For Pete's Sake

It’s not just Joakim Soria, the entire Royals bullpen has struggled in August

Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Joakim Soria.
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Joakim Soria. The Associated Press

The days of HDH seem like a distant memory for the Royals.

HDH was the acronym fans used for Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, who combined to give the Royals one of the best bullpens in major-league history. Davis is with the Cubs and Holland pitches for the Rockies, so obviously HDH is no more.

But last year while Holland was recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Royals bullpen still put together a record streak of 41 1/3 scoreless innings. That, too, is a distant memory.

August has not been kind to the Royals bullpen. Tuesday night’s 10-8 loss to Oakland was particularly brutal.

Joakim Soria allowed four runs and recorded just one out in the eighth inning, and fans posted more memes criticizing him on social media. Mike Minor took over for Soria and gave up two runs. It was the latest example of the troubles the bullpen has experienced in August.

According to FanGraphs, opponents are hitting .297 against the Royals bullpen this month, the worst mark in baseball.

Here are some other numbers, via FanGraphs, that show how bad the bullpen has performed in August, through Tuesday the 15th (league rank in parenthesis).

WHIP: 1.65 (29th — second highest)

Left on base percentage: 56.7 percent (30th — worst)

ERA: 6.94 (29th — second worst)

Blown saves: 4 (Tied for 1st)

Home runs allowed: 8 (Tied for 4th most)

Strikeouts per nine innings: 8.10 (23rd)

Walks per nine innings: 3.66 (11th most)

How each bullpen pitcher has performed in August

Kevin McCarthy: 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, .357 Avg.

Kelvin Herrera: 3.00 ERA, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, .182 Avg.

Ryan Buchter: 5.14 ERA, 7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO, .231 Avg.

Scott Alexander: 5.63 ERA, 8 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, .371 Avg.

Mike Minor: 6.43 ERA, 7 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, .308 Avg.

Peter Moylan: 8.31 ERA, 4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, .263 Avg.

Joakim Soria: 10.38 ERA, 4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, .278 Avg.

Neftali Feliz: 10.80 ERA, 5 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO, .286 Avg.

Brandon Maurer: 10.80 ERA, 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO, .364 Avg.

Note: Through games of Tuesday, August 15

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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