Ouch. That may not be the most profound thing to say right now, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s got to be what the Kansas City Royals are feeling now, moments after experiencing a serious heartbreaker in the first game of the 2014 regular season. It’s not hard to find the positives from today, but this loss in the Detroit Tigers home opener stings.
The Royals season began today with a heavy dose of drama and tough loss. This rematch of Justin Verlander vs. James Shields ended with a no decision for KC’s ace and a loss for new setup man Wade Davis. Shields left in the bottom of the seventh today after his first and only allowed walk with runners on the corners, one out and a 3-1 lead. KC’s inability to cash in on Detroit’s mistakes were much more to blame than any Royal pitcher for today’s walk-off loss.
Despite only scoring three through nine today, KC’s offense showed signs of promise that shouldn’t be ignored. The most obvious would be the 4-4 day with two doubles, one RBI and a run for Salvador Perez. Unfortunately, Perez will go to bed tonight with flashes of his costly error haunting him, instead of the memories of his four-hit day soothing him to sleep.
It’s easy to blame Perez for the passed ball that allowed a pivotal Detroit run to score today, but the blame lies on everyone who failed to step up offensively when it mattered most. Kansas City hitters went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position today. This problem brings unnerving memories of struggles past to the forefronts of fans’ minds, but one game can only inspire a limited amount of fear.
We can’t read too much into a single ball game, even though I just spent two articles doing precisely that. I know this loss doesn’t doom KC, but I also know how hard it will be to get all the what-ifs out of my head without a game to watch tomorrow.