Kansas City Royals: What we learned after Kris Bubic’s solid start

Starting pitcher Kris Bubic #50 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Starting pitcher Kris Bubic #50 of the Kansas City Royals (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals lost their sixth straight game, but at least Kris Bubic put on a show in his second ever start.

At this point, Kansas City Royals should be fixating on the prospects who are coming up throughout the shortened season because this team is going nowhere.

Even with the sixth consecutive loss, there was a big positive from this game and that was the performance of rookie pitcher Kris Bubic, who was making his second ever start. He had a decent debut last week, but his second outing was terrific, as the former first rounder pitched six innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out six batters.

As good as Bubic was, he unfortunately was handed his second loss of his young career, as the Royals couldn’t give him much run support.

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As good as Kris Bubic was, there weren’t many other positives for the Kansas City Royals in their 6-1 loss to the Cubs.

The series between the Royals and Cubs shifted to Kauffman Stadium, but the Royals offense still didn’t show up despite this being a home game for the boys in blue. They had just five hits and scored one run, which came early in the game against Yu Darvish.

Darvish handled the Royals pretty easily throughout the rest of the game, throwing seven innings and striking out four. The Cubs bullpen, which supposedly is the worst in the National League per the broadcast, got through the eighth and ninth innings without allowing a Royals run.

The five Royals to notch a hit in this game were Whit Merrifield, Salvador Perez, Ryan McBroom, Maikel Franco, and Nicky Lopez. Merrifield leads the team in batting average with his .283 average and at one point in this game, he was on third base, but his teammates couldn’t get him in. It’d have tied the game at two and ensured that Bubic didn’t get the loss.

The Kansas City Royals bullpen had a putrid outing, surrendering four of the six Cubs runs.

I’m just going to say it, folks – Ian Kennedy isn’t getting the job done this year. He was a pleasant surprise in 2019 and found his way into the closer role and the Royals should have traded him while they could have gotten something for him because he isn’t reliable this year.

Kennedy pitched just 0.2 innings in this one and allowed two runs, bringing his ERA to 4.50 on the year. Gabe Speier came in at the end of the seventh inning and also pitched beginning of the eighth inning. He allowed one run and his ERA is 7.36. Jake Newberry also gave up a run, but his ERA is much prettier to look at, sitting at 2.25.

Scott Barlow was the only Royals pitcher to throw a scoreless inning and it’s been nice seeing him rebound after a rough 2020 debut. He now has a 2.35 ERA and is one of the best relievers for the Royals.

Unlike the last two losses to the Cubs, this game wasn’t close.

With nothing to really play for (yes, just two weeks into a 60-game season we can already say this), all eyes were on Kris Bubic in this game and he didn’t disappoint. The Stanford product went six innings and gave up just two runs during that time. In his first three innings, he faced only nine batters and was cruising.

It was the fourth inning when Bubic ran into some trouble, but he picked himself up and pitched clean fifth and sixth innings. It was fun watching him work this Cubs lineup and it’s a shame his team couldn’t give him run support, or at least help him out enough to where he didn’t have to wear the loss after such a dominant start.

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The Royals have one more game against the Cubs and it’d be nice to take at least one game from the Northsiders.

Thirteen games down, 47 to go!