Both starting pitchers in Saturday afternoon’s contest between the Royals (Aaron Brooks) and Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman) in beautiful, cosmopolitan Toronto, ON, were first-timers. Both also made their MLB debuts earlier this season in relief appearances.
Stroman was fantastic. But Brooks was truly remarkable. In an epic first-time starter performance, he walked the first batter he faced, hit the second, gave up a double to the third, walked the fourth, gave up a single to the fifth, hit the sixth, gave up another double to the seventh, walked the eighth, before finally recording his first out on a double play hit into by the ninth batter – center fielder Anthony Gose, who inexplicably swung at the first two pitches he saw.
By the time the first-inning carnage was over, the Royals would be down 7-0, and Aaron Brooks would be getting first crack at the hot water – relieved by Michael Mariot (heir to the hotelier fortune, with the traditional old-world spelling of the name…or not).
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Don’t let ‘em get you down, kid. Aaron Brooks was a big league starting pitcher for at least one day in his life. It may never happen again, and your ERA might forever be stuck at 43.88, but that’s already more than the overwhelming majority of us will ever achieve in our wretched, pathetic lives.
During his pre-game show, Ned said the Royals brain-trust advised him Brooks was the best choice from our minor league stable for a one-off start in place of sore-elbowed (but not on the ulnar side) Yordano Ventura. Way to distance yourself from the outcome in advance, Ned. Good management always know how to position in a plausible way to deflect blame for everything bad that happens, while simultaneously maneuvering to accept credit for everything good that occurs. Very reassuring to the fan base to see our leaders at the top of their games.
Toronto continued to batter the Royals mercilessly, showing no mercy at all, and led 11-1 by the end of the fourth inning on eleven hits (four doubles), three walks, and two HPB.
Stroman, listed at 5′ 9″ and 185 lbs, looked very good, and pitched well, too. He gave up just one run on five hits while striking out six Royals (no walks) in six innings of work. Well done, for a little guy. Don’t let it even remotely enter your mind that you’re not likely to face a more accommodating offense the rest of the season.
Speaking of little guys, Tim Collins pitched three scoreless innings in relief, striking out three – if you’re looking for something positive from this game.
Butler continues to hit singles. Nobody can turn more doubles into singles than Billy. But it does bode well for a hot streak that might contain a little power in the near future.
Another observation: Nori Aoki does not look good on defense. If we’re going to get middling offense with no power anyway, why not go with Dyson to combine with Cain and Gordon to at least give us what might be the best outfield defense in baseball, if nothing else? Our pitchers need good D in order to thrive.
The fourth and final game of the series takes place tomorrow afternoon at 12:07 PM – KC time.