post-season, falling 3-1 to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City lost their 2nd straight game in their showdown series with the Tigers after James Shields gave up 3 runs in 7 innings.

The game did not start off well, despite Alcides Escobar hitting a leadoff double. However, Ned Yost then asked Nori Aoki to sacrifice bunt in the first inning—this from a hitter who has the right/lefty platoon advantage and came into the game with 13 hits out of his last 16 at bats.

KC failed to score.

Not satisfied with blowing a first-inning rally, in the 3rd inning Yost again asked Aoki to bunt with men on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Again the Royals failed to score.

Having Ned Yost making tactical decisions in a playoff race, is like asking the local village idiot to play King Solomon.

Yost was not the only failure. Catcher Salvador Perez failed to tag up in the 6th inning and was called out after he appeared to score what would have then given the Royals a 2-1 lead. The Royals also stranded 10 baserunners while losing a 1-run game.

However, its difficult to fault players when they fail to make up for the blatant stupidity of their manager.

On the Mound

James Shields failed when his team need him the most. Shields pitched 6.2 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and 3 earned runs with 6 strikeouts. Shields’ 7th inning meltdown, allowing 2 runs to score after opening the inning with 2 outs, was a devastating choke that the Royals could not recover from. Shields took his 8th loss of the season (14-8).

Kelvin Herrera entered in the 7th and finished off the inning without further damage. Herrera also pitched a scoreless 8th with 1 strikeout.

Wade Davis pitched a clean 9th inning with 2 strikeouts to keep the game within 1 run against wobbly Detroit closer Joe Nathan. However, Nori Aoki ground out to 2nd and

At the Plate

The Royals opened their scoring on a RBI single by Alcides Escobar to drive in Jarrod Dyson from 2nd base to tie the score 1-1 in the 5th inning.

Kansas City pulled within 1 run in the 8th inning on on Eric Hosmer‘s RBI single that scored Lane Adams from 2nd.

The Royals mounted a 9th inning rally, getting men on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. However, Nori Aoki ground out to 2nd, and Raul Ibanez ground out to first.

This and That

The Royals took an apparent 2-1 lead when Ian Kinsler made a wild throw to second in an attempt to double off Eric Hosmer on Nori Aoki’s line drive out. However, replay showed that Salvador Perez failed to tag at 3rd base before heading home, and thus was called out—ending the inning.

Oddly enough, the rule book states that defending team must make an appeal by throwing the ball to the base, but the Tigers failed to do so. Despite Ned Yost’s objection, the call stood.

I doubt it’s an accident that the Tigers pulled off the 2-run rally in the following half-inning.

The Royals are now 5-13 against the Tigers this season. Their ability to defeat division-rival Detroit will be the biggest reason the Royals failed if KC can’t sneak into the playoffs this season.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Kelvin Herrera is our player of the game, for getting out of a 7th inning jam, and pitching a scoreless 8th innring to keep the game within reach.

More from Kansas City Royals

The Tigers

Have to give it up for former Missouri Tiger Max Scherzer who pitched 7.0 innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run with 6 strikeouts.

Up Next

The Royals will attempt to avoid complete humiliation, and preserve their narrow hopes for an A.L. Central title, by winning on Sunday afternoon. Kansas City sends Jeremy Guthrie (11-11, 4.35 ERA) to hold off the sweep, against Rick Porcello (15-11, 3.19 ERA). Game time is 1:10 PM CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.