I’m old enough to remember a time when a Zack Greinke vs Chris Sale matchup would have been a premier pitching battle. Neither pitcher is what he once was as Father Time has beaten them both into submission, as always happens. Instead, the two once-great pitchers will be duking it out to see who can survive the longest for teams that are both well out of contention for their divisions.
Of more note to Royals fans than the pitching matchup will be the lineup. It lacks multiple starters as was once traditional for Sunday games. Kyle Isbel, Drew Waters, Freddy Fermin, Matt Beaty, MJ Melendez, and Michael Massey are all getting the day off. This will be Isbel’s second straight day off. Massey had three hits last night, including a pair of doubles. Melendez, who always hits the Red Sox well, had Friday night off and also had three hits last night, including a home run. Matt Duffy will start at first. At least Edward Olivares is the DH instead of playing the field.
In short, if a Royals lineup were developed by a group of experts to be as uninspiring as possible, they’d be hard-pressed to outdo this one.
It does still have Bobby Witt Jr., Maikel Garcia, and Nelson Velazquez. So at least there’s that. It also features rookie Nick Loftin. The Royals' number-five prospect made his debut Friday night with a pair of hits and a walk as the designated hitter. Today he will take the field for the Royals as a defender for the first time.
P.S. Yeah, I forgot that the Royals actually won Friday night. They’ve lost 95 games this season, can you blame me for forgetting one of their few wins?