Through seven games this season, the Royals have started just two of theirafter 3:15 PM CDT.
Coincidentally, their only two wins have come at night, while all five losses have come during the day.
Read into that as much as you'd like, but nevertheless, the awkward first week schedule is officially behind us and we are back to regularly scheduled baseball.
And when I mean regularly scheduled, I mean 7:15 PM CDT starts at Kauffman as well, rather than the weird 6:15 PM CDT school night start times of 2016. It was for the kids, at least.
Jason Hammel will take the hill for the Royals, looking to bounce back from his semi-rocky first start against Minnesota, where he gave up three runs in just five innings of work. He gave up six hits and four walks in those five innings.
The A's will send 28-year old Andrew Triggs to the mound, who is making just the eighth start of his career. In his first start of 2017, Triggs gave up just one unearned run to the Angels over 5.2 innings.
As far as lineups go, you might wanna check out who is in right field:
Royals tonight: Gordon 9 (!), Moustakas 5, Cain 8, Hosmer 3, Perez 2, Moss 7, Cuthbert DH, Escobar 6, Mondesi 4 (RHP Hammel)— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) April 12, 2017
While the A's will trot out these guys:
Some notes to consider:
- As we all know, Matt Strahm was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after a rough opening week, giving up seven runs in just 1.1 innings. That is already more runs than the three Strahm gave up in all 22 of his innings last season. For the season, Strahm has recorded just four outs while giving up four hits and a whopping six walks. Ned Yost commented on 610 Sports Radio early this morning that the demotion is as much of a confidence thing as it is a mechanical thing, saying "We know how important he is to us, so we needed to get him down as quickly as possible and let him work it out in Triple A," Yost said. "Less pressure, less anxiety...and within a few weeks, get him back here because he's such an important part of our pen."
- We also now know who will be replacing Strahm (and Terrance Gore) on the 25-man roster. As expected, the Royals went with pitching:
We have recalled LHP Scott Alexander (#54) and RHP Jake Junis (#65) from Omaha (AAA). Both will be in uniform for tonight's game. #royals— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 12, 2017
- The Royals are hitting a lot of home runs but as the Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger pointed out, the Royals offense is still struggling:
Through 4.3 percent of the season, Royals rank 12th in AL in runs, last in AVG, last in OBP, 13th in SLG, 4th in HR, and last in AL Central.
— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) April 11, 2017
- Jeffrey Flannagan published a piece yesterday about Brandon Moss's early season struggles and discussed Ned Yost's decision to stick with Moss against Sean Doolittle in the 9th on Monday, rather than go to the right-hander Cheslor Cuthbert, saying "Yost is known for having his veterans' backs." In 2016, Moss hit just three home runs against left-handers, compared to 25 against righties, while his LHP-RHP wRC+ splits were a 78 and 114, respectively. Moss leads the Royals with 10 strikeouts, but if you are looking for positives, he is also second to Lorenzo Cain with five walks.
Today's game will be streamed on MLB.com (and is the free game of the day if you are not in the blackout zone), as well as Fox Sports Go. You can listen to the game on the MLB AtBat app, as well as 610 sports radio.