Royals Power Update
Well, OK, the Royals did not hit a home run again on Tuesday -- heck, they only managed two hits against the Cardinals, a hard double and soft single by Billy Butler -- and so that means they still have two home runs since May 15, both by 439-year-old Miguel Tejada (he aged a year since yesterday). it is now a 13-game streak without a regular hitting a home run. The last regular to homer for the Royals was Butler on May 14 against the Angels. The last left-handed batter to homer for the Royals was Mike Moustakas on May 10 against the Yankees.
And so, to update things:
-- The Chicago-Chicago game was rained out, so the Cubs pitching staff did not have an opportunity to hit another homer and expand their lead. They still have a 3-2 homer lead since May 15.
-- Blog favorite Jedd Gyorko DID homer last night, so he now has more homers than entire Royals team since May 15.
-- The Cardinals hit three homers last night which, of course, is more than the Royals since May 15. This is a point worth making: The wind was blowing out at Kauffman Stadium Tuesday. The Cardinals sent rookie lefty Tyler Lyons to the mound. Lyons is a promising prospect but he’s still a rookie, and he’s a lefty, and the wind was blowing out. The Royals still didn’t even come close.
And this gets to the heart of something else. The Royals have not exactly been facing the 1965 Dodgers pitching staff in this absurd stretch. A look at the starting pitchers the Royals have faced during this streak makes the thing even more impossible:
5/28: Tyler Lyons (rookie making his second big-league start)
5/27: Adam Wainwright
5/26: Jerome Williams
5/25: Billy Buckner (former Royal, making his first big league start in three years)
5/24: Jason Vargas (30-year-old who was second in homers allowed last year, giving up 35)
5/23: Joe Blanton (who came into game 0-7, 6.62 ERA, with league slugging .562 against him)
5/22: Jordan Lyles (22-year-old who came into game with 6.63 ERA with league slugging .524 against him)
5/21: Bud Norris
5/20: Dallas Keuchel (who came in having given up 19 homers in 113 career innings)
5/19: A.J. Griffin (who had allowed eight homers in 51 innings, he gave up three more in his next start)
5/18: Tommy Malone (31 homers in his previous 241 innings)
5/17: Jarrod Parker (nine homers in 40 innings coming -- also a 6.64 ERA)
5/15: Barry Enright (second start in more than two years)
You know who is not on that list? Justin Verlander. And CC Sabathia. And Felix Hernandez. And really any of the, say, 40 best pitchers in the American League. Other than Wainwright, you would have thought the Royals would hit home runs BY ACCDIDENT.
By the way, the Royals loss was their 18th in 22 games, and their 10th straight home defeat, tying a record. The other day, I predicted that the Royals and their connections would spend a lot of time talking about the little things -- which they seem to be doing -- but I did not make the equally obvious prediction that soon Royals manager Ned Yost would make some kind of bizarre and hilarious statement that showed him beginning to lose his mind. Hey, it happens to all of them. The Royals drove Tony Muser to his make his locally famous quote about how the Royals needed to pray less and drink more tequila. The Royals drove Tony Pena to guarantee a pennant and jump in the shower with his clothes on. The Royals drove Trey Hillman to all sorts of craziness. You can’t blame them -- they’re only human.
And so is Ned Yost, only human:
“What are you asking me to do?” he told reporters after Tuesday’s game. “Take my belt off and spank them? Yell at them? Scream at them? What do you want?”
Yep, Ned Yost is out of ideas. Every Royals manager gets there sooner or later.