Royals drop series opener to Twins 11-9
The Kansas City Royals scored in the top of the first inning in the opening game of a three game series in Minnesota but it was not enough. One run was nowhere near enough in this game. Both pitching staffs struggled mightily in an 11-9 Minnesota Twins win over the Royals on Friday night.
Glenn Sparkman started on the mound for the Royals and had his third consecutive terrible start. Six runs allowed on six hits in 4.2 innings. He walked three and struck out four.His ERA is now 5.58 on the season. He was facing a difficult offensive team in the Twins but you can’t have that pitching line against anyone that often.
Richard Lovelady allowed two runs on a hit and a walk in 1.1 innings. He is still an interesting bullpen piece for 2020.
Kyle Zimmer didn’t help his chances of entering Ned’s circle of trust with his performance in this game. Zimmer faced three batters and allowed hits to all three as well as allowing three earned runs.
What are the Royals doing with Kyle Zimmer? Or maybe the better question is what is Ned Yost doing with Kyle Zimmer? It’s a joke. I understand that Zimmer is a major league pitcher and needs to get batters out, but the Royals used him as an opener in the minors prior to his promotion but last night Ned threw him into a 6-6 game with no outs and runners on first and third. Yes, it’s still pitching, and yes he’s a major league pitcher and needs to get out, and yes he’s facing the same batters. But it’s a completely different situation than what they have been training him to do.
Imagine if the Royals brought up their top pick Bobby Witt Jr., a right-handed batter, and asked him to bat left-handed when he got to the major leagues. I understand it’s not exactly the same but you are asking him to do something different than what you trained him to do to get to the majors.
Regardless of how you feel about what Ned has done to Kyle Zimmer, it might be in Zimmer’s best interest to find another team next season if Ned returns as the manager, which I fear he will.
The offense did its job well Friday as it put nine runs on the board. Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler and Cheslor Cuthbert each had three hits.
Hunter Dozier had two hits but both were home runs. Dozier is having a better season than anyone could have imagined. It’s exciting to think about what he might be in a few years.