The Kansas City Royals dropped their fourth consecutive game, losing to the Texas Rangers 8-0 today in Arlington, Texas.
The loss gives the Royals their fifth lost series in their last six and a 33-42 record on the season. Texas advances to 29-48.
Here are three things I took away from today's game.
The Royals continue to struggle with giving up big innings
In the first seven innings, the Royals allowed six runs and both came in three-run innings in the second and fourth. These innings were pitched by Kris Bubic and Ervin Santana, while Kyle Zimmer and Josh Staumont had quality outings as expected, pitching an inning each and allowing one hit and striking out five. In the eighth inning, Wade Davis allowed three hits, including a two-run home run to Joey Gallo. The Royals' pitching struggles just always seem to come from the same few guys at the moment and they honestly need to try to find a way to either send them down to the minors or designate them for assignment.
The bats did not show up today
The Rangers had the Royals' number in this game. They had 10 of the top 13 hit balls for expected batting average (xBA) and five of the six hit balls with a 100+ exit velocity. The top two in both were also Joey Gallo's two home runs on the game, while the top ones of each for the Royals were a Salvador Perez lineout with an .860 xBA that only had an exit velocity of 68.8 MPH and a Michael A. Taylor double play with a 107.9 MPH exit velocity. This is a really poor showing for the bats and it has to turn around. That is hard to do with consistent injuries to top players like Adalberto Mondesi and Andrew Benintendi, but things can't continue like this.
There needs to be change in the bullpen
There are certain pitchers on the Royals who are the clear best bullpen options and clear worst bullpen options and, for some odd reason, the worse bullpen options are getting the more end-of-game opportunities than the best bullpen options. It is really the oddest thing. Just 11 of Scott Barlow's 35 games have come in close-game scenarios in the eighth inning or later, just seven of Jake Brentz's 36 games have come in close-game scenarios in the eighth inning or later and just 11 of Josh Staumont's 27 games have come in close-game scenarios in the eighth inning or later. Meanwhile, 15 of Greg Holland's 31 games have come in those scenarios and Wade Davis has also pitched in the eighth and/or ninth inning in 15 of his 22 games.
For the seventh inning or early, Holland has pitched 10 times and Davis has pitched seven times, while Brentz has pitched 23 times, Barlow has pitched 21 times and Staumont has pitched 10 times. Brentz, Barlow and Staumont deserve almost exclusive access to these late-inning, crucial scenarios at this point, based on the results. Brentz has an ERA of 2.60, Barlow has an ERA of 1.96 and Staumont has an ERA of 3.10, while Davis has an ERA of 8.06 and Holland has an ERA of 4.45.