First Weekend…At a Glance
This past weekend the Royals took the series from the Angels by winning the rubber game yesterday, 7-3. With the help of solid starting pitching and some nice hitting performances, the Royals left Los Angeles on a high note. As I was watching the games, there were many great things I saw as well as some pretty lackluster performances. I don’t want to put too much emphasis on Alex Gordon‘s hitting, or lack thereof. I believe Gordon will be just fine and getting all worked up over three games just seems like a waste of time.
The most impressive thing I took from this series was how well the Royals hit two pretty darn good starters from the Halos. On Saturday they roughed up Dan Haren for 5 earned in 5.1 innings pitched. They also recorded 11 hits against the usually dominant righty. On Sunday, the hitting continued from Saturday into the first inning. Billy Butler capped a 3-run first with his first homerun of the season. Ervin Santana allowed 5 earned through 5.2 innings pitched on Sunday and he and Haren both allowed 2 homeruns a piece. I think there’s something to be said about what this lineup is capable of producing on a daily basis. This offense might very well be on its way of becoming one of the most feared lineups in the American League*.
*As I am writing this the Royals are currently getting shutout by Tom Milone, granted Gordon and Mike Moustakas aren’t playing.
The downside of things from this weekend was the base running and the bullpen. As I’m watching the game against the A’s right now they have continued the trend of bad base running. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of focus or some bad luck but this team can’t afford to give up free outs. The strength of this team was supposed to be the bullpen and right now it has looked like the weakest link. Almost every reliever so far has had a forgettable outing. I’m also not too fond of some of the moves Manager Ned Yost has made in regards to the bullpen. I am certainly not a believer of Tim Collins being used as a left-handed specialist, which seems to be his role through the first few games. It was nice to see Jonathan Broxton come in the 9th on Sunday and shut the door on the Angels by striking out the side.
The season is still very young and there is nothing to worry about at this point. Alex Gordon will be on his way to breaking out of his funk and many of the bullpen arms will have strong seasons. It would be icing on the cake if the starters kept up their strong outings throughout most of the year, but being a realist I don’t see that being the case. It would be great to see this team end the west coast trip with a 5-1 or 4-2 record as they head back to Kansas City for the home opener on Friday against Cleveland. With that being said things seem to be shaping up to make for a great home stand at “The K”.
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