KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals magic number to win the American League Central is stuck at 3 after Tuesday’s 11-2 loss to Seattle. That’s the bad news. The good news is the Yankees beat the Blue Jays. So the Royals still lead the Jays by 1.5 games for the best record in the AL. The Royals can’t clinch Wednesday night, but they can do so Thursday if they beat Mariners on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s loss was likely the last time we’ll see Jeremy Guthrie on the mound for the Royals. He was shelled for 8 earned runs, four home runs, a triple and a double in just over two innings. It’s the second time he has surrendered four home runs in a game this season. Guthrie was pitching for a spot on the 25-man postseason roster. However, he made the decision an easy one for Ned Yost.
Guthrie was acquired in a trade with the Rockies in 2012. He made an immediate positive impact both on the mound and in the clubhouse. He won a career-best 15 games in 2013, and posted a 13-11 record in 2014. But the 36-year-old right-hander has been inconsistent this season. Although he’s 8-8 as a starter, Guthrie’s had some awful outings. Who can forget how the Yankees hammered him for 11 runs in an inning-plus on Memorial Day?
Guthrie is in the final year of a three-year contract. He’s been a solid veteran presence in the clubhouse and a fantastic representative of the Royals in the community. But there’s a very limited number of spots on the postseason roster, and J Gutz hasn’t been able to prove that he can be an effective option in the playoffs.