For those who haven’t heard, the Cleveland Baseball Team will be known as the Cleveland Guardians, named after iconic art deco sculptures in downtown Cleveland, starting in 2022. Some people and some groups, such as our SB Nation sister site Covering the Corner, are already using the name this year. However, for tonight, the professional baseball team in Cleveland was simply the Cleveland Amed Rosarios as its namesake outperformed the entire Royals offense in a 7-2 road win over Kansas City.
The starting pitcher for the Royals tonight was Jake Junis, pitching in his first game since June 3 thanks to an undisclosed injury. Junis entered the year with high hopes thanks to a spicy new cutter that he added to his arsenal with the help of his brother, Noah. Though Junis’ final line tonight didn’t look particularly great—four hits and three runs in 4.2 innings—he was actually quite effective. Junis struck out six, managing to get a strikeout with four separate pitches: his cutter, slider, fastball, and curveball. He did this while only walking one.
In fact, one could argue that all three of Junis’ “earned runs” weren’t entirely his fault. The first came solely off the, um, glove of Edward Olivares, who so wildly misplayed a Rosario fly ball that Rosario got himself the easiest inside-the-park home run you’ll ever see.
When was the last time you saw this? A stand-up inside the park home run!— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) September 1, 2021
Amed Rosario has wheels! pic.twitter.com/8zNUzpJ0TO
Olivares, by the way, had a career outfield DRS of -6 and a career outfield UZR of -1.4 in 377.1 innings entering tonight. Royals fans have been clamoring for him to get regular playing time, but after multiple embarrassing flubs in right field, the Royals’ decision to stuff him in Omaha for most of the year looks better and better.
In any case, the second and third runs charged to Junis came after he left the game in the fifth inning, when Mike Matheny elected to use the flotsam known as Joel Payamps in relief with men on base. As you might expect for a guy with a career 5.40 ERA in Triple-A across three organizations, Payamps left a hanging slider for—who else—Rosario to slap for a two-run single. On the day, Rosario notched four hits (two of which were home runs) which, until the eighth inning, was double the output of the entire Royals squad here. Rosario also accrued five RBIs, a dominant day for the
established slugger career 91 wRC+ hitter.
As for the Royals offense, well, you don’t need to spend another though towards them today. They were awful, sans a 110 MPH lineout by Salvador Perez and a nice opposite-field double by Nicky Lopez. Three hits, seven strikeouts, and zero walks in the first eight innings just won’t cut it. The Royals tacked on a pair of garbage time runs, but it didn’t matter other than for morale purposes.
The Royals face the Cleveland Amed Rosarios again tomorrow. They are now 59-72.