Since the Royals went on their miraculous seven-game winning streak they have lost 10 of 14 games. Sure, that means they’ve still gone 11-10 over their last 21 games but what once felt like a turning point has revealed itself fully to have been a mirage.
Jordan Lyles has done his part, losing one start and taking a no-decision in the other since the streak ended by giving up 10 earned runs in only 13 innings. In his last start, against the Mariners, he gave up four home runs. All in a single inning. He escaped with a no-decision because the offense, which has looked significantly improved of late, came back and tied the game before eventually falling in extra innings.
The Royals will be without starting third baseman Maikel Garcia for the second straight game after the return of his upper body discomfort injury. He has not been placed in the IL and no additional comment has been made by the team at the time of this writing. Matt Duffy and Matt Beaty will start at the corners today in order to afford both him and Freddy Fermin the day off. Devin Mann, Nick Loftin, and others continue to languish in the minors to allow these journeyman utility players to continue to collect major league at-bats.
Kyle Hendricks, erstwhile Cubs ace, will take the mound for Chicago. The 33-year-old may not be as good as he once was, but he's still been plenty competent for the Cubs this season, amassing a 4.00 ERA and 4.11 FIP in 16 starts. Still, he has only one shutout appearance this season, an eight-inning outing against the Giants back in April. He doesn’t walk many but gives up his share of hits, which should favor the boys in blue.