The Royals bounced back from a 10-3 loss on Monday to win a well-played game Tuesday.
Big Picture: The Royals got a big 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels to tie the series at one game each. The win moves the Royals to 1/2 game behind Cleveland in the American League Central.
Notes: Mike Matheny said Tuesday that Jakob Junis would start the game on Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays. That decision is not surprising. I have said since his first start that I expect him to have already earned the fifth spot in the rotation… Hunter Dozier was back in the lineup Tuesday. He is dealing with an injured hand… Jarrod Dyson got his first of the season Tuesday… The Royals made some roster moves before Tuesday’s game. RHP Josh Staumont was placed on the 10-day injured list. 1B Ryan McBroom was optioned to the alternate site. RHP Ervin Santana was selected from the alternate training site. RHP Tyler Zuber was recalled from the alternate training site.
Duffy Does What Royals Need: Danny Duffy is off to a great start in the 2021 season. He struggles early against the Angels, allowing two base runners in each of the first two innings, but he got out of both of them without allowing a run. And then he went on a run of successful innings until he decided to pitch to Shohei Ohtani with two outs. Home run. But he bounced back and struck out Mike Trout.
The success of Danny Duffy excites both Dayton Moore and myself for two very different reasons. I’m sure Dayton Moore and Mike Matheny are excited about how Duffy can help lead the club to a winning season. The team needs a reliable starter who has a chance to win every time he takes the mound.
I’m interested in maximizing Duffy’s value and trading him at the first chance they can. Listen, I don’t think Duffy can have continued success. He never has. Why would we expect him to now? And if the Royals trade him and he explodes into a consistent All-Star? Fine. I like my odds that that doesn’t happen.
Why Won’t They Let The Pitcher Catch The Ball? With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Whit Merrifield popped up to the first base side of home plate. Pitcher Dylan Bundy had an easy opportunity to catch the ball, but he’s a pitcher. You can’t let a pitcher catch a popup, right? Nope. So catcher Kurt Suzuki ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to find the ball only to watch it hit his glove and fall to the grass. Whit singled on the next pitch. Whit stole second and then scored on a single by Salvador Perez. Maybe we should let the pitcher catch the ball?
That’s Why They Got Taylor! Michael Taylor was the talk of the team the first weekend of the season because of his offense and his arm against the Texas Rangers. He homered in his first two games. He threw out two runners at the plate in the first few innings of a game.
Simply put, Taylor was terrific. But we hadn’t yet seen why the Royals got him. They got him to run down fly balls in the large outfield in Kauffman Stadium. He had made some nice plays earlier in the season, but in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game, he made his best play so far.
With Albert Pujols on first and the Royals up 3-1, Jared Walsh hit a soft liner to right-center field. The ball looked like it could drop in front of Taylor and right fielder Jarrod Dyson. Both guys have speed. Taylor found another gear and got to the ball to record the out. That is why the Royals got Michael Taylor.
This Is The Way We Do It: Pitching and defense are how the Royals need to win in 2021. Monday night, they lost because of a poor job in both areas. Tuesday, Danny Duffy was terrific for six innings, the bullpen came in and did the job, and the defense was terrific.
And more than anything, the most important defensive play of the night came on the last play of the game. You knew Greg Holland would throw a breaking ball in the dirt with two strikes on Jared Walsh. With the bases loaded, I thought that the Angels had a pretty good chance of tying the game on a wild pitch.
When Holland released the ball, you saw it going for the dirt. Salvador Perez did all he could to stay in front of it. The ball hit off of Perez and then hit Jared Walsh, a left-handed batter, and sat just about on the third base foul line right near the plate.
David Fletcher had taken off towards home when the ball got away from Salvy. But when he saw where the ball ended up, he tried to scramble back to third base. But Salvy was too quick for him. Perez grabbed the ball and fired it to Hunter Dozier, covering third to tag out Fletcher for the game’s final out. Unreal.
Next Up: The Royals and Angels play the rubber game of the series Wednesday afternoon at 1:10pm Brad Keller will try to finally give the Royals a good start. Griffin Canning pitches for the Angels.
Thanks for reading…
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