Last night’s game was frustrating. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Everyone is probably short a little bit of sleep after an incredibly long extra inning game - long as in time, the game was ultimately only 10 innings but took almost 5 hours to play - leading into a Sunday afternoon game. And every moment of that game was an exercise in pure frustration right up until the final moment when Sandy Leon pulled off Eric Hosmer’s favorite trick despite Eric making a perfect throw to the plate.
But today is a new day, so it’s time to start a new winning streak. Honestly if you had told me last week that the Royals would be 4-1 after the first 5 games of this road trip I’d’ve been pretty happy. It’s time to focus on what they’ve achieved so far and to relax a bit now that the pressure of a trying to maintain a winning streak is gone.
Here are your pitching matchups:
Those lines don’t look too promising, at this point you’re probably expecting me to tell you that Jason Hammel has been a lot better lately and so they’re not as bad as they look, but he hasn’t honestly been terrific lately. In his last 5 starts only one of them has been a good one. His last start was his second best but he was still left in the game too long and blew his 3-run lead in the sixth inning before the Royals ultimately won it in extra innings thanks to Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas going deep. He simply can’t be expected to be decent the third time through the lineup and Ned Yost is going to be sorely tempted to push him to do exactly that after an already taxed bullpen saw everyone but Peter Moylan and Kelvin Herrera pitch, last night. And most of them were in high stress innings.
The news isn’t all bad, though, the Red Sox also used most of their ‘pen last night and Drew Pomeranz can be beaten. In his last 3 starts he has one really good one and 2 pretty poor outings. He’s a strike out artist - something the Royals are still pretty good against - who is averaging only about 5.1 innings a start and is also pretty vulnerable the third time through the lineup.
Today’s game is not a must-win game. Cleveland’s streak must also end, some day. Maybe even today! The Royals have a firm hold on the second Wild Card spot for the moment and even if they lose they’ll be 4-2 on this trip so far. Out of context that might sound like a pair of series victories which is all you can ever really expect out of a team.
But hey, a win would still be nice.