Royals Drop Game Two 4-1
There aren't too many games that have warranted the use of the phrase, "Yosted" as of late. This would be one of those games. After six innings, Yordano Ventura's pitch count was nearing 100, but he was showing no signs of tiring. In fact, Ventura seemed to be improving as the game went on, so naturally Yost decided to bring him out for one more inning. It wasn't a horrible decision, but pretty soon that 'not horrible decision' turned into one after the first two hitters reached base. Stubbornly, Yost would still not take him out. Ventura ended up surrendering three runs in that seventh inning. Minnesota tacked on another run off of Aaron Crow, insuring that the Royals would not come back.
Ventura has been very shaky of late. In his last 12.2 innings, Yordano has allowed ten walks while only striking out nine batters. I'm no mathematician, but that's not a great strikeout to walk ratio. Ventura ended the night going 6.2 innings, three earned runs, and four strikeouts.
The offense is also to blame. The lone run came on a Nori Aoki double. Who knew that manufacturing runs was a skill that Nori had? Aoki doubled off of the right field wall, and with authority, and promptly stole third which forced an errant throw by the catcher, Kurt Suzuki.
Yesterday was a case of over-management when he took Danny Duffy out after 79 pitches. Today, a case of under-management after not taking Ventura out after the leadoff single in the seventh inning. There is no sense in freaking out over one loss- it's going to happen. The Royals are still in first place, and very much in the pennant chase. The frustrating thing, though, is that this loss could have been avoided easily.
Jeremy Guthrie and Tommy Milone will square off tomorrow at 1:10 central time. Guthrie will look to bounce back after a tough outing of just 4.2 innings, and four earned runs. Tommy Milone will make just his second start for the Twins after being traded from the A's at the trade deadline for Sam Fuld. In his career, Milone is 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA, but did sacrifice three earned runs the last time he face Kansas City.
This marks the third loss since July 29th. The other two losses? Against Jon Lester. Yes, both of them. Kansas City has one nineteen of their last twenty-four matches, and now have a half game lead over the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers beat Seattle today to regain control of the second Wildcard sport, and inch closer to the Royals.
One loss certainly doesn't make or break a season, but this one was painful in the eyes of many. Each win from here on out is important. To steal a quote from the very wise Rex Hudler, "Everyday is a day. Every game is a game."