The KC Royals picked up right where they left off in beating the Mets in their first game. It didn’t come without a few overreactions though.
Before jumping into the negative reactions, lets take a look at some of the positive things that happened in the game yesterday.
The Royals only struck out three times. Matt Harvey has struck out more than a batter per inning in his career and was limited to two strikeouts across 5.2 innings yesterday. If he were to continue at that rate his Ks/9 would be 3.46 which is well below his 9.5 career mark.
It’s too soon to say that Harvey is losing it and it’s also too soon to say that the Royals wont experience an uptick in strikeouts, but the early results are promising. The Royals high contact approach appears to be in full effect and ultimately helped them win their first game.
The Royals also got two-out RBIs from both Alex Gordon and Omar Infante. It’s good to see the Royals taking advantage of teams with two outs is a trend that’s continued on into this season even if only for the first game. Scoring against a team with two outs is frustrating for that team period.
The Royals also saw good things from most of their bullpen. Kelvin Herrera, Luke Hochevar, and Wade Davis look like they’ve picked up right where they left off and should be a dominating force again this season. Davis got himself into and out of trouble by striking out the last two batters of the inning and Hochevar struck out the only batter he faced.
While there were a number of great things happening, including a bunt base hit by Eric Hosmer and a couple of Moustakas balls to the left side, there were some things that caused people to call for change already. Joakim Soria and Kendrys Morales were likely the biggest catalysts of the overreactions.
The man who received the Silver Slugger award for designated hitters last season isn’t likely to fall of the map this quickly. He did rebound last year, but don’t call it a fluke. Yes, he did ground into two double plays yesterday but that’s like saying that a batter who clubs two home runs on opening day is on pace for 324 home runs.
While Morales drew some negative fan reaction, it was Soria who bore the brunt of the overreactions in game one. Put simply, Soria didn’t pitch well. He walked two and gave up three hits and three runs without being able to finish the inning. Twitter let him have it.
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It was difficult to find tweets that weren’t riddled with words that would give this article an R-rating. It’s pretty early to call the Royals third-most saves leader someone who will always be a bum. This is a pitcher with a career ERA of 2.63 and more than a strikeout per inning under his belt. It’s way too early to call this a bust or a bad pick up.
There are a number of things that may have been affecting his performance last night. His first team, that was always bad when he played, was welcoming him back. There was a full house cheering for him, something he likely never saw in Kansas City before. His adrenaline had to be pumping a little higher than normal, and that’s bound to affect anyone. Let’s let him blow a few more outings before calling for his head.
At the end of the day, he may have pitched a little better than his results anyways. None of the hits were hit very hard. He gave up a seeing-eye single and two bloop base hits to left field. He may have honestly just been the recipient of some bad luck in all of those instances.
At the end of the day, the Royals won a third straight game against the Mets. They get today off to recoup from whatever hangover last night created and finally get their Noah Syndergaard rematch tomorrow afternoon. It’s a great time to be Royal.
What do you think KC Royals’ fans? Is Soria getting a raw deal? Is it too early to draw any conclusions about the season? What were some of your favorite tweets about the game? Let me know your thoughts in the comments’ section below.