Game 48 Open Thread - Kansas City Royals (23-24) vs. Los Angeles Angels (27-20)

Leon Halip

A national audience gets a chance to witness James Shields' poor run support.

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This game just gives me a bad feeling.

A rookie pitcher is on the hill for the Angels today. The Royals always seem to fare poorly against anonymous minor leaguers just called up to pitch in the Majors (they also struggle against more established starters. And lefties. And righties. And anyone that can generally throw a baseball.) Its a nationally televised game. Its a 5 p.m. start in Anaheim, meaning there could be some odd shadows across the field that could make it tough to pick up the ball. If I'm James Shields, I just don't expect to get any run support tonight.

Angels starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker is a 27-year old rookie right-handed pitcher from Eastern Michigan University, signed as an undrafted free agent by the Angels in 2008. Shoemaker struggled with his ERA in the minors, putting up a 4.52 ERA in his career, but struck out 7.4 per nine innings with a decent walk rate of 2.3 per nine innings. After a cup of coffee last year, he made the Opening Day roster as a reliever, but was shipped out after three appearances. He returned on May 13 to replace the struggling Hector Santiago in the rotation. Since then, Shoemaker has given up three runs in two starts over eleven innings, striking out nine and picking up the win in both contests. This scouting report says that Shoemaker throws in the low-90s, with decent secondary stuff but shaky command. He seems to profile as "just a guy" that will be back in AAA as soon as the league figures him out, but I'm not confident the Royals are the team to send him back.

I can already hear the excuses. We're not used to playing on national television yet. We didn't have a scouting report on this Shoemaker kid. The shadows across the field made it tough for us. We're still feeling sick from riding the Matterhorn at Disneyland this afternoon. As Sam Mellinger writes, its time to stop making excuses and start winning ballgames.

In the meantime, enjoy this Lorenzo Cain catch. Wheeee!!!!

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via i.imgur.com

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