That's what manager Ned Yost is calling it after his starting pitcher allowed another huge inning in Sunday's 10-4 loss to the Yankees. Hochevar surrendered six runs to New York in the third inning, and the game marked the third time this season he's allowed at least seven runs.
It's been two consecutive bad starts for Hochevar, who gave up nine runs total and five runs in the first inning of the Royals' game against the Tigers on Tuesday.
Before Monday's game with the Red Sox, Yost said he's trying to figure out what's going on.
"We're just trying to get to the root of why big innings happen," Yost said. "We talked yesterday a little bit. It could be just as simple as he's in a slump. There were times yesterday when he wasn't duplicating his mechanics, which is very important, to be able to have some consistency in delivering your pitches."
Even with the struggles this season -- Hochevar's ERA stands at 9.00 -- Yost said he doesn't think anything drastic needs to be done, and he said he has plenty of confidence in the right-hander.
"I've got a lot of confidence in Luke Hochevar," Yost said. "He's had two bad starts. He had a bad start here Opening Day. He's had two back-to-back bad starts that erupted in big innings. ... You don't bail on guys like that because of two bad starts. The smart thing to do is to continue to work to get him out of it."
Yost feels the same way about another slumping Royal: Eric Hosmer. The first baseman is a daily fixture in the heart of the Royals' lineup, yet his batting average is well south of the Mendoza Line at .185 entering Monday's game. He's hitting just .108 since April 26, but Yost sees Hosmer hitting the ball hard and believes a rebound is just around the corner.
"This kid is putting together good at-bats," Yost said. "If you go over the course of the series and look at how many hard outs he's making, there's a bunch of them -- and that's what you want guys to do. You want guys to go up there, hit the ball hard and the law of averages will even themselves out, which tells me that he's due a lot of base hits."
More impressive to Yost has been Hosmer's attitude during his rough patch at the plate.
"He's doing a real nice job of not getting too frustrated," Yost said. "He gets a little frustrated during the game, but at the beginning of the day, he's very positive. He's not, 'Woe is me.' No signs of that. I've been very proud of him."