KANSAS CITY, MO - Alternate by hair color. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The Angel bullpen tried to let the Royals back into the game, but the Royals wouldn't take the offer. Kansas City had multiple baserunners on in the 7th, 8th, and 9th. Thus, the Royals found a way to lose a frustrating opener, falling 4-2 to the Royals. A boring loss became something of a painful one. Had Alex Gordon's long fly ball been 10 feet over, the Royals would have won on a dramatic walk-off HR. It wasn't.
- In contrast to the Angel bullpen, the Royal 'pen was mostly effective. Aaron Crow, mysteriously moved to the bullpen for an indefinite amount of time, struck out three of the four batters he faced. (Why, by the way, is Crow now sporting the obligatory white MLB player facial hair? He's movie star handsome without it.) Nathan Adcock, who made the team for no apparent reason managed a scoreless inning, thanks to Jeff Mathis deciding to try to score on a single to Francoeur. And finally, Tim Collins also produced a somewhat iffy clean sheet. The bullpen might very well be the strength of this team, and that might be the difference between losing 100 games and not.
- After a long first inning, Luke Hochevar settled down and pitched a decent game. Overall, it was a performance that neither greatly pushed the Royals towards victory nor one that buried them. It was one that, on balance, you'd take. He wasn't helped out by his defense on a few plays and did allow two home runs. The latter isn't a great sign for a guy who works best when he's getting groundballs, but here we are.
- Jeff Francoeur got the Royals back in the game in the 7th with a yank-pull home run. Then, with the bases loaded in the 8th, Francoeur struck out with a weak and hours late swing on a ball at eye-level. Here we are.