digillustration by Samara Pearlstein
It’s hard enough to win games when the offense is in a funk– if nothing else, it puts all kinds of pressure on the pitchers, and while our pitchers are of course the best in the universe, the most awesome in baseball and in life, heroes on the field, etc., that’s still not exactly fair. We just finished winning an entire series with minimal offense. Time to cut the pitchers some slack and allow them to be human.
Unfortunately for us, the Royals decided to cut Kenny Rogers into all kinds of slack, and the offense did not come riding up on their majestic white tigers to sweep Kenny out of danger’s way. Actually, if the offense ever gets their acts together and manages to bail out a starter’s mediocre-to-bad pitching with big bats, that’ll be the photoshop of the day. Until then, you get the sadly tiger-striped E, to remind everyone of our sins.
Because, you know, if it is hard to win when your starter struggles and your bats don’t back that up, it is even HARDER to win when you match all that with a bunch of errors, even if it only resulted in one unearned run. Non-run-producing errors still kind of drag everyone down, and if the players are already feeling kind of cruddy about being destroyed by the Royals, when they start making errors, they start feeling worse, which makes them more prone to committing errors and less prone to getting hits and it all becomes a big snowballed mess of Es and sadness.
It was just a matter of time before Kenny came back to earth. His injury was so severe, and his return so remarkably good, we may have gotten into the habit of thinking of him as some sort of superhuman pitching machine. Then you watch him get knocked around by Mark Grudzielanek and his buddies, and you realize he’s human after all (not knockin’ Grudzie, who is a pretty nice little hitter).
And of course you’ve got to give credit to Gil Meche, who gave up a homer to Sheffield (likely to happen to anyone) and let Maggs bonk in an RBI (likely to happen to anyone), so you could say that he pitched a very good game, and you would be right.
As for the fact that this loss came to the ROYALS… well, I’m not surprised. I just got done watching them dismantle the Red Sox, so you could say that I’m incredibly, horribly aware of their hot streak right now. I think it should be the sworn duty of the Detroit Tigers to kill this hot streak, which is clearly a violation of the laws of nature, by any means necessary.