Chris Archer hasn’t been as effective as the Twins hoped this year, and hasn’t recaptured the form that once made him a Cy Young Award candidate and twice an All-Star. But on Saturday, he was far more unlucky than un-good.
Archer gave up five runs and seven hits over four innings as the Twins lost for the third time in four days, 7-3 to Kansas City at Target Field. But there’s a more-than-plausible scenario in which only one run scores and Archer — who still has only recorded one fifth-inning out in his nine starts this season — delivers another inning or two to preserve a weary bullpen.
A one-hopper that kicked away, a pitch in the dirt that took a weird bounce, a routine throw that pulled the first baseman off the bag — any of those doesn’t happen, and the Royals offense is vulnerable.
Heck, Archer gave up a run because of the padding on the outfield wall.
“It’s baseball. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way,” Archer said, comparing his irritation to that of Byron Buxton, who endured an 0-for-30 slump this past week despite several hard-hit balls. “It’s frustrating, but one thing that Buck and I have been talking about is being process-oriented. If you keep hitting the baseball hard, they’re going to fall. And if you keep making pitches, that soft contact is typically going to be an out.”
Trevor Larnach homered into the Royals…