There was one play in tonight’s game that exemplified what the Royals hope to be in the future. With runners on the corners and one out in the third inning, the Royals were behind 1-0 to the Mariners. Starting pitcher Brady Singer, 26, coaxed a ground ball out of Mitch Haniger. The slow chopper reached second baseman Michael Massey, 24, rookie, who tossed it to shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., 22, rookie. Witt ran across second base before uncorking a sidearm throw to first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino, 24, rookie.
Then, in the bottom of the inning, the Royals got RBIs from a single off the bat of Nate Eaton, 25, rookie, and a single off the bat of MJ Melendez, 23, rookie.
The theme of tonight’s 5-1 victory of the Mariners was fantastic performances from the young players on the roster. All five runs were driven in by rookies, and Singer’s amazing performance is just more evidence that he’s taken the next step into becoming an All-Star level starter.
Singer didn’t quite have his best stuff early, but he was assisted by his defense and settled in. Going seven strong innings, Singer got strikeouts in five separate innings—including the fourth, where he worked out of another two-on and one-out situation by simply punching out Jarred Kelenic and Jesse Winker. Singer struck out eight Mariners and walked only two. On the season, he lowered his ERA to a sterling 2.99. But it’s even better than that, because, as David Lesky pointed out, his starter ERA this year is down to 2.79.
Here’s your updated Singer in the rotation numbers:— David Lesky (@DBLesky) September 24, 2022
138 K (24.3%)
33 BB (5.8%)
His season ERA is down to 2.99. The transformation this year has been tremendous and just amazing for the #Royals moving forward.
Those are ace numbers, just truly impressive dominance from a guy who had flashes but didn’t quite fulfill his promise.
The fifth inning was another impressive tour de force from the rookies. Melendez led off with his second hit of the day, and Witt crushed a line drive double at 104.1 MPH to the outfield. Melendez scored from first, and Witt then came around on a nice opposite-field single from Pasquantino. And in the seventh inning, Pasquantino hit another opposite field single to score Salvador Perez.
To close out the game, the bullpen did their job, continuing a quietly excellent September. Dylan Coleman had the eighth inning and struck out two. Scott Barlow had the ninth inning and struck out one. Funny what happens when your starter lasts six or seven innings—you can use just a few relievers. Who’d have thunk it!
And in winning against the Mariners tonight, the Royals have won four games in a row for the first time all year. It seems we might avoid 100 losses after all (maybe).