Daniel Lynch did not look like a top pitching prospect, tonight.
The promise he showed by gutting through four and two-thirds innings against Cleveland had all but vanished. The heat on his fastball seemed diminished and all of his pitches were missing up where the White Sox hitters could demolish them. The slider didn’t have nearly the same bite. The changeup appeared to simply float and wait to be obliterated.
Ultimately Lynch only got two outs but allowed eight hits and eight earned runs including a home run. He did not walk or strike out any. Tyler Zuber was asked to help the Royals escape the first inning and allowed two more hits before mercifully bringing the Royals to bat for the first time.
Kris Bubic came on in the second for some pressure-free long relief. He pitched five and two-thirds innings without allowing a run to score. It’s hard to know how much of a difference the fact that Chicago was already up by eight runs had on their motivation to score or Bubic’s ability to remain relaxed but his pitches looked much sharper and far more accurate than Lynch’s. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him take the start the next time this spot in the rotation comes around.
On the offensive side of the field, the Royals extended their scoreless inning streak to 28 innings before finally scoring a gift run in the seventh inning. Jarrod Dyson led off with a triple they went for the easy out on a Whit Merrifield groundball since they had the large lead. The streak ended far short of the MLB record of 48 set by the 1906 Philadelphia A’s and 1968 Chicago Cubs.
If you didn’t watch this game you missed out on Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc discussing how much better baseball used to be back in the day for two or three innings. They also discussed “biorhythms” for a while. It’s hard to say which was more painful, these discussions or the game itself.
The Royals have now lost seven straight games this week. Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler could both probably use a night off as they continue to slump. It’s also probably about time to ask if Cal Eldred should continue serving as the pitching coach. He arrived in 2017 and precious little has gone right for the Royals pitchers since. Danny Duffy was still very good in 2017 but between then and this year he has been a shell of who he seemed like he’d be. Jakob Junis was promoted and struggled and had to find help outside of the organization. Richard Lovelady and Daniel Lynch arrived with high expectations and neither came close to meeting those expectations. Lovelady hasn’t been able to find his way back to the majors after pitching in one game early last year. The Royals are relying so much on their recently drafted pitching prospects that it would behoove them to make sure they’ve got the right guy to help them find success once they arrive.