What a difference a week can make. When last we met together here, the Royals had just been swept by the Twins despite finally scoring their first runs of the season. Since then, they’ve gone 3-3 and have secured their first series victory of the season after taking the first two games from San Francisco this weekend. Today they look to secure their first sweep of the year. I can’t be bothered to figure out when their first sweep was last season, but it wasn’t this early, of that I am sure.
Kris Bubic will take the slab for KC. The much-maligned lefty looked like a completely different pitcher in his first outing and we can only hope he continues that trend today. The Giants boast a major league lineup, for sure, but it is nothing compared to the Murderers’ Row that the Blue Jays put out. If Bubic pitches as well today as he did then, his results should be significantly better.
The Giants will send out right-hander Anthony DeSclafani. As a career National Leaguer, he has never faced the Royals. Only Matt Duffy and Franmil Reyes have faced him before, with Reyes collecting the sole hit in his six at-bats. DeSclafani is primarily a slider/sinker pitcher. As you might expect, he gets a lot of outs on the ground. He gets a reasonable amount of strikeouts and almost never walks batters, so the Royals had best be prepared to swing today. If you can get him in the air, you can hit a home run off of him.
DeScalfani was very good for the Giants in 2021 but missed a good chunk of last season with an ankle injury that required surgery. He was also absolutely awful for the Reds in 2020. However, his first start of the season went very well with four strikeouts, no walks, and no runs allowed in six innings to earn his first win of the year against the White Sox.
Since DeSclafani is a righty, Hunter Dozier and Matt Duffy sit once again to allow lefties Michael Massey and Nicky Lopez to try their luck. For anyone who is curious, Hunter Dozier is already worth -0.3 bWAR or -0.4 fWAR in his eight games, seven starts on the season. Duffy, meanwhile, leads the position players with 0.3 fWAR. If you prefer bWAR, Kyle Isbel and Salvador Perez are tied for the lead there with 0.3.
Also, because I think a lot of people missed it yesterday, Sean Manaea and Blake Sabol became the first Samoan battery in MLB history. That’s pretty cool!
Kris Bubic heads to the mound as we aim for a sweep in San Francisco.#WelcomeToTheCity pic.twitter.com/VVkt0IKUVH— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 9, 2023
Playing ball on Easter afternoon— SFGiants (@SFGiants) April 9, 2023
⏰: 1:05 p.m. PT
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