Series Q&A with Climbing Tal’s Hill


May 8, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) and right fielder Brandon Barnes (2) celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Angels in the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City concludes its six-game road trip in Houston after two series on the west coast through Anaheim and Oakland. The Royals will face the newest American League team in the Astros so we thought it be appropriate to chat with Climbing Tal’s Hill senior editor Greg Thurston.

Kings of Kauffman – How have fans adjusted to new play-by-play voice Robert Ford who use to host the pre and post game on Royals flagship?

Climbing Tal’s Hill – I can’t speak for all fans but I think Ford has done a good job. His delivery is smooth and accurate but he has a few “go to” terms that he repeats too often. I think he will get better with experience and we at CTH like him because he was kind enough to come on our podcast.

KOK – Houston not only is making the jump to the AL but to one of the tougher divisions how are fans adjusting?

CTH – Fans were not at all happy about the move and some have gone as far as boycotting the team. The transition has been tough for both the team and the fans.

KOK – Follow-up to question two, were fans in favor/liking being in the AL long term?

CTH – Short answer: no. But after kicking and screaming in the beginning, I have actually come around. It gives us a chance to see a lot of great teams and players that we didn’t get to see in the National League.

KOK – Who are the starters this coming week and Royals fans should look at?

CTH – Left-hander Dallas Keuchel gets the start on Monday. Keuchel has bounced between AAA and the majors a couple of times this season but has pitched well in his last two starts. Bud Norris is slated to start Tuesday. Norris left his last start with back spasms so it’s hard to say what we should expect from him. If he can’t get deep into the game look for Paul Clemens or Jose Cisnero to work in long relief. Jordan Lyles goes on Wednesday. Since being called up, Lyles has had three decent starts and one bad one. The Astros will be looking for him to get past the fifth inning, something he has yet to do this season.

KOK – Series predictions?

CTH – I’m going to predict the Royals will win games one and three with Guthrie and Shields on the mound. The Astros should be able to take the middle game against Wade Davis.

Here’s the other part of the Q&A at Climbing Tal’s Hill

Pitching Match-ups and game times –

Monday: Jeremy Guthrie v. (5-1, 2.82) v. Dallas Keuchel (0-1, 4.82), 7:05 pm/FSKC & 610 Sports
Tuesday:  Wade Davis (3-3, 5.98) v. Bud Norris (4-4, 4.32), 7:05 pm/FSKC & 610 Sports
Wednesday:  James Shields (2-4, 2.45) v. Jordan Lyles (1-1, 6.63), 7:05 pm/FSKC & 610 Sports