Greg Holland is Jeremy Giambi. I’ll explain below.
Sporting won easily over Colorado behind two goals from Daniel Salloi and one from Felipe Hernandez. Hernandez’s goal was his first in MLS.
New York Yankees 6, Kansas City Royals 5
Sporting Kansas City 3, Colorado Rapids 1
12:05pm – MLB – Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees (BSKC)
DUFFY UP AND DOWN IN RETURN
The good news is that Danny Duffy pitched two scoreless innings in his return from the injured list. The plan all along was to limit his pitches. The club chose this approach for Duffy’s return at the major league level instead of sending him to the minors for a rehab assignment.
Duffy looked terrific in the first inning retiring the side in order. The second inning was a different story. He walked every other batter, struck out two batters and escaped the inning without allowing a run.
It took Duffy 42 pitches to get through those two innings. His second inning was 27 pitches. That’s likely why he didn’t return for the third inning.
Duffy will build up his pitches with each outing.
ROYALS PITCHING GENEROUS WITH WALKS
The Royals have struggled throwing strikes in New York. The staff has struggled throwing strikes most of the season, but going to New York took it to a higher level.
No doubt the concern for Royals pitchers came from two sources: the Yankees lineup and the small field. Facing DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, and Giancarlo Stanton will make anyone want to keep the ball away from the plate. Those guys can crush any mistake you throw their way. Throw in the short porch in right field in Yankee Stadium, and it’s understandable that Royals pitchers would want to avoid throwing strikes.
Unfortunately, you have to throw strikes in this game. That’s part of what makes baseball the greatest sport God ever created. You eventually have to throw the ball over the plate to win. But the Royals preferred walking the Yankees. You can sometimes get away with that for a while, but eventually it’s going to bite you.
In the series opener, the Royals walked eight Yankees batters. Brady Singer had five of those in his 3 2/3 innings. Wednesday they walked the Yankees 11 times!
SEBASTIAN RIVERO SIGHTING
What is the future of Sebastian Rivero? He entered Wednesday’s game after Salvador Perez had to leave seemingly because of a foul ball he took to his mask. And Rivero can play some defense. You won’t be surprised to hear me say this, but he looks better defensively than Salvy. I know. I know. There’s more to the game than defense. He has to be able to hit some as well. And as I discussed in the season preview of Royals catchers, some say he doesn’t have the bat to be a regular catcher at the major league level.
O’HEARN, OH REALLY?
Ryan O’Hearn is having more success since being recalled from Triple-A Omaha than any other time he has been in the major leagues. Two home runs in two games? We’ll take that! He was on fire at Triple-A before he was recalled, and he has continued that hitting with the big league club. Now, he’s not going to hit a home run every game, but it’s nice to see him finally have some success. It’s an extremely small sample size, but it’s better than what we have seen from him in previous stops.
ROYALS BEAT CHAPMAN, BUT HOLLAND IS JEREMY GIAMBI
The Royals entered the ninth inning down 4-3 with Aroldis Chapman on the mound. Chapman isn’t unbeatable. He just has that reputation. But singles by Michael Taylor and Whit Merrifield were followed by an intentional walk to Carlos Santana. So with the bases loaded and two outs, Sebastian Rivero was at the plate looking for his first major league hit. He walked on four pitches and said thank you for the RBI. A check-swing single by Ryan O’Hearn put the Royals up 5-4. Incredible!
Now if you have been reading and listening to me for any length of time, you know that I am not a fan of Greg Holland in a high-leverage situation. He closed out the game Tuesday, but doing it again was not in the cards. Holland gave up a game-tying home run to Gary Sanchez.
Greg Holland is Jeremy Giambi. Wait, what? Wasn’t Giambi a position player? Yep. Did you see Moneyball? Art Howe insisted on playing him ahead of Scott Hatteberg. Eventually, Billy Beane had to trade Giambi so Howe couldn’t play him.
The only positive about putting Greg Holland in high-leverage situations is that if he can succeed, like he did on Tuesday, his value increases for a trade later in the season. Failures, like he had on Wednesday, hurt.
ROYALS MISS OPPORTUNITY TO GROW
Dayton Moore and the Royals missed an excellent opportunity to grow and learn a better way to introduce starting pitchers into the major leagues. Danny Duffy was activated from the injured list Wednesday, and Dayton Moore optioned RHP Jackson Kowar to Triple-A Omaha. Dayton just doesn’t believe in using starters in the bullpen to transition to the big leagues.
SPORTING’S SALLOI IS ON FIRE
Sporting forward Daniel Salloi had a rough couple of years before this season after tying for the team lead in goals in 2018 with 11 goals. The past two years he scored one goal total. He already has six goals this year after scoring two Wednesday night. The last two years he was close to scoring often, but he always just missed. Wednesday we saw just how his fortunes have changed. A shot right at the keeper had too much on it to be stopped, and then a shot just inside the near post with almost no room found its way to the back of the net. He is simply terrific this year.
CHIEFS TRAINING CAMP SET
Chiefs training camp is returning to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph after one season at their practice facility in Kansas City because of the COVID. Camp will be open to the general public similar to how it has been in the past. Open practices run from July 28 through August 18. Tickets will mostly be free but fans need a ticket to enter. No autographs will be done this year. Fans can reserve tickets starting on July 7.
BIG 12 / SEC CHALLENGE
The games for this fall’s Big 12 / SEC Challenge were announced Wednesday. Kansas hosts Kentucky in the marquee game of the event. Missouri travels to Iowa State for what should be a Big 12 game but obviously isn’t. This would be a great game to have at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City. Kansas State plays on the road at Mississippi. All in all, it should be a fun Saturday for Big 12 and SEC fans.
NOTES… Jeff Gordon is leaving FOX Sports to become vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports.
Dysfunctional, unfortunate, unnecessary: Inside the labor fight that threatens MLB’s future (Jeff Passan)
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