The Royals played long ball and small ball in their 5-2 win over Milwaukee.
BIG PICTURE: The win moves the Royals to 20-22 on the season and six games behind the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central.
NOTES: RHP Jesse Hahn exited his rehab appearance at Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday after just one batter. Hahn is rehabbing from shoulder impingement and has been out for around a month. He was thought to be getting close to returning to the big league club… SS Adalberto Mondesi was moved to Double-A Northwest Arkansas Wednesday because of rain potentially impacting the Triple-A Omaha game… C Salvador Perez is not playing behind the plate recently because of a groin injury, a groin injury.
KELLER PITCHES… MEH: Brad Keller continued his strange season Wednesday night. He wasn’t bad by any means. He was actually pretty good. But when you look at his final line, you scratch your head and probably think it went better than that.
Keller gets into trouble this year in many of his innings. The positive is that he’s getting out of trouble more and more. He ended Wednesday’s game allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. That’s just not good. But it felt better than that. I think that’s because of just how bad he started the season.
Brad Keller needs to figure things out. Not because the Royals would get rid of him. He is under control through the 2023 season, with next year and the following year being his last two arbitration years before he can become a free agent. No, he needs to figure things out so the Royals can rely on him.
Keller also needs to worry a little about the young starting pitching the club has coming to the major leagues over the next couple of years. Brady Singer and Kris Bubic are hopefully here to stay. Jackson Kowar and Daniel Lynch could be up later this season. And Asa Lacy, among others, old be ready next year. The competition for a rotation spot could be really tough next spring and especially in 2023.
SOLER POWER: Nobody on the Royals hits the ball like Jorge Soler. When he hits a ball solid, which isn’t happening much this season, the ball will leave the field of play in no time. Salvador Perez hits the ball hard, but his best can’t touch Soler’s best. And frankly, not many people in the world can hit the ball as far as Soler. Jorge tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning with a blast to left-center field.
2021 VS 1981 IN ONE INNING: Chicks dig the long ball. That line in a Nike commercial in 1999 is part of the problem with baseball today. In the bottom of the seventh Wednesday night, you had the opportunity to see 2021 baseball and 1981 baseball in the same inning. Both put a run on the board. Which was more fun to watch?
Jorge Soler led off the inning with a long home run to left-center to tie the game at 3-3. It was a shot! It was a no-doubter. And it was exciting, for about five seconds. That was a 2021 score.
Kelvin Gutierrez then singled. Jarrod Dyson pinch ran for him and stole second base. Michael Taylor walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Cam Gallagher put down a nice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Nicky Lopez then put down a perfect bunt that scored Dyson, and the Royals were up 4-3.
Both paths scored a run. Which was more exciting? Greg Maddox and Tom Glavine would tell you, thanks to Nike, that the home run was more exciting. And a lot of people would agree with that.
But I’ll take the 1981 approach any day. That run consisted of just one ball hit out of the infield. It also took a stolen base and two really nice bunts, and it had infielders running to make a play on the ball in what would have been a close play at the plate if the pitcher had fielded it cleanly.
Both approaches scored one run. But baseball needs more of the 1981 path and less of the 2021 path. The 1981 way of scoring has a lot more action and excitement.
NEXT UP: The Detroit Tigers come to town on Friday for a three-game series. A sweep for the Royals would move them back over .500. No, I’m not expecting a sweep, but two out of three should be the goal.
Thanks for reading…