In classic Kansas City Royals fashion, the team was already losing when Vinnie Pasquantino, top prospect and burgeoning fan favorite, stepped to the plate for the first time in the first game of his big league career. By the second time he came to the plate, the game was out of hand, the Rangers having chased Royals starting pitcher Jon Heasley from the game already and having amassed a 7-1 lead over Kansas City.
The Royals would eventually go on to lose 8-3, but Lesky had it right after that fourth inning:
This team is rancid ass.— David Lesky (@DBLesky) June 29, 2022
Vinnie was fine. He hammered the first pitch he saw with an exit velocity of 105.6 MPH—the second hardest hit ball of the night—but he did so straight into the ground for a double play. On his next plate appearance, he worked deep into the count and hit a ball at 98.4 MPH, but this too was a ground ball. He hit fly balls the next two times up, but he didn’t strike out and he looked plenty comfortable.
In other news, Kyle Isbel got his first home run of the year on a terribly located middle-middle fastball from Jose Leclerc. He sent it into right-center field, a no-doubter. Isbel has been hitting the ball hard all year without much result, so it was nice to see him there.
Kyle Isbel hits his first long ball of the year.— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) June 29, 2022
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Stream: https://t.co/wRIUzeqrQD#Royals pic.twitter.com/8CLmWa0Rcz
Jon Heasley was not worth writing about. He continues to walk too many and fail to go deep enough into starts. The rest of the Royals lineup was also not worth writing about, with 8 strikeouts and only a pair of walks. The middle of the lineup—including Pasquantino, as well as the slumping MJ Melendez and Hunter Dozier—didn’t produce, accruing zero hits in 12 plate appearances and only one walk. But that’s going to happen sometimes with youngsters.
The pitching is the real problem, but that’s an institutional problem that’s here to stay. Kansas City has given up five or more runs in each of the last four games, all of which have been losses. The Royals are so bad that a four-game losing streak doesn’t even register.
The Royals stand at 21 games below .500 at 26-47, just a complete embarrassment. Thankfully, they took another step towards being interesting today. That’s worth something.