Last season, the Royals blew three leads in which Zack Greinke would’ve qualified for a win and actually lost each of those affairs. Baseball is back in session, and the Royals wasted little time going to the blackboard. Greinke didn’t pitch his best (which is to say he gave up baserunners), but he still left after six innings and the Royals up by two runs. Trey Hillman then went to the bullpen. Here’s a quick rundown of the hell unleashed thereafter:
In box score format:
Before the Royals’ pen could secure an out, they had surrendered the lead. The highlights of the inning being 1) Austin Jackson recording his first Major League hit (a liner over third base) and 2) Johnny Damon sitting on a 2-1 Tejeda fastball, then pulling it into right field to give the Tigers a lead. Miguel Cabrera would later tack on a few more runs, and the rout was on.
It’s one game. It’s opening day. These things are going to happen to every team. Still though, in terms of disheartening results, this ranks pretty high. The worst part might be the predictability of the whole thing. During the FanGraphs’ chat A poll was taken early in the inning asking whether the Royals’ pen would blow it and more than half the conglomerate voted yes.
The bright side is that Greinke won the Cy Young despite missing out on those victories last season, and maybe he can do it again this year. The dark side is he may have to for the sake of Matt Klaasen’s sanity.
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