The Royals have a chance to win a series! Kansas City has a shot at its 2nd series win of the season after getting its 2nd home win of the season last night in the most complete win of the season.
Vinnie Pasquantino dominated with three extra-base hits, including a homer. Zack Greinke dealt and the Royals shut the Orioles out.
We should take a moment to appreciate Vinnie. It’s a long season and he’s still early in his career, but the Royals have not stumbled upon a hitter like him often. He has been, what some might call, raking as of late. Well, as of the second he stepped on a professional baseball field.
Here’s what he’s been doing, along with his projected numbers at his current pace.
He has especially been raking in his last 50 games.
Vinnie Pasquantino has reached base safely in 47 of his last 50 games. During that span (since Sept. 15, 2022), he ranks among the MLB leaders (min. 200 PA) in:— Nick Kappel (@NickKappel) May 4, 2023
*AVG (.337, 1st)
*OBP (.425, 2nd to Nimmo)
*OPS (.968, 3rd to Trout & Acuña Jr.)
That’s not just Royals raking. That’s not Billy Butler raking. That’s league-best raking.
Back to this potential series win, Kansas City faces an uphill battle, sending Jordan Lyles to the mound, a pitcher in dire straights. He has lost five of his first six starts, has the 5th worst ERA in baseball, and has the 7th worst xERA among pitchers with at least 100 batted balls against.
I have generally been one to encourage Royals fans to give this new front office a chance. I know Picollo was an internal hire, but they immediately went after a Tampa Bay Rays disciple at manager, and made sweeping changes to the coaching staff, as well as the organizational philosophy. And we already see the fruit of that in bits and pieces, specifically in Kansas City minor league arms throwing a ton of strikes seemingly overnight.
However, the signing of Lyles immediately soured me. It is a vintage Dayton Moore Signing™, meaning the Royals overpaid for an older pitcher who has never been good at any point in his career, hoping he might magically become good. I guess to bring in veteran stability? Oh yeah, to bring in veteran stability.
Since giving up a single earned run in 5+ innings in his Opening Week start, he’s given up five, four, three, four, and seven earned runs in five starts. That’s good for a 6.90 ERA.
He will face rookie righty and former first-round pick Grayson Rodriguez, who has had mixed results in his first season in Baltimore, but shown flashes of his ability. That was especially evident in his last start, giving up no runs across five innings of work while striking out nine Detroit Tigers.
Here are your lineups for today’s game.