The Royals’ pitching and defense, the parts of the team that need to be solid for them to win, let them down on Monday.
Big Picture: The loss drops the Royals to 4-4 on the season and 1/2 out of first place in the American League Central. They trail Cleveland and Minnesota and are tied with Chicago. Detroit is one game back. The Royals now have a run differential of -4.
Notes: The Royals placed RHP Jesse Hahn on the 10-day injured list because of right shoulder impingement syndrome and recalled RHP Jake Newberry from the alternate training site. Hahn can return from the injured list on April 22… Hanser Alberto started in place of Hunter Dozier Monday. Dozier’s thumb is giving him problems again.
The Song Remembers When: Brady Singer allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings in his first start against the Texas Rangers. In Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, Singer dominated a tough top of the order in the first. He struck out Mike Trout on a beautiful slider and then got Shohei Ohtani in a caught stealing that most people will call a pickoff to end the inning.
Then the second inning came around, and Singer was back to how he pitched against Texas.
Defense Is Important: The Royals are not the ‘27 Yankees or even the ‘20 Dodgers. They have to play good defense to win. That should be an advantage for them over other teams. It has to be.
But the defense struggled early. In the second inning, with Angels on first and second, Michael Taylor caught a fly to deep left-center. Both runners tagged up. Taylor fired to third, but the ball hit the runner and got by Hanser Alberto. Brady Singer was backing up, though. Unfortunately, he spiked the ball in the dirt, causing it to get past Salvador Perez and both runs scored.
The Royals cannot give away bases and runs like that. If they play poor defense, it’s going to be a long season. And by the way, Taylor should have just thrown the ball to second base to hold Justin Upton at first base.
In the third, we saw Nicky Lopez make a terrific play at shortstop to field a Mike Trout ground ball in the hole between shortstop and third and then throw him out at first. That’s what the Royals need to have a winning season.
Hit The Damn Ball: The number of pitches the Royals swing at, and miss is incredible. It’s one thing to swing and miss a lot if you are Rob Deer. Deer was a guy from the 1980s who seemed to either hit a home run or strike out.
But that’s not the Royals. Maybe Jorge Soler can make that claim. Maybe. But not the rest of the team. But their offensive approach makes you think that they think they are all Rob Deer.
But give Alex Cobb some credit for what happened in this game. Cobb was tough. His splitter was giving the Royals trouble all game long.
Pez Pez Likes Corn: The Royals struggled against Alex Cobb most of the night, but not Salvador Perez. Perez had Cobb’s number. He had three hits against Cobb, including an RBI in his 1,000th career hit. And Salvy was feeling so good at the plate that he kept going even after Cobb left the game. He finished with four hits on the night.
Sixth Inning Rally: Alex Cobb threw 65 pitches through five innings, but then he couldn’t get out of the sixth after throwing another 32. The difference? The Royals did not strike out at all in the sixth after striking out ten times through the first five innings. And all of a sudden, a game that the Angels dominated changed to be a toss-up.
A Salvador Perez RBI single and a Jorge Soler 2-RBI single pulled the Royals back to within one run to make the score 4-3.
You Can’t Be Perfect All The Time: Scott Barlow was off to a great start to the season. In his first four appearances, Barlow had not allowed a run. That changed in this game.
The Angels Giveth and the Angels Taketh Away: As soon as Royals fans were beginning to have hope that their team could come back and when this game after falling behind 4-0, the Angels put the game away in the top of the seventh. Scott Barlow struggled to start the inning, but then Carlos Hernandez took over and took things to another level by walking three consecutive batters even though one of those was an intentional walk to Mike Trout.
Next Up: Danny Duffy takes the mound on Tuesday against the Angels. Duffy is looking to back up his first start of the season with another quality start to get the Royals back over .500. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Angels.
Thanks for reading…
|– Mayfield, pr-3b||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|– Suzuki, ph-c||28||2||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|– McBroom, ph||12||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|– Dyson, ph||14||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|