The Astros beat the Royals, 4-0, in an uninteresting Tuesday night affair.
Houston got three in the first - all unearned runs - and Kansas City never threatened. The Royals managed only four hits on the night.
The bottom of the first inning was pretty frustrating. It’s also essentially the only thing worth talking about from this game. Cheating pipsqueak Jose Altuve hit a ground ball to first base, and Ryan O’Hearn booted it. The next four hitters: walk, strikeout, walk, RBI groundout. Had O’Hearn handled the ground ball, which was by no means an unusual play, the inning ends 0-0. Instead. it was 1-0 following Carlos Correa’s groundout, and Aledmys Diaz came through with a two-run single in the next at-bat.
Brady Singer left me feeling impressed. His final line isn’t great or terrible: 5.0 innings, seven hits, four runs (only one earned), four walks, and six strikeouts. But he threw his in-progress changeup more tonight than he has in any of his career starts. The command of it wasn’t great, but it set up a couple of different strikeouts when he followed a changeup with a fastball. It’s the sort of adjustment he’s going to need to make to be a successful starter in the big leagues.
I also like the way Singer kept it together following a three-run first that wasn’t his fault. The Astros only scored one more run after that, which was an RBI double by another proven cheater in Carlos Correa, and that was the only earned run Singer allowed on the night. The lack of backing offense doomed him to take the loss, as he fell to 3-9 on the season.
There is next to nothing to report regarding the offense. Michael A. Taylor hit a double and got thrown out trying to steal home. Andrew Benintendi, Hunter Dozier, and Nicky Lopez had singles. That is absolutely everything to report on the offense.
My one personal comment: why is Ryan O’Hearn here? He’s hitting .226. He can’t field. He has no place on this roster. Ervin Santana and Wade Davis combined for three innings of scoreless relief, but when you’re giving roster spots to Ryan O’Hearn, Ervin Santana, Wade Davis, and Jarrod Dyson, it really makes Rex Hudler’s “hey be patient, this is a young team!” claims seem stupid. Let Ryan McBroom play first. We know who O’Hearn is.
Long story short: stop playing anybody who you don’t think will still be here when you’re contending next. There is no reason to play those players.
The Royals are now 56-69. Tomorrow, they’ll go for the series in the rubber match, but because of their pitcher, they have very little chance to do so, as Mike Minor pitches in a game only on streaming on YouTube. Jeremy Guthrie, who almost certainly would be a better choice to start the game at pitcher, will serve as an announcer. First pitch is at 1:10.