For the first time since 2009, the KC Royals were shutout in back-to-back games. On Wednesday night, the loss in Seattle eliminated them from postseason contention as TB, Cleveland, and Texas all won. The Royals fell apart in Seattle, losing two of three with a 6-0 loss in Wednesday night’s finale.
Everything that had been working for them all season faltered against the Mariners, mainly their defense and their bullpen. Last night, they committed two errors (though both were committed by the pitchers) and the night before the Royals also committed two errors.
The bullpen (well, just lefty Will Smith) allowed two runs last night. Smith, pitching in two of the three games, allowed back-to-back two out home runs in the 8th inning that put the game completely out of reach. On Monday night, the bullpen blew the lead twice (though they came back to win in extra innings) and Smith picked up one of the blown saves..
In possibly his final game as a Royal (he is a free agent), Ervin Santana was roughed up a bit by the lowly Mariners. His worst start of the season came back on September 4th against these same Mariners.
Last night, he allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over six-plus innings. Four of those five hits went for extra bases. Santana faced one batter in the seventh and that runner came around to score. He threw just 57 of his 103 pitches for strikes. Not exactly the way you want to go out into the free agent market.
The offense also chose to take the final two games of the series off. They finally worked a walk in the eighth (the first since Monday night’s 12th inning when seldom used Johnny Giavotella walked with two outs).
Last night, they collected just five hits (though three were doubles). Twice, double plays erased base runners. Only once did a hit come to lead off an inning (that came in the ninth). On Tuesday night, they once again only had five hits (two were doubles).
The team has not hit a home run since Justin Maxwell‘s walk off grand slam on Sunday (which gave fans great hope in a postseason berth).
The Royals now travel to Chicago to play the lowly White Sox, who were just swept yet again by the Indians. Jeremy Guthrie will get the start in Thursday night’s opener.
*The positive side is that the Royals had their first winning season since 2003. But this season does not give a lot of hope for 2014. Remember, 2004 was one of the Royals worst seasons ever. Plus, the Royals have a ton of holes and issues that need to be addressed (third base, second base, double plays, power hitters, the inability to work a walk, the strikeouts, and a manager to name a few).