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Royals Grades: Chicago (White Sox) 7/31-8/2

Well, that wasn’t a very pretty series. The Royals lost games in three different ways this past weekend. The first was a close game that the Royals lost by a run. The second was a game that was essentially over when it began, with the Royals down 4-0 when they first came to bat. The third was a tie game that was put out of reach when the White Sox put up seven runs in the 7th inning. This series exposed a lot of problems that the Royals have been fighting since Opening Day. Let’s see how the Royals’ grades look this time (SPOILER: not great).

Series Recap

Friday 7/31: White Sox 3, Royals 2
Saturday 8/1: White Sox 11, Royals 5
Sunday 8/2: White Sox 9, Royals 2

Royals Lineup Grades

Whit Merrifield: B-
4-for-14 with a homer and 2 RBIs. Also had a fielding error and got caught stealing on his only stolen base attempt.

Salvador Perez: B
Went 5-for-13 with an RBI. Also had a great tag-out at the plate from Alex Gordon relay throw.

Jorge Soler: B
Got on-base 6 times in the series. Just didn’t get many RBI opportunites.

Maikel Franco: D+
Only went 2-for-12. Left 12 men on base throughout the series.

Ryan McBroom: B+
All three of his hits in the series were for extra bases, including his first career home run on Friday.

Adalberto Mondesi: C-
3-for-10 with a double, but had four strikeouts. Had two more errors on defense.

Alex Gordon: B
Threw out Nick Madrigal at the plate. Hit his first homer of the season on Sunday.

Bubba Starling: D
Went 0-for-5 at the plate and had a fly ball bounce off his glove for a three-run home run.

Nicky Lopez: D
Singled and scored a run on Friday. It all went downhill besides that. He had an error before Adam Engel’s three-run home run on Friday. Saturday was even worse. Twice, he came up with the bases loaded and made outs.

Royals Bench Grades

Brett Phillips: C
Got a hit and scored on Saturday. Started on Sunday and went 0-for-2 and was taken out early as Ryan McBroom pinch-hit for him.

Franchy Cordero:  C-
Had a double and RBI, but also a strikeout and double play on offense. Had another error on defense.

Cam Gallagher: C-
Went 0-for-3 in his first game back.

Ryan O’Hearn: B+
Went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Had an error on defense.

Erick Mejia: C
Had a couple of appearances in the series as a pinch-runner and late-inning defender. Went 0-for-2 at the plate.

Nick Heath and Oscar Hernandez also had appearances, but not enough to earn a grade. Heath had a pinch-hit at-bat in garbage time and struck out. Hernandez also had a pinch-hit at-bat in garbage time and singled.

Royals Rotation Grades

Kris Bubic: B
Made his major league debut on Friday. Pitched four innings, and gave up a three-run home run.

Ronald Bolaños: D
Gave up five runs while only recording five outs. A bad bounce (literally) off the glove of Bubba Starling led to a three-run home run. Not fully counting that against Bolanos, keeping him from a failing grade, but still, yikes.

Jakob Junis: B
Returned from the Injured List. Pitched four innings, giving up two runs. Not bad for the first game back.

Royals Bullpen Grades

Tyler Zuber: C
Had a scoreless inning on Friday. Walked in a run on Sunday. Had four walks total in the series.

Scott Barlow: C
Pitched a scoreless inning on Friday. But allowed two baserunners in the seventh before being pulled. Both runners would score in the seven-run inning that put the game out of reach.

Josh Staumont: A-
Pitched a scoreless inning in a one-run game, giving up just one hit.

Trevor Rosenthal: A
Pitched a perfect inning in a one-run game.

Greg Holland: C
Had a scoreless inning on Friday in a one-run game. Imploded on Sunday, putting on four baserunners that all scored, in addition to two put on base by Scott Barlow.

Kevin McCarthy: B+
Pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief after Ronald Bolanos came out of the game early. Gave up four hits total, and got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam.

Jake Newberry: C
Pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a pair of strikeouts, but gave up two runs (one on a throwing error of his own) in the following inning.

Kyle Zimmer: A-
Threw three scoreless innings on Saturday. Kept the White Sox off the board with the Royals trying to make a comeback.

Glenn Sparkman: D
Made two appearances in the series. Gave up five runs total. Had a throwing error that led to three unearned runs.

Gabe Speier: B
Closed out the blowout losses on Saturday and Sunday, giving up a hit in each appearance, but no runs.

Managing

Mike Matheny: C
It’s hard to judge managerial decisions when you’re getting blasted. What has killed the Royals the most early-on is lack of execution (errors and untimely hitting) rather than managerial decisions. Some worked, some didn’t. He’s also somewhat limited by what players he can play. As players return from the IL, decisions on who plays and where will be more clear and hopefully lead to better results than what we’re seeing so far.

This was not a fun one to write. Hopefully, the Royals are able to figure it out soon. It’s a tough week coming up with the Cubs and Twins on the schedule. It might not be fun baseball, but it’s baseball nonetheless! This is why we love the game. There’s always the next day!


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