Weaver Perplexes Kansas City Sluggers as Royals Fall on Opening Day 5-0

April 6, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Bruce Chen (52) pitches in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Like many of you, I waited all day for this game. I put up the first Game Thread at 6:30 KC time. I was ready. In the end, it was a depressing game. But still, just one game. And in this micro-sample, we saw nothing that we expected: good starting pitching, bad/unlucky relief pitching, no offense.

The Good:

  • Bruce Chen was Bruce Chen. He went 6 innings, threw the ball very slowly, and allowed just three hits. No walks. Four strikeouts. It's weird watching him because you at once feel like there's no way he can keep doing this and that he could do this for the next fifteen years.
  • Aaron Crow had a very good 7th inning.
  • There's the germ of a good defense here. Alcides Escobar looked smooth at shortstop. Gordon's arm was respected during the Angels' eventual 8th inning rally. Cain made an impressive running catch that was at least 60% luck but still nice.
  • Jeff Francoeur hit a double.
  • Albert Pujols didn't do anything.

The Bad:

  • The offense just never showed up, not that Jered Weaver can't generate that kind of performance some times. The Royals managed just four hits and no walks. Angel pitchers needed just 109 pitches to get through the game.
  • The top of the order was laughably impotent. The 1-4 hitters went 0-16 with 8 10 strikeouts. Wow.
  • After Francoeur's aforementioned double -- really one of the few hard hit balls all night by either team -- he was picked off at second base (although I'm not sure he was actually out).
  • It all fell apart in the 8th, as Crow allowed three straight singles with one out, followed by a seeing-eye roller to make it 1-0. An Eybar triple made it 4-0 and ended the game.
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