The Royals got some help from the Twins with two errors on one play, leading to the winning run for Kansas City.
BIG PICTURE: The win is the fourth in a row for the Royals. They are two games over .500 and five games out of first place.
NOTES: The Royals optioned OF Edward Olivares to Triple-A Omaha and recalled RHP Ronald Bolanos.
BUBIC ALLOWS EARLY HOME RUN… Umpires are not very good at calling balls and strikes. I don’t pretend to think it’s an easy job. It certainly is not. And with fastballs coming faster each year, calling balls and strikes gets harder all the time.
Kris Bubic fell behind Josh Donaldson in the first inning 1-0. He then threw a clear strike low in the strike zone that Cam Gallagher dropped. If the pitch had been caught, it likely would have been a strike, although by missing Gallagher’s glove by so much, umpires today will often call it a ball.
So being down 2-0 in the count, Kris Bubic grooved a fastball down the middle, and Josh Donaldson hit a line drive home run over the left field wall to give Minnesota an early 1-0 lead.
ROYALS ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE GALLAGHER… How nice is it to have Cam Gallagher as the Royals’ backup catcher? He might not be great for an everyday role, but Gallagher is almost perfect as a backup.
The most important aspect of a backup catcher’s game is his defense and ability to work with the pitcher. Gallagher does this wonderfully. He blocks balls in the dirt way better than Salvador Perez. Whereas Salvy often will reach for a ball in the dirt, Cam seems to always get in front of every ball in the dirt.
Thursday night Cam also showed what he could do offensively. More than once, he waited on a pitch from J.A. Happ and hit a line drive base hit to right field.
PFP ANYONE?… Royals pitchers have had difficulty throwing to bases recently. The other day, Brady Singer fielded a ball hit back to him and threw high to second base in an attempt to start a double play. Thursday, Kris Bubic fielded a ball and threw wide of Carlos Santana at first base, allowing the batter to reach safely.
Pitcher struggles throwing to the bases is frustrating, but most will likely soon forget about it. Well, don’t. The Detroit Tigers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 World Series, and a large reason for that was the inability of Tigers pitchers to throw the ball to first base. The Cardinals bunted on several occasions once the problem became apparent, and the Tigers rarely were successful in making the play. The problem snowballed throughout the pitching staff. Mike Matheny needs to get the pitchers out early before one of the upcoming games to fix this and get it fixed.
ROUGH NIGHT FOR BUBIC… Kris Bubic had been terrific this season until his start on Thursday. Thursday, he made too many mistakes. He grooved a fastball to Josh Donaldson in the first inning that went for a home run. He left his changeup up in the zone multiple times, and it was hit hard each time.
Bubic’s start on Thursday looked a lot like what we have been seeing from Brady Singer most of the year. But this is the only bad outing for Bubic. Singer has been this bad consistently. We will let it slide this time for Bubic. Pitchers will have rough outings occasionally, especially young guys like Bubic. Now, if this becomes a regular thing, we will re-evaluate.
NO MORE DAYS OFF FOR SALVY… What has gotten into Salvador Perez lately? He has hit two home runs in back-to-back games. The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, so Salvy hit a home run in the bottom of the first to tie it at 1-1. The Twins tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fifth, so Salvy hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. He is on fire right now.
NEXT UP: The Royals will go for at least a split of the four-game weekend series on Friday night.
Thanks for reading…