Starter D.J. Carrasco looked great on Tuesday, pitching the Royals first nine inning complete game of the season. He cruised through the middle innings, at one point retiring 16 in a row. That he finished the evening throwing 111 pitches and getting 17 ground ball outs (10 of them to his shortstop) only illustrates how well he was pitching. I know that SBC Park favors the pitchers, but if you’re going to get that many groundballs, it really doesn’t matter where you pitch. Your chances for success are well above average.
With Wednesday’s starter Ruynelvys Hernandez struggling, Zack Greinke’s recent problems and Lima being Lima, Carrasco, for the time being, is the Royals most dependable starter.
The catalyst in the Royals exploding for eight runs was lead-off batter Angel Berroa. He singled leading off the first, singled leading off the third and tripled leading off the fifth. Each time, he came around to score. Really, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Nobody in baseball strikes out fewer batters than the Giants’ Kirk Rueter. He averages about 3 K per 9 IP for his career. Naturally, I was nervous last night that somehow, he would figure out how to be a strikeout pitcher. The Royals handled him perfectly, working the count, finding a good pitch and swinging away. Rueter finished the night without a strikeout while allowing ten Royal baserunners out of 23 batters faced in 4.1 innings.
The Royals are now 5-2 under Buddy Bell. (An aside: I will never, ever refer to Royals baseball as “BuddyBall.”) It’s a nice bounce, but the Royals really need to perform well on this short, six-game road trip. They’re up against the Giants who are struggling and the Diamondbacks who are fading as well. If the Royals return to K.C. next week after going 4-2, would you be happy? I would.
Draft Day Odds and Ends
• In their projection of the first round, Baseball America nailed the first 18 picks. 18 picks!!! Uh, I think those guys know their stuff.
• According to Baseball America, the Royals called Justin Upton shortly before the draft began to tell him if he fell to number two, he would be wearing Royal blue.
• I’ll try to track down some good Alex Gordon links and post them later this morning.