Phillies Hung up and Gutted by Royals in Home Opener, 13-4
**Wakes up in abandoned junkyard, being sniffed by curious possum**
Apr 5, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Erik Kratz (31) gets a high five from starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick (38) after hitting a home run during the second inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals on opening day at Citizens bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
What happened? It was the sixth inning of the Phillies game, they were up by two with that Ruben Amaro-approved bullpen on the way, and we were cruising to .500 like some mediocre bosses.
From what I recall, Kendrick was serviceable and the bats came to life early. Mike Schmidt and George Brett threw out the first pitches, then yukked it up in the broadcast booth. The weather was pristine. Dom Brown blasted a home run and Erik Kratz followed suit. Guys were putting good wood on the ball and built a 4-0 lead for young Kyle, very early, with the hope being that they wouldn’t somehow forget how to do everything. Even Kyle came within about a foot of a dinger.
Then, Kyle ran into trouble in the sixth, loading the bases as Mike Moustakas singled, Chris Getz doubled, and Billy Butler was intentionally walked. Not sure what happened after that. I’m assuming KK went into ‘KK Mode” and SHUT IT ALL DOWN.
Apr 5, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown (9) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the second inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals on opening day at Citizens bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
But according to this newspaper fragment jammed into my mouth, the opposite happened. Kendrick left the game and Jeremy Horst proceeded to let anyone score who wanted to – Alex Gordon knocked them all in with a dirty-ass triple. The next inning, the Royals loaded the bases again, scored with a sac fly, then loaded them again, then Chris Getz – a guy who entered the game with one hit to his name – blasted a line drive to left that Dom Brown attempted to chase by driving his face into the ground.
This plan failed, and every Royals base runner on the planet scored. Chad Durbin and Raul Valdes both entered the game, serving as power cells to the Royals’ run factory. Eric Hosmer was a monster today, going 4-for-5 with 3 RBI, 2 runs scored, a walk, and a double. Meanwhile, the Phillies were striking out, popping out, flying out, and pretty much bumbling through 1-2-3 innings as if they had just learned how offense was made that very morning.
Wade Davis was the Royals’ starter and not a particularly effective one – he lasted four innings and gave up all four of the Phillies’ runs. But Bruce Chen came in at one point and made hamburger meat out of the heart of the Phillies’ lineup. Bruce Chen.
Worse than that, after they scored their four runs, they looked tired and bored and complacent, all of the things they were being by the end of the 2012 season. After his home run, Dom Brown looked clueless defensively; Michael Young was slightly more than useless; Ben Revere had an amazing catch in center that in no way balanced out his flailing, brief plate appearances.
Their last hit came in the third inning. Their last hit. Until John Mayberry walked in the seventh, none of them even touched base.
Why am I in an abandoned car yard? Why do I taste blood?
Where’s that possum? Looked delicious.
When it all went wrong
Well, the first bases-clearing triple was demoralizing, but the second one was back breaking. Both were stupid. Dom Brown… good lord. His dive was not a good looking dive, like he was giving it his all. Just looked like he was falling down.
Erik Kratz, I guess? He hit a laser home run and made a nice basket catch. Plus, the turkey bacon commercials aren’t played out yet.
On the one hand, Eric Hosmer, who squeezed all the Phillies until their spines shattered. On the other, the Phillies bullpen was just a sopping, pulpy mess of awful poop. Just garbage.