Glenn Sparkman, Richard Lovelady and Brad Boxberger combined for three scoreless innings of relief but Brad Keller allowed six runs in his five innings and the Royals lost 7-0 to the Phillies. Wily Peralta allowed a run in his one inning of work and raised his ERA to 6.50. Peralta will not be around next year. The two bullpen pieces that could return in 2020, Lovelady and Sparkman, had successful outings Saturday.
The offense could only manage four hits off of Zach Eflin who cruised to a rare complete game shutout. The four hits were spread out evenly between the top four batters in the lineup.
Adalberto Mondesi’s speed makes a major League game look like a youth game at times. In the fourth inning he hit a routine ground ball to third baseman Maikel Franco playing in a normal deep shortstop position and he beat the throw to first. … In the sixth he went deep into the hole between short and third to field a ground ball by Andrew McCutchen. Mondesi fielded the ball on the run toward the third base line and threw across his body to beat McCutchen to first.
Brad Keller struggled with his control Saturday. He allowed four walks in addition to five hits. The five earned runs in five innings raised his ERA to 4.47 on the season. Keller isn’t the pitcher he was in 2018 but is still someone the Royals hope to be the number four or five starter when the club hopes to contend in 2021 or 2022. The league has made adjustments to Keller. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to them the rest of this season.
Glenn Sparkman pitched a scoreless sixth. He continued impressing out of the bullpen. Sparkman is a valuable piece of the bullpen right now. He can pitch long relief when needed. He can even move into the rotation if necessary but that’s probably not a best case scenario for the club.
Richard Lovelady pitched the seventh. He fell down 3-0 to the lead off hitter Bryce Harper but battled back to strike him out with a fastball down the middle. Lovelady has a chance to develop into a major piece in the bullpen of a contending team. Although it’s no guarantee he will remain with the big league team for all of 2019, he is one of the better pieces in the bullpen right now.