A Look Back: KC(1-3) @ DET(1-4)
Good news! We didn’t look completely incompetent on the field for our abbreviated series against Detroit earlier this week. While our bats are still cold, the defense didn’t look lost. With the exception of Hammel, pitching was excellent. Hammel’s line was disappointing to say the least at 5IP 5ER 3BB & 3K’s. The rest of the staff: 12IP 2ER 1BB & 11K. Hammel was solid until the fifth inning when, similar to last years track record, he lost whatever magic he had mowing through the first four innings. In 2017 Hammel struggled the second and third time through the opposition, posting a 3.84 ERA in innings 1-3 and watching that balloon to 6.87 in innings 4-6. I understand the Royals thinking that 2017 was an anomaly for Hammel. His career suggests the exact opposite of what happened in 2017. In his 2014-2016 seasons, he improved as the game wore on or at the very least stayed consistent. We should all hope that he can right the ship. We’re started the season with a four man rotation, and there are talks of Karns going to the pen after he returns from the 10-day DL for elbow inflammation. I don’t personally feel that there is an arm ready with an affiliate to step into that fifth spot.
Jake Junis made his first start of the 2018 season in game two of the series. He picked up right where he left off in 2017 tossing seven shutout innings while fanning six and giving a free pass to one batter. He was meticulous and maintained a fast pace in his seven frames. After coming back out in the eighth inning and giving up a single to Mikie Mahtook, Yost decided his day was finished to the chagrin of the rest of the team. Grimm and Herrera finished up the game, Herrera earning his first save of this 2018 season. The offense was colder than the temperature, doing the bare minimum to sneak a split of the two games, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Friday sees Kansas City traveling to Cleveland to take on the Indians in a three game weekend set. Cleveland is the team to beat in the AL Central. The pitching match ups are below.
- Duffy: 0-1 11.25 ERA (KC) vs Carrasco: 1-0 7.94 ERA (CLE)
- Is Duffy healthy? This is obviously an important start for Duffy, management, and fans alike. Another day where velocity drops throughout his outing can not happen if we hope to see Duffy make 32+ starts this season.
- Carrasco may have gotten a win in his season opener, but he didn’t exactly have a stellar performance. A routine 10+ game a year winner with a career high of 18 last season, Carrasco will also be looking to bounce back.
- Kennedy (KC) vs Bauer (CLE)
- Kennedy was able to stick to the game plan last time around. He rarely found himself in trouble throwing just thirty two balls in 105 attempts and was able to keep the White Sox lineup off balance by mixing his off speed pitches brilliantly. He’ll look to duplicate that performance on Saturday.
- Bauer had a solid outing to start the season. The Royals have had little success against Bauer in the past. A new-look-lineup may change that this weekend.
- Hammel (KC) vs Clevinger (CLE)
- Hammel is broken with no way to fix it in sight. He gave up more than double the home runs to Cleveland than any other team combined last season accounting for nearly 25% of his home runs allowed. With the series being in Cleveland, they’ll probably keep with tradition and tee off.
- I’m not sure what to make of Clevinger quite yet. His first season (2016) wasn’t good, it wasn’t 2017 Hammel bad, but it wasn’t good. Last season he was sharp, earning a 12-6 mark with a 3.11 ERA. His first start this year was stellar. We’ll see on Sunday which version of Clevinger trots to the mound.
After Cleveland, the Royals come home for a seven game stand against the Mariners and Angels. Next weekends forecast is showing temperatures in the 60s and sun. Should be a great weekend to get out to the K and cheer on the boys in blue. Check back Sunday for a Mariners series preview and, as always like, share, and subscribe.