The Kansas City Royals’ 2020 season was finally underway on Friday, as they took the field against the Cleveland Indians. What did we learn about the boys in blue?
Baseball is back and while it wasn’t necessarily the start Kansas City Royals fans were hoping for, it’s not like it was shocking in the least bit. Though, let’s be fair, a 2-0 loss isn’t anything worth scoffing at considering how badly some recent Opening Days have gone for this team.
It was a tie ball game through the first four innings too and one bad inning was all it took for the Royals to lose this game. It certainly could have been worse plus there are 59 more games to go! Woohoo!
So, what did we learn about the Kansas City Royals in their 2-0 loss?
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Well, first and foremost, we learned that this team can’t hit very well. They struck out a whopping 18 times and looked lost at the plate for most of the night. Fourteen of those 18 strikeouts were courtesy of Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber, who made it look downright easy, mowing down Royal after Royal.
Everyone struck out at least once except for Whit Merrifield and Franchy Cordero, who came in to pinch-hit for Bubba Starling. Everyone struck out two or more times except for those two obviously and Jorge Soler, Nicky Lopez, and Erick Mejia, who pinch-hit for Lopez.
We also learned that Danny Duffy had about as good of a start as we could hope for. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting with Duffman, but he was on his way to looking pretty good before getting into some trouble in the fifth inning. In Duffy’s defense, he could have been out of the inning if just one of the two botched double plays had been executed successfully.
Mike Matheny made the decision to pull Duffy despite him only throwing 60+ pitches rather than have him go through the order a third time. Scott Barlow was the one who struggled the most on the mound, giving up the two runs (though they were charged to Duffy). The rest of the bullpen came in and pitched scoreless innings.
Speaking of relievers, Tyler Zuber made his MLB debut and did incredibly well! Zuber – the team’s sixth round pick in 2017 – pitched two scoreless innings and allowed just one walk. Greg Holland was the other reliever to pitch (he pitched the sixth inning) and while he wasn’t great, he got out of the inning without allowing any further damage.
It was frustrating watching the Kansas City Royals at the plate because they couldn’t get anything going at all. Merrifield, Soler, Salvador Perez, and Alex Gordon were the only Royals to get a hit during the game.
The good news is that even though this game was a loss, the Royals were in it until the very end. They couldn’t muster up a run, which is unfortunate, but it’s only one game.
They’ll need run support on Saturday, as 2018 first round pick Brady Singer is set to make his Major League debut.
One game down, 59 to go!