One series is in the books for the 2020 MLB season and that’s one series the Kansas City Royals have lost. What did we learn in their third game of the season?
Mike Matheny made the decision to go with an opener for the Kansas City Royals and this was the first time fans got to see this strategy employed for the team.
Those who aren’t familiar with an opener in baseball, it’s just how it sounds – They start the game, but aren’t expected to go the normal six or seven innings that a starter is expected to go. No, these are pitchers who have good stuff, but might not be quite good enough to be a starter just yet.
This seemed like a good idea on a day game after a night-ish game and allowed Matheny to get a lot of the unused Royals relievers out there while also letting those who had pitched already get a day off.
The bullpen had been better than anticipated so far, not allowing a single run in their first two games. That was not the case on Sunday.
While two runs were scored in the first inning of Bolaños’ Royals debut, they were both unearned, as the young defense struggled. Bolaños returned for the second inning and got out of it without further damage.
From there, the Royals used seven more pitchers through the next six innings and obviously in a 9-2 loss, it wasn’t the prettiest of times. Everyone gave up at least one run except for Josh Staumont – who pitched the fifth inning – and Kyle Zimmer – who pitched the eighth inning.
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It was especially ugly for Jorge Lopez and Gabe Speier who each gave up two earned runs in just 0.2 innings each. The broadcast really made it known how fortunate Lopez should be to have landed on the Royals roster because he hasn’t looked good in quite some time.
The use of an opener didn’t go great for the Kansas City Royals, but it wasn’t all on the pitching stuff on Sunday.
The offense still can’t hit the ball at all. They did score two runs on Sunday, but for the most part, all looked helpless and got destroyed by Carlos Carrasco, who recorded ten strikeouts on the day through six innings of work.
Adalberto Mondesi and Maikel Franco had two hits each while Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez had one a piece. Salvy knocked in Mondesi for one of the team’s two runs while Merrifield had the other RBI on the day.
Erick Mejia had a tough day both offensively and defensively in his MLB debut. He was starting at third base while Franco moved to first and Mejia’s poor throw to first ended up coming back to bite the Royals in the first inning, as that runner ended up crossing the plate. Mejia also struck out four times.
The defense as a whole was not very good and struggled majorly. That’s to be expected with a young group, but it certainly cost the Royals on Sunday in Cleveland.
A 9-2 loss isn’t great obviously, but the Kansas City Royals are 1-2 after just three games and now face a Detroit team who looks to be as bad – if not worse – as they are.
Three games down, 57 to go!