A Look Back: KC(2-5) @ CLE(4-5)
If I told you that Royals pitchers collectively held Cleveland to seven runs in a three game set, you’d think they’d have squeaked two wins out of the series. Unfortunately the Royals were equally dominated, resulting in only plating four runs and lost two of three. Eight players batting below .230 with 5 of them at-or-under the infamous mendoza line will not win games at any point this season. Jon Jay is the only Royal that is hitting above .230 with a solid .292 average. The team has scored just sixteen runs on this young season, good for 8 back of the Giants as worst in the league. Shohei Ohtani, who is a pitcher by the way, has as many wins as (2) and more home runs than (3-2) our entire team. Gordon is going to be sitting out the next game or two with a tight groin, with any luck a few days off the field will do him some good because as it sits that may be the worst contract in Royals history. We have got to score more runs. I knew the offense was going to be bad, but I didn’t think I’d be watching little league batters face big league pitchers.
On to better thoughts. Hammel and Duffy each looked miles better than their respective debuts suggested combining for 11.2 innings and three earned runs. Kennedy rolled steady while managing to beat the line from his first start of the year. With exception to Maurer, the bull pen solidified itself tossing 7.1 innings of scoreless ball. I never was a fan of Maurer from the moment we acquired him in the lopsided trade that saw Strahm, Wood, and rookie league prospect Esteury Ruiz go to the Padres. Hopefully Maurer’s role will be confined to blowouts in the future, and let’s be honest here these blowouts won’t mean we’re winning.
Monday the boys in blue start their first true home stand of the young 2018 season. For the first set Seattle comes to town. Projected pitching matchups are below.
- J. Junis: 1-0 0.00 ERA (KC) vs M. Gonzales: 1-0 4.26 ERA (SEA)
- Junis dazzled in his first start of the season and reassured Royals fans everywhere that the end of last year was no fluke. In an interview after the game, Yost referenced the field glaring at him as he walked out to pull Jake in the eighth inning after giving up a lead-off single.
- Gonzales will be facing a bunch of guys that haven’t seen him pitch before. In his only start against the Royals in his short career, Martinez lasted just four innings giving up five runs. Luckily we don’t seem to emphasize run production here in Kansas City.
- E. Skoglund: Debut (KC) vs F. Hernandez: 1-1 7.71 ERA (SEA)
- Skoggy is back! I wish that was a good thing. He’s young, tall, wiry, and has electric stuff. His major league debut on May 30th, 2016 was outstanding. From that point forward, not so much. Maybe he’ll find some of that “debut magic” and give a solid outing.
- Felix in his esteemed career generally pitches better-than-his-average against us. While I want to say his mileage may be starting to show after an unusual 2017 and rough start to 2018, my confidence in the Royals lineup won’t allow me to. Hernandez will definitely looking to be return to form after getting thwacked by the second-worst run scoring team in last time out in San Francisco.
- D. Duffy: 0-2 7.45 ERA (KC) vs J. Paxton 0-1 7.45 ERA (SEA)
- Duffy somewhat was able to right the ship against Cleveland. His line wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was a marked improvement from his season debut. He simply needs to focus on keeping the train rolling in the right direction this time out.
- Paxton will not repeat this seasons results thus far. He’s been too consistently good in the past to come and get lit up by a struggling lineup. This game shapes up to be a true pitchers duel. Both pitchers in my mind are too good to keep failing in 2018.
When Seattle departs our fine city, the red Los Angeles team comes to town. The Angels are off to a pretty good start sitting at 7-3 on Monday and traveling to Arlington to take on the Rangers. I’m hoping the Royals can pull three wins out of this stand and hit the road on Monday at 5-9. Not a good record, however being able to pull three wins against two good teams will be encouraging to players and fans alike. Check back Wednesday for an Angels series preview and as always thanks for reading. Tossing a like, share, and subscribe would be beautiful!