With one down in the fifth inning, Twins pitcher Trevor May walked Alcides Escobar, and that was the turning point in the game. With a runner on first base May started pitching with a "slide step" delivery. Pitchers try to get the ball to home plate more quickly by barely lifting their front foot and sliding that foot toward the plate, but some pitchers have trouble throwing strikes while slide stepping. Fortunately for the Royals, Trevor May appeared to be one of those pitchers.
On Saturday night, the Royals lost to the Minnesota Twins 4-1, and their offense looked anemic. They had a total of eight hits, struck out nine times, did not walk once and their only run came on an error. Sunday afternoon, the Royals beat the Twins 12-6. This time, Kansas City overpowered the Twins with their bats. So what happened to the Royals’ offense? Good pitching on Saturday, bad pitching on Sunday.
Apparently, neither Wade Davis nor Greg Holland was available for Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins, and that limited manager Ned Yost’s options. He sent starting pitcher Yordano Ventura back out for the seventh inning, but if the entire bullpen were rested, Kelvin Herrera might have been used instead. But Herrera was being saved for the bottom of the ninth, and the Royals never made it that far. The game got away in the seventh inning.
In August of 2013 the Kansas City Royals played a four game weekend series against the Boston Red Sox. The stadium was packed, the crowds were enthusiastic and the Royals played well and took three out of four games. Then the lowly Miami Marlins came to town and the Royals got beat two out of three times. There’s a lesson to be learned from those two series: don’t take any opponent lightly
Going into the seventh inning, the Royals were down 3-2 to the Oakland A’s. Mike Moustakas lead things off and made an out, then Erik Kratz singled. Christian Colon doubled off the left-field fence and just like that, the Royals had the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
On Tuesday night, Kansas City lost 11-3 to the Oakland Athletics after having won eight games in a row. Wednesday afternoon in the clubhouse, a reporter wanted to know how the Royals were going to keep that single game from turning into a losing streak. Wednesday night, the answer seemed pretty simple: Put Jason Vargas on the mound.
They say the game is about pitching and defense. This is what it looks like when you don’t do either one well. The Oakland A’s scored 11 runs and racked up 20 hits — and it seemed like more. Instead of going over everything that went wrong, let’s look at one inning: the eighth.
The Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 and took over first place from the Detroit Tigers. There are 45 games left in the season and anything can still happen, but we’re watching the Royals in a playoff race for the first time in a long time. If you want to know how they beat the A’s, keep reading.
After the Royals’ 7-4 victory Sunday over the San Francisco Giants, when asked to reflect on his team’s recent success, manager Ned Yost said he couldn’t be distracted by what already has happened or what is going to happen in the future. The focus is always on the present: Win this game, today.
Saturday night, 35,114 people seemed to think so. And why not? James Shields started and finished the game, a nine-inning shutout against the San Francisco Giants. In the postgame news conference, Royals manager Ned Yost said Shields had everything going. He was commanding every pitch in his arsenal.
In the bottom of the sixth inning Alex Gordon came to the plate with one down, Salvador Perez on second base and Billy Butler on first. Gordon hit a fly ball to left field and the ball sliced toward the foul line. Juan Perez gave chase, dove, but missed making the catch and the ball rolled into the left field corner. Salvador Perez scored and somehow, Billy Butler got thrown out at third base.
Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie pitched great: a complete game win, 7 hits, no walks and 2 earned runs. His adventures at the plate and on the base paths were another matter. He was unsuccessful on his bunt attempts, got hit by a pitch during his fourth trip to the plate and then did a lawn-dart slide at third base that could have easily led to injury.
Josh Collmenter, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ starting pitcher cruised through the top of the first inning, getting three outs on 10 pitches. In the top of the second inning, Collmenter got two outs on nine pitches, but everything changed after the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain singled.
The Kansas City Royals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-2 on Tuesday night, and the game was pretty much over after Nori Aoki hit a grand slam and the Royals scored eight runs in the top of the fifth inning. When a score gets lopsided, a lot of fans lose interest in a ballgame. But if you keep watching, you can learn something.
Ballplayers are often accused of being shallow and speaking in clichés, but much of the time, that’s our fault. Some of ballplayers have a lot to say, but they don’t think we have the interest or attention span to understand what’s really going on, so they give us a cliché quote instead. But if really you want to know what’s happening—if you show enough interest—sometimes they’ll tell you the real deal. Now let’s go inside the mind of the Minnesota Twins All-Star catcher, Kurt Suzuki.
The people who play this game for a living will tell you that baseball is about pitching and defense. You can do everything else right, but if you don’t pitch well, you’re still going to lose a lot of games. That’s why you couldn’t find anyone in the Royals clubhouse who was upset about the Wil Myers trade. The players think pitching is the name of the game, and this series against the Oakland A’s — the best team in baseball — shows why.
After four no-hit innings it looked as if Jason Vargas was cruising, but it all fell apart in the fifth. Vargas only got one out — and he made that play himself — before the roof caved in. Billy Butler whiffed on a pop fly, Mike Moustakas missed a potential double play ball at third and Alex Gordon made an error in left that helped clear the bases.
The series opener between the Royals and the Athletics turned out to be a classic pitching duel between Jeremy Guthrie and Sonny Gray. Both pitchers were sharp from the start; each threw four scoreless innings to open the game. Both Gray and Guthrie did a good job of stifling their opponent’s offense by being aggressive, staying ahead in the count and forcing hitters into tough counts. It was a tightly contested, exciting game that was clearly going to be a low-scoring duel, decided by a small margin of error.
Ask the people that know and they’ll tell you that if a pitcher wants to go deep in a game, he shouldn’t just avoid walks; he should also avoid 3-ball counts. Thursday night Yordano Ventura faced 31 batters and only four of them reached a three ball count. That’s one of the reasons Ventura was able to go seven innings on 103 pitches.
Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes pitched five innings, gave up three hits and no runs. In the sixth inning, Hughes gave up four hits — three of them doubles — and three runs. So what happened? How could a pitcher be so dominant for five innings, then get whacked all over the yard in the sixth? Probably because it was the third time through the order.