KANSAS CITY ROYALS (5) AT ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (4)
This game was important for the Royals. Heck, every game is important in a 60-games season, but even more so if Dayton Moore really isn’t going to break up the club in hopes of making the playoffs.
Player of the Game:
Ryan O’Hearn was responsible for most of the Royals’ offense in this game. He was 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs and two runs batted in. He hit a single to left center against the shift in a big hole at shortstop to account for his RBI that didn’t come off of the home run.
Matt Harvey fell apart in the third inning and with that so did the Royals’ defense. The Royals scored one in the second and one in the third to lead 2-0. Harvey sailed through the first two innings. He retired the first batter in the third but then allowed five hits and walked two while retiring just one more batter before he was pulled with the Royals down 4-2. After Harvey was pulled the Royals bullpen controlled the rest of the game and they got just enough offense to pull out the win.
The Royals bullpen was outstanding in this game. Matt Harvey allowed four 2 2/3 inning and then the bullpen took over and didn’t allow a run the rest of the game.
Room for Improvement:
Adalberto Mondesi continues to struggle at the plate but the Royals need to leave him in there. He looked uncomfortable again in this one but did get one weak infield single in the ninth to lift his spirits some. Fortunately, he didn’t let it affect his defense as he came through with a huge relay throw home to get Paul DeJong in the bottom of the eighth that would have tied the ballgame.
Mike Matheny was terrific handling the bullpen in this one. Obviously, when your bullpen doesn’t allow a run you are going to look smart but it wasn’t just that. Matheny seems to like gong with Greg Holland and Ian Kennedy but only Kennedy saw the field in this one and he got through his inning with no damage done. Josh Staumont, Scott Barlow and Trevor Rosenthal should own the last three innings of many games as they did in this one.
The Royals and Cardinals will finish their three game series Wednesday night in St. Louis.
HOUSTON DYNAMO (5) AT SPORTING KANSAS CITY (2)
Sporting had a little breathing room on the conference but facing the last place team at home you would have expected a win. That didn’t happen in a big way Tuesday night. Houston dominated Sporting. The Dynamo easily beat the Sporting defense on several occasions for easy goals in which Tim Melia has no chance to stop. Sporting could look back at this later in the season with regret if it affects their playoff seeding.
Room for Improvement:
The entire defense has to fill this spot in this game. Sporting’s defense was non-existent much of the night. Houston, who entered the game with six goals in their first six games, scored five goals in this one and four of them couldn’t have been any easier. As I said at the beginning of the knockout stage in Orlando, Sporting is not going to go very far with this defense. Vernes signed a really good offensive player this past offseason but it’s the defense sinking this team right now.
With the Sporting defense playing well without Matt Besler, Peter Vermes put Besler in the starting lineup on Tuesday and the defense fell flat. That’s not to say that Besler was the only problem but he has quickly started to look old. His best days are behind him. Maybe a younger player needs to fill that role.
Jaylin Lindsey started for the second consecutive game and he played well once again. He’s just 20 so he has a ways to go but Lindsey, a homegrown player, gives the team more athleticism.
Sporting travels to Colorado Saturday to face the Rapids at 8:00pm on FSKC. Colorado is currently in 8th place in the Western Conference. Sporting leads the conference.
– DT Mike Pennel was suspended for the first two games of the season as expected. He will miss the season opener at home against Houston and then a road game at Los Angeles against the Chargers. Pennel will return at Baltimore in Week 3. The Chiefs signed Pennel to a one-year contract this offseason.
– Trevor Rosenthal appears to be an easy player for the Royals to trade before the deadline but there are reports that he might not be going anywhere. Dayton Moore believers the team can make the playoffs and doesn’t want to remove any pieces that can help that happen. Also, Rosenthal is from the Kansas City area and has family living here. He also has ties to Mike Matheny having played for him in St. Louis. Although the local and personal ties should not affect the decision to trade Rosenthal, Dayton Moore has shown in the past that he struggles trading away players for various reasons.
– The Royals placed Tyler Zuber on the bereavement list due to the death of his grandmother. Jake Newberry was called up to take his place on the roster.
– Wednesday’s starting pitcher will be Jakob Junis. Junis is not aware of a pitch count for him.
IN THE NEWS…
– The Arizona Cardinals reached an agreement with safety Budda Baker on a four-year, $59 million contract extension. The deal makes Baker the highest paid safety in the game. Baker is 24 years old and has made two Pro Bowls but he has never intercepted a pass.
– A group of parents of Nebraska football players sent a letter to the Big Ten last well requesting the information used in the conference’s decision to cancel the football season. The Big Ten did not respond and now they are considering filing a lawsuit against the conference. The parents want the football season to be reinstated or to be given the information used to determine to cancel the season. The Big Ten vote overwhelmingly, but not unanimously, to cancel the football season.
– Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito struck out 13 and allowed just one walk and recorded the first no-hitter of the 2020 season. The White Sox come to Kansas City on Friday for a three game series. If the White Sox don’t skip a starter with their off day the Royals will not see Giolito in this series.
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