Don’t look now, but, in fun with arbitrary endpoints, the Royals have five of their last nine games. That includes walking off the Guardians last night when Vinnie Pasquantino missed a homer by a couple of feet and Michael A. Taylor brought home pinch-runner Edward Olivares.
Today the Royals will try to win their first series against the Guardians since September 20-21 of last year when they swept a doubleheader and lost the next day. They will send Jonathan Heasley to the mound. Heasley hasn’t won a game in nearly a month when he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Orioles on June 10. Last week’s outing saw him give up only a single earned run in six innings but also saw him walk two against only three strikeouts, a ratio that will not long carry a pitcher in the big leagues. He also pitched against Cleveland earlier this season and earned a quality start in what would ultimately be a Royals loss to The Corps.
That’s my new nickname for the Cleveland Guardians, they need something after their team name change to represent their new identity and maybe I’ve played too much Final Fantasy XIII, but I think that sounds good, so I’m going to try and make it happen at least as hard as Ryan LeFebvre has tried to make “Junior” happen.
Cleveland will counter with Triston Mackenzie. The lanky right-hander has rebounded from his walk troubles of last year but seems to have lost his ability to strike guys out as both numbers have dipped more than two per nine innings since last season. McKenzie has nonetheless been effective. He did face the Royals one this year, but it was in a relief appearance during the season’s opening series. He pitched three innings and gave up two runs and took the loss. Hopefully, he’ll do something like that again.