Congratulations to the United States Women's National Team, who defeated Germany in the Semifinals in the Women's World Cup 2-0 to advance to the finals for the second consecutive Cup.
I sure hope you were watching that, because this game was another bore.
Dallas Keuchel, unquestionably the Ace Astro, came into this game with a 2.17 ERA and a 3.05 FIP. The 27 year-old lefty succeeds with an excellent cutter and slider, getting results with mediocre strikeout rates.
And get results he did indeed. Keuchel dominated the Royals, just like Lance McCallister did last night. Offensively, it was a blow-for-blow recreation minus the Salvador Perez home run. After a Lorenzo Cain single, Kendrys Morales destroyed a ball in a line drive to right field. The ball bounced over the fence for a ground rule double, preventing Cain from scoring. With runners at second and third, Perez grounded out and the threat was over.
That threat was basically the Royals' last in the entire game. In no other inning did the Royals gather more than one hit, and the A- team (consisting of Morales at first, Drew Butera catching, and no Eric Hosmer) performed about as well as the B team did last night. They showed little plate discipline and looked tired. Keuchel went 8 innings, striking out 7 Royals and walking 0.
Danny Duffy's night was much better than Joe Blanton's, but the results still weren't there. Duffy allowed four runs over 6.2 innings, striking out six whilst only walking two. Duffy continues to be Luke Hochevar-lite this year, as his FIP remains much lower than his ERA. Still, while four runs isn't a great outing, it's not terrible considering the Astros strong offensive core, the tiny Minute Maid ballpark, and poor batted ball luck over almost 7 innings.
You'll forgive me if I don't elaborate further. Once again, the Royals were dominated by a talented Houston squad featuring power hitters and pitchers, a team who will almost certainly make the playoffs. The Royals countered with worse pitching and absent offense.
Tomorrow the Royals seek to salvage the series and escape the sweep. Hopefully, should these two teams meet in October, the Royals show more energy and execution than they did today.