For anyone outside Kansas City tonight who wants to talk about tonight’s game they’ll want to talk about Corbin Burnes. Burnes has been really good this year and that did not change against the Royals. They managed only four hits while striking out nine times in his six innings of work. They did not walk once. And, honestly, I’m not sure I can blame the Royals’ hitters. They faced a starter who ends the night with a 1.77 ERA, a reliever who ended the night with a 0.39 ERA, and finish with one who had finished with a ERA. They’re hard for anyone to hit.
The Royals hits belonged to Salvador Perez, Hunter Dozier, Maikel Franco, and Nicky Lopez. There were a couple of hard-hit balls that didn’t land. Jesse Hahn was pretty good with one-and-two-thirds scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts. Scott Barlow had a hard night including giving up a three-run home run to Ryan Braun to put the game out of reach.
But if you’re a Royals fan you should be talking about just how good Kris Bubic was. He only ended up pitching five-and-one-third innings because he struggled in the third, and ultimately he did walk four guys. You want to see him pitch longer and and give up fewer walks but he also allowed only one hit and struck out seven. Those numbers will play. He was getting a lot of first-pitch strikes throughout the night. In the third inning he had two different batters down 0-2 before ultimately walking them. It honestly feels like he’s this close to a breakthrough. And we’re saying that about a guy who dropped his ERA from 4.50 to 3.97 with his stellar performance. It seems like it’s just a matter of time before this kid finds his groove, too, but it won’t happen until 2021, now.
The Royals will play the Brewers one final time, tomorrow. Brad Keller will face off against Josh Lindblom tomorrow afternoon. Brad Keller has really been phenomenal this year. I mean, he was good the last two years, but he’s been something else this season. A joy to watch. Here’s hoping he’s in Royal blue for years to come.