As you may have seen or heard last night, the Royals beat the Blue Jays 10-7. That is correct, the Royals scored 10 runs, giving them 19 runs in their past two games. You might wonder, what could have caused this outburst of offense? Did they get fired up because Chris Getz was in town? Are they taking steroids? Do they play better in cold and rainy weather?
All valid questions and the answer is… I don’t know. One of the Royals biggest problems this season has been their terrible hitting with runners in scoring position (RISP). In fact, when the Royals were losing 5-4 with two runners on base in the bottom of the 8th inning, I tweeted the following:
I was forced to eat my words as Salvador Perez knocked home both runs with a clutch double down the third base line, which ignited 4 more runs, causing me to further eat my words. AND I DON’T CARE. I will eat all my words if the Royals continue to punish the baseball like Adam Silver punished Donald Sterling.
The game began innocently enough; in fact, so innocently that my dog fell asleep by the 2nd inning due to boredom and lack of offense. I guess low-scoring, technical baseball is not for everyone:
Jason Vargas pitched his worst game as a Royal, giving up 5 runs. It was rainy and cold, with the game being delayed 27 minutes. Alcides Escobar slipped in the grass trying to make a throw and Nori Aoki missed two fly balls in deep right field that allowed a go-ahead run to score. Everything pointed to another disappointing loss by the Royals, EVEN THOUGH THE ROYALS LEAD THE MAJORS IN BATTING AVERAGE AT HOME. In fact, Aoki leads ALL PLAYERS in batting average at home. WHY CAN’T THEY SCORE MORE RUNS?!?!?
Well, along came Salvador Perez. He was clearly angry, and he bashed a 2-run homer to get the Royals within one run, then started the 6-run outburst with his double described above. Despite slumping a bit the past few weeks after a torrid start, Perez has carried the team more than Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, and Alex Gordon combined. It seems like they don’t want to carry the team and Salvy is showing that he does.
On a side note, the 6 runs scored in the 8th inning are an anomaly in this young Royals’ season. They have only scored 6 or more runs in 5 games this season. And of course, for those of you who follow this blog or the Royals closely, you know that the Royals are now 13-0 when scoring at least 4 runs, and 0-12 when scoring 3 or less. The magic number 4 remains!
In other news, the Blue Jays trotted out Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn from Major League fame as a reliever (see below):
I was not aware that he was still in the majors. He faced 5 batters and gave up two runs, taking the loss for the Jays, but he did get Alex Gordon to strike out looking in a critical point in the game. Gordon cannot do that if the Royals want to make the playoffs. He HAS to step his offense up, and soon. The Tigers come to town later this week and we will likely need another 10 runs to beat them.