It wasn’t a good series for the Royals overall, but Sunday afternoon was a bright spot, thanks to a handful of youngsters. Brady Singer was superb, firing six shutout innings as the Royals shut down the Dodgers, winning 4-0 to salvage the last game of a series loss.
Brady Singer, who has been fabulous since returning from Omaha earlier this year, had another outstanding outing today. He held the Dodgers’ high-powered offense to one single hit over six blank innings, striking out seven and walking three. Singer’s ERA is down to 3.29 and his WAR is over 2.5 for the season. He appears to be a virtual lock to be this team’s Opening Day starter in 2023. In a season with lots of frustrating moments for the pitching, he has been a ray of light.
The Dodgers, by the way, were on a 12-game winning streak, or, as Steve Physioc put it on the radio, “a 12-game hitting streak.” That is history now. Good job Royals!
Amir Garrett had a scoreless seventh inning that featured a leadoff walk and then three straight strikeouts, with plenty of flair and emotion worked in there. Dylan Coleman got two outs and Scott Barlow got the final four. The entire pitching staff held the Dodgers to just two hits and struck out 14 batters.
The offense: a Sal Perez RBI double in the first, a Vinnie Pasquantino RBI single in the third, a Kyle Isbel infield, two-out RBI single in the sixth, and a titanic Pasquantino home run off Craig Kimbrel in the eighth. The Royals had eight hits - Pasquantino had three and Michael A. Taylor had two.
Somebody who didn’t get any hits was Hunter Dozier, who continues to suck enormous eggs, as he has for all of the last three years. Dozier struck out twice and grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in the third. But since he is Mike Matheny’s favorite person of all time, you can count on him batting way too high once again tomorrow, all while running around like a dope in the field at whatever position they put him at.
Other notes: Brent Rooker walked and went 0-for-2. Nate Eaton made a spectacular diving catch in right field in the early innings. Bobby Witt’s defense, by comparison, continues to be questionable. And Michael A. Taylor’s OBP is up to .340, which is really good. If only he could hit for any power at all. Though compared to Nicky Lopez (.284 SLUGGING), he’s Jim Thome in his prime.
Pasquantino is a monster in the making, by the way. He is the real deal and I am all in. I love his approach. His power has translated beautifully to the big league level. And he’s in a major groove as of late, hitting three home runs in the last week.
Never forget that Dayton Moore waited until the Royals were 26-46 to get Vinnie Pasquantino, AAA’s home run leader, to the big-league team. Every fan in the world knew Pasquantino should have been up in early May if there was space for guys like Ryan O’Hearn on the roster. Dayton didn’t. What a fool!
Also, MJ Melendez was scratched for some reason, but even though we never got an explanation why, he appeared in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter. It is completely unacceptable for this team in this position to put out a lineup where Nick Pratto, MJ Melendez, and Michael Massey are all riding the bench. They all need to play every single day. Allow me to make this very easy for Mike Matheny:
Bobby Witt Jr, MJ Melendez, Nick Pratto, Vinnie Pasquantino, Kyle Isbel, Michael Massey, and Nate Eaton need to play every single day. Obviously, Salvador Perez needs to be in your lineup as well, so that anchors down eight spots. Nicky Lopez can play shortstop most days. Michael A. Taylor needs to serve as a fourth outfielder when the young guys need a day off. And Hunter Dozier should be a reserve utility guy that should not get regular playing time. Play the young guys. There is absolutely zero reason to play Dozier and Taylor over anyone that you think could be a part of your long-term plans.
Of course, Cardinals fans tried to tell us that Mike Matheny sucked at stuff like this, but Dayton Moore was like “That’s my guy!” So here we are.
The win: Singer, 6-4. Scott Barlow gets credited for his 19th save, since he entered in the eighth with a three-run lead. The Royals tagged Tyler Anderson with just his second loss in 15 decisions this year.
The Royals are 48-68. They’re .500 since Vinnie Pasquantino got called up! They hit the road next, as Kris Bubic opens up a set at Minnesota, beginning Monday evening.