The Royals won a miraculous game last night. The Royals have led at the end of only 33 out of 190 innings played so far this year. Last night they led at the end of only two innings, but one of those was the ninth inning and so they walked away with a miraculous win.
One of the most frustrating things about the 2023 Royals isn’t just that they keep losing, but that they are so very rarely even in the running. Only Oakland has fewer wins. Only the Athletics have a worse run differential. Only the Tigers and Athletics have a worse Pythagorean record, which uses a formula based on run differentials to attempt to describe the record a team should have if luck were removed or at least reduced. The Royals are in bad shape.
Still, they won last night. And, in fairness to them, they’ve played some very good teams to start the year. Believe it or not, they’re actually 3-2 against the only teams they’ve played that are currently below .500 (The Giants and the Angels.) Atlanta, Minnesota, and Texas are all leading their divisions. The Blue Jays, in the very difficult AL East, are fourth in their division but have a better record than the Twins. Things may look very different once Kansas City gets to play some weaker teams.
They can start on that path, today. They beat the Giants in that series and they can win the series with the Angels if they can defeat Anaheim of Los Angeles today.
The Royals will send out their most expensive free agent acquisition of the most recent off-season to get it done. Jordan Lyles has lived up to his billing, unfortunately, eating lots of innings but giving up plenty of runs. He is 0-3 with a 4.62 ERA. But he has a chance to turn things around today against a roster that somehow has two of the best to ever play the game and can’t muster enough talent around them to ever win anything.
The Angels will counter with Reid Detmers. Detmers has made three starts so far this season and also hasn’t won a game. His starts have also been shorter and not otherwise much more successful with a 4.50 ERA. The rest of the good news is that while he’s only made one start against KC in his career he did give up five runs in five innings while taking a no-decision against KC last June. The Royals eventually won that slugfest 12-11. Matt Duffy was playing for the Angels then and went one-for-four with a walk. Here’s hoping KC can find some of that same magic again.
Catcher Freddy Fermin gets his first Major League action of 2023 today, as well. He’s still searching for his first big-league hit. So that might bring some excitement even if the Royals are otherwise as bad as they have been recently.