Last night the Royals kicked off their series with the Oakland A’s and unless you’re a night owl, you probably didn’t stay up to watch it.
The Royals lost 1-0 as they wasted a solid first effort by Luis Mendoza, who seems to be trying on the Bruce Chen magic when it comes to pitching. He’s getting people out, but we really don’t know why.
The bigger story in the game was the Royals offense, or lack thereof. They mustered three hits against Oakland’s Tom Milone, who was making his AL debut after coming over in the Gio Gonzalez deal this winter. All three hits were doubles, including two of them that led off innings. Still, the Royals were unable to capitalize.
Another issue of concern for the Royals was the issues on the base paths again. Three more runners thrown out on the base paths, bringing the season total to six already. It’s okay to be aggressive, but you have to be aggressive and smart.
In the first inning, Jason Bourgeois kicked off his Royals’ debut by lining a double to centerfield. When the next batter, Lorenzo Cain, flied to right, Bourgeois was gunned down trying to take third.
In the third, Alcides Escobar led off with a double, but the murderer’s row of Getz, Bourgeois and Cain couldn’t even manage to get Escobar to third. Here, Getz failed to get a bunt down and promptly killed a good opportunity. (I’ll save my thought that Giavotella would have gotten the bunt down here to myself.)
That would be the last Royal hit of the day. Seriously. In the fourth, the royals managed to get the leadoff guy on again as Hosmer walked to start the inning. Butler then proceeded NOT to hit into a double play as Hosmer moved up to second. Then, with a 2-0 count to Francouer, with a lefty on the mound no less, Hosmer took off for third and was gunned down. I’m hoping this was a Hosmer decision and not a Yost one. We can write it off as Hosmer being young and a little foolish. Not sure I could make any argument for Yost here.
Well, Francouer proceeded to walk on four pitches (wow!). Then he promptly joined the fun by being picked off for the second time this year.
So all in all, three times in the first four innings the Royals had a runner on second with one or no outs, yet they failed to score. In the end, we made Tom Milone look like a stud, recording 8 shutout innings while striking out no one and using just 92 pitches.
It is just one game, but the base running mistakes are troubling. Definitely something to keep an eye on in the future.