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Royals Rumblings - News for May 18, 2023

.500 in the last ten games

Kansas City Royals v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Aroldis Chapman threw the hardest pitch in Royals history in Tuesday’s win:

Strike three blew by Jake Cronenworth too fast for most to register, and all the Padres first baseman could do was watch it land hard in Royals catcher Freddy Fermin’s glove before walking back to the Padres dugout.

The 103.8 mph fastball from Royals reliever Aroldis Chapman was the fastest pitch in Royals history and matched Jordan Hicks for the fastest pitch in MLB this year.

It also couldn’t have come in a bigger spot, with the Royals hanging on by a run against this vaunted Padres lineup.

I hope some other team trades for him today.

Jaylon Thompson has both a big positive and negative from Tuesday’s win:

The Padres added four runs late to close the deficit. They were gift-wrapped two unearned runs due to errors from Royals outfielder MJ Melendez and second baseman Matt Duffy.

Melendez misplayed a single by Padres catcher Brett Sullivan. The ball skipped past Melendez and allowed Sullivan to advance to second base. One batter later, Tatis Jr. reached base after Duffy fumbled a routine ground ball. He overthrew first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino and allowed Sullivan to score.

Tatis scored after Cronenworth hit an RBI triple. Later in the game, Royals outfielder Nate Eaton attempted a diving catch that came up short. He tried to rob Padres designated hitter Matt Carpenter of a double in the sixth inning. The mistake led to another run scoring as Carpenter scored on a sacrifice fly later in the frame.

Much went right for Kansas City in last night’s win:

The Royals threw a bullpen game against a Padres lineup looking to break out of their offensive slump, but key pitches put the Royals on top. Carlos Hernández was electric in two scoreless innings to open the game for Mike Mayers, who worked around four walks in his first two innings before giving up a game-tying homer in the fifth.

Like Tuesday’s win, the Royals turned to Chapman in the seventh, Taylor Clarke in the eighth and Scott Barlow in the ninth for his sixth save of the season. It wasn’t as smooth as Tuesday; Chapman couldn’t find the zone and was offered a break when the fastball he sailed turned into an out at home.

“Getting out of it is exactly what we did in the seventh,” manager Matt Quatraro said.

Baseball America reviews Kansas City’s 2023 international class ($):

Dominican outfielder Tony Ruiz looked set to sign with the Red Sox, but a broken leg that required surgery in 2022 slowed his progress. He was still doing tryouts when the international signing period opened on Jan. 15, going on a stretch of hitting home runs off live pitching for different teams, including one to dead center at the Royals academy. The Royals later that week signed him for $1,197,500. Ruiz is 6-foot-3, 170 pounds at 17, exhibiting excellent bat speed and power for his age. He has broad shoulders and a lot of room to fill out, flashing plus raw power that could end up a plus-plus tool. Ruiz has a fluid swing and has shown the ability to crush fastballs for extra-base damage in games. He’s a corner outfielder whose offensive production should drive his value, with the arm strength that should fit in right field.

The Royals are getting a ton of offensive production from their catchers.

Juan Soto is looking like himself again.

Mookie Betts is having a great time playing shortstop.

Michael Kopech is not having a great time pitching.

Yankees starter Domingo Germán has received a ten-game suspension for sticky stuff. Far from the worst thing he has been suspended for.

Check out all these pitching injuries:

The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters over in Japan have incorporated a deep-v in some of their uniforms.

West Virginia and Clemson climb into single digits in this week’s college baseball Top 25.

The PGA Championship tees off this morning at Oak Hill.

The Miami Heat opened the Eastern Conference Finals with big road win over the heavily-favored Boston Celtics.

The NHL Conference Finals start tonight with the Florida Panthers taking on the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference.

Kansas City is getting a professional women’s basketball team.

The joro spider, which is spreading across the southeastern US, is perhaps the most timid species of spider on record.

Researchers are looking to use quantum vibrations to store information in quantum computers.

The Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA is really into chess.

Your song of the day is Broken Arrows by Avicii.