Homer Bailey pitched pretty well for his first start of the season. He threw strikes with all of his pitches.
Down 3-1 in the fifth with two outs and nobody on, the Royals scored five runs to go on top 6-3. It started with a Billy Hamilton walk and included a hit by Whit Merrifield to extend his hitting streak and a three-run home run by Alex Gordon.
The Royals’ bullpen struggled again. Five relief pitchers were used by Ned Yost. None of them were named Kyle Zimmer.
Billy Hamilton and Chris Owings made two nice relay plays from center field to the plate. The first play got Jake Cave out at the plate in the fourth inning. The second play forced Mitch Garver to stay at third instead of trying to score in the eighth.
Jake Diekman pitched the eighth inning for the Royals up 6-4. He allowed two runs to tie the game.
Wily Peralta got the loss by giving up one run in the ninth.
Whit Merrifield [1-for-5, R, RBI]
Whit extended his hitting streak on a full-count, two out RBI single to left to score Billy Hamilton. Kyle Gibson left a fastball up that Whit was able to pull through the left side of the infield.
Adalberto Mondesi [2-for-5, 2 R, #B]
Mondesi continued his hot streak at the plate by hitting a first inning triple to left field. He scored on the next pitch on a single by Alex Gordon.
He beat out a ground ball to second base in the fifth inning. He has incredible speed. The two-out single kept the inning alive for Gordon’s home run.
Alex Gordon [2-for-4, R, 4 RBI, BB, HR]
Stop sliding into first base to try to beat a throw! I am stumped as to why players continue to do this. It slows you down and increases the odds for injury. It’s a terrible idea. Gordon tried that today. He was out.
Gordon hit a two out three run home run to center field in the fifth inning to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
Gordon had a great game. He had two hits, including the big three-run home run, and a walk. He also made a nice sliding catch to get the Royals out of an inning. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come at the plate for Alex.
Hunter Dozier [0-for-4]
Dozier hasn’t been able to get anything positive going at the plate yet this season. He has played some pretty good defense. That has to help his confidence while his bat struggles early in the year.
Chris Owings [1-for-4, RBI]
Owings received a throw from Billy Hamilton on a double by Mitch Garver and made a perfect throw home to get Jake Cave out at the plate. Owings also had an RBI single. Hits have been hard to come by so far for Owings.
Billy Hamilton [0-for-3, R, BB, K, SB]
Hamilton got to a Mitch Garver double at the wall quickly to begin a nice relay play home to get Jake Cave out at the plate in the fourth inning.
Hamilton finally got his first stolen base with the Royals. It’s only the fifth game but Hamilton’s ability had us expecting it sooner.
Homer Bailey [51 GS, 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 99 P, 60 S, 1.40 WHIP]
Homer Bailey threw strikes and looked good through the first three innings. He hit a speed bump in the fourth allowing two runs. While he didn’t have a great game, he did throw 61% strikes. It’s something to build on his next time out. Bailey is not a bad option in the rotation for the Royals at this time. The best case scenario for the Royals and Bailey is that he pitches well in the first three months and is traded to a contending club in July.
Scott Barlow [0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 B, 1 K, 25 P, 14 S, 4.50 WHIP]
Barlow threw 56% strikes but allowed a run and then loaded the bases before Ned brought in Tim Hill. It was Barlow’s first appearance of the season. That ties him with Kyle Zimmer with just one appearance.
Tim Hill [0.2 IP, 1 BB, 11 P, 3 S, 1.50 WHIP]
Hill struggled throwing strikes today but was effective enough. Hill has not allowed an earned run yet in 2019.
Kevin McCarthy [0.2 IP, 5 P, 4 S, 0.00 WHIP]
McCarthy entered the game with one out in the seventh. He got Willians Astudillo to hit into a double play to get out of the inning.
Jake Diekman [1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, K, 18 P, 13 S, 3.00 WHIP]
Diekman is a tough one to figure out. He looks tough to hit but he hasn’t been so far this year. Ultimately, the batters tell you how you are doing and Diekman has not pitched well to this point. Of course, very few members of the bullpen have pitched well so far. Let’s see if he improves as the season progresses. I wouldn’t have any thoughts of giving up on him any time soon.
Wily Peralta [1 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 16 P, 8 S, 2.00 WHIP]
I’m not sure why Ned loves Wily Peralta but he clearly does. Peralta allowed a hit and a walk and got the loss.