Again on Friday, the Royals found themselves with a 2-1 lead going into the 8th inning, until, once again, the bullpen failed to deliver a solid performance.
Greg Holland entered the top of the 8th inning and proceeded to walk two, give up three hits and allow three runs, all earned.
The best part of the game – The Royals hitting into a triple play in the 3rd inning. Kansas City had runners on first and second bases when Eric Hosmer lined out to first baseman Adam Lind, who stepped on the bag to double off Yuniesky Betancourt. Lind then fired to shortstop Yunel Escobar to retire Alex Gordon.
The Royals had not hit into a triple play since 1979, the same year the Blue Jays last turned a triple play.
Back to the bullpen – Friday’s loss marks the 5th time in the eight game losing streak that the Royals have either held the lead or have been tied in the game beyond the 6th inning, and the 6th time in the team’s ten losses.
Yes, the offense also needs to “come through” late in ballgames, and I understand that, but in today’s game of baseball, the bullpen is expected to hold the opponent’s score EXACTLY where it is when they enter the game. No exceptions. No excuses.
This isn’t the 1970s (or previous), when starting pitchers regularly threw 9 innings and, if for some reason, they couldn’t make it 9 innings, ONE pitcher came into the game to finish it out, whether it be 1 out or 5 innings.
Today’s bullpen arms are expected to be “light’s out”. Expected to “save” the day… and are out of a job if they do not.
The Royals’ pen arms do not.