For a while, it looked like the Royals were going to be the victims of a perfect game. Or at least a no-hitter. Unfortunately, Ryan O’Hearn broke it up with a leadoff single in the fifth inning. I say unfortunately because this was otherwise an extra-long dud of a game. If the Royals had been no-hit at least we would have gotten to see something (semi-)novel.
Kyle Zimmer served as the opener for the Royals. The broadcast crew noted that Mike Matheny was hoping for a pitch count low enough to justify sending Zimmer out for a third inning. Instead, Zimmer walked a pair in the first inning and did not return for the second. Kris Bubic came on as the alleged “bulk-man” for today’s game but managed to go only two-thirds of an inning. Again, according to the announcers, Matheny has been using Bubic in this role to try to prevent him from over-thinking things. That plan didn’t work either; Bubic gave up three runs on three hits and a pair of walks without striking out a single batter.
Ervin Santana ended up pitching the most innings for the Royals; he went three and one-third innings and allowed three runs, all on a Joey Gallo bomb to right-center. Josh Staumont struck out three in a scoreless sixth inning. Wade Davis came on in the seventh and pitched a clean inning but hit a wall with one out in the eighth. He allowed a two-run tater to Joey Gallo before loading the bases but escaped without allowing any more runs.
Kyle Gibson has only given up more than two earned runs twice this season and was in rare form today, even by that standard. He pitched seven shutout innings, struck out ten, and allowed only a pair of hits. He started the game with four perfect innings and struck out five in a row at one point including striking out the side in the second.
- After an opening series that saw Gallo hit several singles, he was in full three-true-outcomes form, today. Two homers, two walks, and a strikeout.
- The Royals walked seven more batters. Each pitcher walked at least one.
- Ryan O’Hearn had the only legitimate hit against Kyle Gibson, a line drive up the middle. That keeps him at an above-average level since his return earlier this week, buoyed by a pair of Yankee Stadium Specials.
The Royals will attempt to avoid the sweep, tomorrow. Their scheduled starter is Brady Singer (3-5, 4.77 ERA.) Maybe he’ll pitch four whole innings! The Rangers will counter with journeyman right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-5, 5.47 ERA.) He relies on a lot of off-speed stuff so don’t get too excited about that awful ERA.