The Royals have lost their last six with the formerly invincible, indomitable, indispensable Gilgamesh on the mound. This is troubling. Meche has dropped his last five decisions and only has two quality starts in that stretch, which suggests the grind of the season is catching up to him. That's something to work on in the offseason. Like a true hero though, he takes responsibility for his shortcomings, such as after last night: "I got beat by falling behind a couple of hitters -- that's kind of the story of my life," he said.
Of course, his bullpen failed him, too. Meche was in line for the win before David Riske was begrudged for two runs by Danny Richar, Josh Fields and Jerry Owens, three names that, put together, sound like characters in The Little Rascals. "Everyone on the team did their job, except me," Riske said in the same MLB.com recap. "That's what it boils down to."
Here I must remind everyone that correlation doesn't imply causation, but since Octavio Dotel was dealt away, the Royals' bullpen has given up 31 earned runs in 56 2/3 innings.
The battle for fourth place resumes tonight when kid wonder Leo Nunez takes on Javier Vazquez.
POSTSCRIPT: If Bobby Jenks -- he of the Major League-tying record for most consecutive outs recorded by a pitcher -- can't get out the heroic Joey Gathright, what man or beast can?
POSTSCRIPT 2: You're welcome back, Mark.