(BaseballStL) – Michael Wacha didn’t give up his first hit until the third inning, retiring the first six batters with 23 pitches, but he gave up three runs in the sixth inning that propelled the Kansas City Royals to victory.
It began when Wacha gave up a lead-off double to Alcides Escobar, who went 6 for 14 in the 4 games series, who came around to score on another double from Nori Aoki.
Wacha gave up another three hits and two more runs before the inning would end. The three runs on five hits doomed the 22-year-old as the Redbirds were unable to muster anymore runs.
“[He was] real good up until the point of that sixth inning,” Mike Matheny said after the game, “That’s a few consecutive starts we’ve had that. Our starters have come out and been real good. We just hit a wall and we weren’t able to get enough offense back after that point.”
The Redbirds had zero offense after that, going out in order in both the seventh and eighth innings. Oscar Taveras managed a hit in the ninth, but the offense went dormant.
Over 6.0 innings, Wacha threw 95 pitches and 66 of them were strikes, but only one strike-out to increase his ERA to 2.61. His WHIP of 1.08 still ranks in the top 10 of the NL at number seven as he walked just one batter Thursday.
“He’s a different style pitcher,” Matheny added, “relies on that change-up a lot for the strike-outs. It sets up his fastball. This is the kind of team that seemed to fight him pretty hard. All of a sudden they were putting the ball in play hard, but we just couldn’t get it at somebody.”
“Just one of those days you couldn’t finish them off.”