I had hoped to be writing this week about the Royals 3-game sweep of the defending AL Champion Tigers. That said, I’ve made it clear in previous posts that I’m excited about the upcoming season.
I think the Royals could make some noise in the playoffs this year and I’m cautiously optimistic that despite the outcome of the first two games against Detroit, that they will.
As of this writing, the Kansas City Royals have lost both games of the weather shortened series with Detroit in dramatic and highly frustrating, walk-off fashion. To show just how fickle the baseball gods are, it was the Royals bullpen, often called the best in baseball, that failed to hold off the Tigers in both instances.
Not only did the Royals lose the first two games of the series, but Mother Nature and manager Ned Yost added insult to injury by pitching the season’s first rain-out and removing promising young fireballer Yordano Ventura from the rotation. Yost has instead decided to send Ventura to the bullpen for the weekend rather than giving him the chance to start the home opener. Are you kidding me!?
Opportunities like this are the reason kids like Ventura play the game. Not to mention that the fans and all the baseball world were anxious to see how he did. Yost claims the decision was made to protect Ventura. Whatever.
If he’s good enough to be the #3 arm in the rotation, how can he not be given the opportunity to start the home opener when it’s his turn? What kind of message does that send to Ventura and to the fans? Chalk this up as the first really dumb decision made by Yost this season.
Now I’m not an alarmist and I certainly would never leap to any conclusions about how this season is going to play out for the Royals after only two games however, it did seem like a very familiar script.
The allegedly improved offense was relatively silent, putting up 4 runs in 2 games, albeit against two the AL’s best pitchers in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, while failing to take advantage of several scoring opportunities in both games. No clutch hitting.