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Royals 10, Twins 7: Witt Gets B.O.

Another statement night from the flagship Royal shortstop

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

With all due respect to the Kansas City Royals and their fans, this is the kind of game that delivers just enough gut-punches to slog down the recap-writing process, and instead offers the opportunity for a brand new series I’d like to call “Crushing Realities with the Minnesota Twins.”

Crushing Realities with the Minnesota Twins

Crushing Reality 1: Jordan Lyles Gets the Win

Entering this game, Lyles was rocking that 6.19 ERA and well-under-replacement WAR, as outlined in our preview. But tonight, his 1-12 record improved to 2-12; holding the Twins scoreless until a three-run fourth inning, Lyles would complete five innings of work and surrender just four hits to the Twin lineup.

Perhaps his biggest offense was managing just four strikeouts against a lineup that routinely finds itself within the double-digits.

Crushing Reality 2: Bailey Ober Fails to Execute

It was handedly the worst start of the year for Bailey Ober, whose final line included eleven hits allowed, two long balls, and six runs in just four innings for the Royals, who never let Ober get comfortable. Ober was uncharacteristically wild, nearly hitting multiple Royals in the early going, and failing to put up a zero until his fourth and final inning of work.

Crushing Reality 3: Bobby Witt Jr. May Be Pretty Good

Witt has already had a heck of a series, and he picked up right where he left off last night, homering in the first, knocking in three runs, and collecting four hits to bring his OPS all the way back up to .769 (it was .727 when this series started.)

Crushing Reality 4: Willi Castro Loses His Mind

When all was said and done, the Twins were still ultimately playing the Royals, and charged back for seven runs in the middle innings. A two-run top of the eighth nearly got the tying run to the plate — with Castro having singled in Buxton for a two-out ribeye, Carlos Correa cracked a single of his own. Despite this ball having been hit to left field, despite there being two outs, despite Edouard Julien standing on-deck, and despite a snowball’s chance of safety, Castro decided “Meh, third base looks good to me!” and was thrown out there to end the inning.

Crushing Reality 5: Failing to Capitalize

We’re rapidly approaching the point in the season where scoreboard-watching becomes a relevant pastime. The Guardians lost today, but the Twins couldn’t do anything with it despite playing the second-worst team in baseball.

As a result, Cleveland remains a game and a half back, and the Twins keep shiftily glancing in the rearview.

COURTESY: Baseball Savant (click to expand!)


RF Max Kepler (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB)

DH Byron Buxton (3-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 2B)


SP Bailey Ober (4 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 5 K, 2 HR)

RP Jovani Moran (0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, K)

CF Willi Castro (1-for-2, RBI, BB, automatic-dud-worthy baserunning)

ROBOT ROLL CALL: Our fearless former leader (formerly-fearless leader?) gives a ringing endorsement of the proud papa.