Welcome to today’s Dr. Feelgood!
The Lead – Salvy Is Back!
Salvador Perez returned to the lineup Friday and had two hits, one of those being a double. That double was the only extra-base hit for the Royals other than Mondesi’s home run. When Perez was called up from the minors years ago we were told that he was a terrific defensive catcher but people weren’t sure if he would hit enough to stay in the majors. Well, he has done just fine at the plate. Perez has actually been one of the best and most reliable batters for this team since he arrived. The only really frustrating swing I can clearly remember was swinging at a pitch at his eyes that he popped up to end the 2014 World Series. But that’s ok. The next year turned out nice.
Perez is in his ninth major league season. He has equaled or exceeded his home run total every season from 2011-2018. 2018 was the only season he didn’t increase his home runs from the previous season. But that’s understandable. He hit 27 home runs in 2017. That’s about as many as you can expect from him in a season. He matched that in 2018. Being out last year because of Tommy John surgery and with this season being a joke of a schedule fo just 60 games we aren’t including this in our analysis.
What might be even more fascinating is that Perez is hitting as many or more home runs each season in fewer games and fewer at bats each season. As a catcher I understand his at bats dropping each season. With the maturation of his body and learning how to hit at the major league level he is doing something rather impressive.
Salvy is back and we love it.
Royals 4, Pirates 3
11:00am – CFB – FOX – Arkansas State at Kansas State (-10 1/2)
7:05pm – MLB – FSKC – Pirates (Steven Brault, 0-2, 4.37) at Royals (Kris Bubic, 0-5, 4.89)
9:00pm – CFB – ESPN – Coastal Carolina at Kansas (-6 1/2)
– Charvarious Ward fractured his hand in Thursday’s game.
– Khalen Saunders dislocated his elbow in Thursday’s game.
Four wins in a row? Believe it. The Royals are on fire right now and on Friday night Kris Bubic earned his first major league win.
Bubic went five innings and allowed just one run on six hits and two walks while striking out six. That’s the required box score information. What that doesn’t tell you is how he did it. Any time Bubic is successful it’s because he is controlling the changeup.
Now for the downside of Bubic’s first win. He threw 92 pitches in his five innings. That’s not going to work long-term but we will take it for now. Bubic will not doubt get better at retiring batters earlier in the count. But remember, if we are forced to waste a year of the Royals’ control of Singer and Bubic, the hope is that they learn a lot this season and are ready to go on opening day in 2021. Next year will still be a learning experience but they might be ready to compete at a higher level. Let’s not get crazy. We understand that pitchers continue to learn throughout their careers but the first few years are when they will learn the most.
The bullpen was good once again for the most part. Scott Barlow struggled like he has been recently but the other three, Jesse Hahn, Josh Staumont and Greg Holland, were really good.
The offense didn’t explode but when the pitching is doing its job, the offense doesn’t need to score eight runs. This isn’t youth baseball. The four runs the Royals scored Friday night were enough.
I’m taking credit for the resurgence of Adalberto Mondesi at the plate. I have been giving him a hard time recently. He has apparently been reading and decided it was time to start hitting. And hitting he is doing. Mondesi had just one hit on Friday but it was big. It was a solo home run in the first inning to give the Royals a lead. The Royals need to be in the lead for their plan to work. Mondesi did that for them Friday. He was also more patient at the plate and drew two walks. If you follow the Royals that is a shock to your system. That is unexpected. Mondesi has been swinging and missing on almost every pitch this season. Congrats to Mondesi. He’s looking more like the player we saw early last season. Now he has to take this into his offseason work and come out in 2021 and hit this way from the beginning.
The sports industry now has a negative image among U.S. adults.
The Big Ten is dealing with several legal issues since it decided to cancel fall sports. Now the state of Nebraska is declaring war on the conference.
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