Pitching was the key to this win. Homer Bailey allowed just two hits in seven innings. The start by Bailey tied Brad Keller’s Opening Day start with a game score of 77. That’s what it felt like. It was a dominant outing from Bailey. Ian Kennedy and Wily Peralta each threw a perfect inning in relief as the Royals shut out the Indians 3-0.
The offense was ok tonight but nothing special. Whit Merrifield started a new hitting streak yesterday and today increased it to two games. Whit and Hunter Dozier had two hits each. Ryan O’Hearn had the best hit of the day with a 419 foot home run to right field.
It’s hard to figure out Ned Yost most of the time but we can see that he has trust in Ian Kennedy and Wily Peralta. Those are the relief pitchers he seems to be going to when he wants to finish a game. It look like Peralta will be back in the closer role until he runs into trouble again.
But what happened with the talk of using relief pitchers based on high leverage situations instead of having pitchers for particular innings? We haven’t seen that in the early part of the season and right now it looks like Yost wants to slot Kennedy and Peralta in the eighth and ninth innings respectively. We’ll see if the same thing happens in the next game the Royals lead in the late innings. I expect that to be the case.
The Royals have won the first two games in this series. The final game is Sunday.
Whit Merrifield [2-for-4, RBI]
Whit came through with a big hit to left in the seventh on an 0-2 pitch to score Hunter Dozier giving the Royals a 3-0 lead.
Adalberto Mondesi [1-for-4, RBI]
Mondesi continued hitting fastballs hard. He ripped a hard hit single to right field with two outs in the third to score Martin Maldonado from third.
Ryan O’Hearn [1-for-3, R, RBI, HR]
O’Hearn crushed a changeup 429 feet that stayed up and in for a long home run to right to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.
Martin Maldonado [1-for-2, R, K, 2B]
Maldonado led off the third inning with a double to center ending an 0-for-17 slump.
Homer Bailey [W 1-1, 77 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 102-64 (63%), 0.57 WHIP]
Bailey was terrific Saturday. He threw all of his pitches with good command. In the fifth he allowed a couple of runners on base. With runners on second and third and two outs, Bailey struck out Max Moroff swinging with a nice 0-2 curve. There really wasn’t a point other than that fifth inning situation when Bailey was in the game where you were concerned about Cleveland’s offense.
Ian Kennedy [H 1, IP 2 K, 16-9 (56%), 0.00 WHIP]
Kennedy was excellent having a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Wily Peralta [IP, 16-10 (63%), 0.00 WHIP]
Peralta looked much better tonight in his 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save.