Leading 5-1 late, Royals fans have become programmed as to how this plays out. Wade Davis will come in and shut things down in the eighth. Greg Holland will finish off the ninth, ballgame, chalk up another one in the win column. However, that was not the case in Thursday’s opener. Davis gave up two runs and then Holland was tagged for four as the Los Angeles Angels stole a 7-6 victory.
Now, looking for a story line to build some drama over the final month of the season in what will be a ho-hum finish for the Royals with their 11 game lead in the Central, the questions will start…What’s wrong? Is the bullpen overused? What’s the problem?
I will have none of that here.
Davis was nursing a sore back and was making his first appearance since August 6th. With such a comfortable lead in the division, you know Ned Yost and the training staff would not rush their setup man back until he was completely healthy. Davis’ back is fine. For a pitcher who needs to go at least once every other day, there was obviously rust.
For Holland, this was his fourth blown save of the year. Some will say that’s high, but 25 out of 29 is still a very good ratio and he also was coming in on three days rest. Pitching an inning at a time is not going to tax these pitchers. In fact, they tend to pitch better when they work more often.
So let’s settle down. Take a deep breath and there is no reason for concern. Yost said it best after the game.
“He’s human. He’s not a robot. It happens. Not very often, but it happens,” said Yost.