Let’s see. Where to start on Tuesday’s multi-faceted fiasco at Kauffman Stadium?
The score says it all, really. The Cleveland Indians, the erstwhile struggling Cleveland Indians, rolled into town and administered a 15-1 beating to the Royals.
Yet that doesn’t say near enough.
Gil Meche turned in his worst effort since joining the Royals: eight runs and nine hits in just 3 1/3 innings. That included a pair of homers, one a grand slam by Casey Blake, who finished with four hits and six RBIs.
There was also another rough inning from struggling reliever Yasuhiko Yabuta: two runs and three hits, a homer and two doubles, in a single inning. Jimmy Gobble gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning. The bullpen, combined, has now allowed 18 runs in its last 18 1/3 innings.
Defensive problems: Mark Teahen got turned around on a catchable ball to left field that fell for a double. Third baseman Alex Gordon was too deliberate in fielding a grounder by speedy Grady Sizemore. The result was an RBI single.
Most alarming, perhaps, is the league’s worst offense retreated further in a shell. The Royals managed just six hits, all singles, against Cleveland starter C.C. Sabathia and three relievers.
The Royals, 9-11, have now lost five in a row and nine of their last 12.
Getting shut down by Sabathia, normally, wouldn’t be cause for concern. He is, after all, the reigning Cy Young winner. But Sabathia, 1-3, had allowed 27 runs and 32 hits in 18 previous innings this season over four starts.
Maybe it wasn’t the Royals. Maybe Sabathia was just due. Either way, this was the Cy Young C.C. He struck out 11 in six shutout innings while allowing four singles.
Sabathia wasn’t the only Indian who came alive, though. The Cleveland attack, batting a league-low .235 before the game, rapped out 17 hits. Blake did his damage in just 6 ½ innings.
Franklyn Gutierrez had three hits and three RBIs. Jhonny Peralta had three hits and a homer. David Dellucci also homered.
This was like five-alarm chili on a weak colon.
The Royals trailed 15-0 before scoring their only run. Teahen had a two-out RBI single in the eighth against reliever Jensen Lewis.
Meche, 1-3, saw his ERA jump to 8.00 after turning in his shortest outing since Aug. 11, 2006 when he lasted just one inning for Seattle in a 9-7 loss at Texas.
The eight earned runs also matched a career worst. Meche previously allowed eight in two starts for the Mariners: Sept. 16, 2003 at Texas; and May 27, 2004 at Cleveland.
The Indians opened the scoring on Asdrubal Cabrera’s sacrifice fly to deep right in the second inning.
Ryan Garko yanked a one-out double into the left-field corner and went to third on Jhonny Peralta’s single into center before Cabrera sent José Guillen to the warning track.
Meche found more trouble in the third inning after Blake led off with a single that dropped in front of center fielder David DeJesus. Grady Sizemore walked before Dellucci lined an RBI single into center.
Travis Hafner’s sacrifice fly to deep left made it 3-0.
It got a lot worse in the fourth.
Peralta led off with a single into center on an 0-2 curve. Cabrera grounded a single into right before the Indians loaded the bases on a perfect bunt single by Gutierrez.
Blake then tomahawked a 2-0 fastball into the left-field seats for a grand slam.
Meche retired Sizemore on a fly to center, but Dellucci launched a 402-foot drive onto the slim right-field berm between fountains and the bullpen for homer and an 8-0 lead.
That finished Meche. The Royals, too.