KANSAS CITY -- With all the talk of how shaky the Royals' bullpen has been this month, somewhat overlooked is how inconsistent the rotation has been lately as well.Another ugly start showed up on Friday night, as right-hander Ian Kennedy lasted only 2 2/3 innings and gave up five runs
KANSAS CITY -- With all the talk of how shaky the Royals' bullpen has been this month, somewhat overlooked is how inconsistent the rotation has been lately as well.
Another ugly start showed up on Friday night, as right-hander Ian Kennedy lasted only 2 2/3 innings and gave up five runs in a 10-1 loss to the Indians.
"He just didn't have his good stuff," manager Ned Yost said. "Just flat. Competed but just didn't have his good stuff."
And that has been a pattern lately throughout the staff. The Royals' bullpen has posted a 7.52 ERA over the last 11 games. The rotation has been nearly as bad, posting a 6.87 ERA.
Amazingly, the Royals remain just a half-game out of the second American League Wild Card spot.
It has been rare when the Royals' bullpen and rotation has collapsed at the same time under Yost.
"It just happens," Yost said. "You gotta continue to battle every day. Luckily for us, we got a chance to come back tomorrow and play again. This game wasn't a good one for us."
Both Yost and catcher Andrew Butera likened the pitching slump to April and May when the offense slumped all at once.
"It happens," Butera said. "Pitchers slump. Hitters slump. We went through that with our offense early in the year. Now the pitchers are kind of slumping. But we bounced out of it as an offense and I'm sure the pitchers will do the same. I can't point to any one thing that's going on."
The Royals and Kennedy know how important these games with the Indians are -- the two teams meet nine more times. The Indians have a 6 1/2-game lead in the AL Central.
Kennedy was especially disappointed after the game.
"You have those days where you have A-stuff or B-stuff where you can win," Kennedy said. "Then you have C-stuff where you grind. Today was a D or F."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.