Sep 17, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Yordano Ventura is four starts into his major league career. Despite his relative inexperience, the Kansas City Royals need Ventura to step in as the stopper as they seek to get back on the winning side of the ledger.
After being swept by the Minnesota Twins in a series that saw the Royals score fewer runs (five) than James Shields allowed (seven), they now look to Ventura to right the ship against the Houston Astros. While the Astros are an improved team over last year’s team that lost 111 games, they are still expected to be amongst the worst teams in baseball this year.
Coming off a truly dominant performance against the Tampa Bay Rays where he allowed only two hits while striking out six over six innings, Yordano Ventura should have a much easier time against the Astros. With his fastball averaging an insane 99.53 MPH in his previous start, and reaching as high as 102.86 MPH, it is hoped that Ventura can step in and put the Royals back on track.
In fact, Ventura may be the symbol of hope for Royals fans, and not just in tonight’s game. After years of seeing top pitching prospects fail to pan out, Ventura appears as though he may be the one that actually lives up to the hype. Ventura could be the Royals first legitimate home grown top of the rotation pitcher since Zack Greinke, a player that could front the rotation for years to come.
While the future for Yordano Ventura appears bright, the present does as well. For the Royals, and their fans, that present will hopefully involve another dominating start tonight, keeping the Astros off the board as the offense will hopefully be able to manufacture the four runs that seem to need to win. Should that happen, and the Royals win the series against the Astros, the disappointment of last weekend could quickly fade away.
To paraphrase Princess Leia: Save the Royals Yordano Ventura! You are our best hope!