Last night was perhaps the most enjoyable Royals game this season in a string of enjoyable Royals games. Kansas City collected twelve runs on seventeen hits. Moustakas went oppo on two non-consecutive doubles, missing out on hitting for the cycle by six feet. Hosmer collected two more walks. Morales doubled and drove in three. Lorenzo Cain had a careeer-high 5 RBI.
Escobar drew a walk. Crazy stuff.
It also happened to be the game against Pineda, the most difficult pitching matchup of the series. And yet, it didn't matter. C'est la baseball.
Tonight, Kansas City faces off against their old nemesis (do you know what nemesis means?), Mr. Carsten Charles Sabathia. His time spent with the Indians, particularly his last two and a half seasons there, were less than fun for Royals fans. He owns a career 3.25 ERA against Kansas City in 243.2 innings. The only team he has thrown against more frequently is the Tampa Rays.
Lately, Sabathia has lost his moorings, and is adrift in the twilight of a fine career that will likely end up just shy of placing him in the Hall of Fame. He's a six-time All-Star, won the AL Cy Young in 2007, and finished second in the 2001 Rookie of the Year voting to Ichiro Suzuki. He pitched only forty-six innings last season, and if he records three outs tonight, he will have matched that total in 2015.
On the year, Sabathia is 1-5 with a 5.20 ERA, but his peripherals look good, outside of the HR/FB rate. He strikes out 7.60 per nine innings, walks 2.00, and his FIP of 4.51 suggests that his current ERA is at least a tad unlucky, as does the .338 BABIP.
Opposing him will be The Duke of Duff, the Czar of Gnar, Danny Duffy.
It has not been a good season for Duffy. Well, that's not entirely true. It has been a horrendous week and a half. He's 2-2 with a 5.67 ERA, and his walk rate is 4.05 per nine. However, from April 13th to April 30th, Duffy gave up just six earned runs in four starts across 23.2 innings, good for a 2.28 ERA. In his other three starts, though, Duffy has given up fifteen earned runs, lasting just 9.2 innings for an ERA of 13.97.
The walks are up, but so are the strikeouts, and there is a lot to suggest that Duffy has been one of the unluckiest pitchers this season, to which his .368 BABIP will attest. How ridiculous is that batting average against on balls in play? In the American League, only Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians has a higher BABIP among starting pitchers (minimum twenty innings).
So yeah. He's probably been unlucky. The walks are still a problem though, and hopefully Dave Eiland and Duffy have worked it out.
Let's get gnar.
If you were wanting to keep an eye on something:
- Omar Infante has five hits in the past two games, including a double and a triple. He's worked his slash line all the way up to .252/.258/.374.
- Eric Hosmer is working on a twelve-game hitting streak, where he is slashing .367/.426/.735. He has a hit in eighteen of his last nineteen games.
- Kendrys Morales has a ten-game hitting streak with a slash of .310/.356/.524.
#Royals vs LHP Sabathia: Escobar SS Moose 3B Cain CF Hosmer 1B Morales DH Gordon LF Perez C Infante 2B Orlando RF Duffy P— Joel Goldberg (@goldbergkc) May 16, 2015