Series Q&A (Game 2): Dodgers (42-36) at Royals (40-36)


Last night the Royals defeated the Dodgers 5-3 to open their interleague series against Los Angeles at Kauffman Stadium. Zack Greinke returned “home” and got roughed up and left to the Robinson Cano treatment after pitching.

Will Salvador Perez and the Royals offense show up for a second straight day against the Dodgers at Kauffman Stadium? Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday in the series preview we talked to Scott Andes co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair which was so enjoyable he wanted to keep the conversation going.

Kings of Kauffman – Reaction to losing game one with Greinke on the mound against his former team?
Lasorda’s Lair – Well it was pretty annoying, I’ll tell you that much. I’ve never seen Greinke allow that many runs before. That was by far his worst start of the year, I still think nerves may have played a part. Although I don’t doubt Greinke would never admit that. However the Dodger offense utterly gave up immediately after Perez hit the home run in the first inning. They do that often. Once they fall behind by one or two, or three runs in the first two or three innings, the lineup completely folds. It’s something we’ve seen this year Too often.

KOK – Explanation for LA being 18-20 at home while being 24-16 on the road this season
LL – This one I can’t explain. I have no idea why they suck so much at home, but are so good on the road. They’ve been like this for the last few years. It;s a strange recurring theme, In 2012 they played better on the road. In 2013, they were awful at home in the first half of the season. And in 2014, it’s much of the same. The only thing I can come up with is they just don’t see the ball well at Dodger Stadium. Which may explain why they can’t hit at home either. of course the Dodgers not hitting at home, is a primary reason they can’t win at home. Or haven’t been winning at home. We’re all hoping that trend turns around.

KOK – Clayton Kershaw pitches Tuesday what more can you tell us than the awesomeness we know?
LL – Well, he’s the greatest pitcher of our generation. I can tell you his utter domination over all opponents is a wonderful joy for Dodger fans. Kershaw’s excellence speaks for itself really. He is the most dominating pitcher in Baseball, and we knew he would be the one since the moment he debuted with the Dodgers. He could easily win several more Cy Young awards over the next several years. The man is a rare and unique talent. He’s also been working on a changeup, which he was developing in spring training. He doesn’t use it very often, but it’s just another weapon in his huge arsenal of pitches. He is the best pitcher in Baseball.

KOK – Amended series thoughts after game one?
LL –  Ughhh well, all we can hope for is that the Dodgers take the next two games. Going to be hard with Haren in game three, but the Dodgers should win in game two. The offense has to stop giving away at-bats with the lousy plate approaches, and oh I don’t know, maybe try a little harder?

KOK – Game two prediction
LL – I’ll say the Dodgers win 3-0. Kershaw throws another dominating performance, and the Dodgers even the series. I hope. (Fingers crossed)

I was then asked some questions and here are my answers.

LL – We noticed that the Royals have a very strong defensive club. Who are their best two defensive players on the club? and why?
KOK – Trying to name the two best defensive players on a club with three Gold Glove winners (Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez) from last year and probably could’ve had two more with Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain will be hard. Gordon in my bias opinion is the best left fielder in the game, he’s won three straight Gold Gloves and makes spectacular plays a habit plus teams usually don’t take extra bases off him. I’m going to cheat and say that number two is 2A, B and C why? Escobar, Hosmer and Perez are three valuable parts in their own ways. Escobar plays some of the best defense that you don’t hear about and saves runs with his play and has swung the bat well so far. Hosmer might be lost at the plate currently, however his glove is outstanding and like Esky saves runs which when you don’t score helps a lot. Sheriff Sal (yes a twitter nickname that me and another guy came up with) catches runners napping on the bases in addition to controlling the run game. So yes it’s tough with solid defenders around the diamond.

LL – We also noticed that the Royal’s catcher Perez can hit. How has he been with handling the Royal’s young pitching staff?
KOK – Pitchers like to throw to him which the only downside is that it’s hard to give the big guy a rest knowing that everyone likes throwing to him. I think he’s helped guys like Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura in addition to the James Shields, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie in the rotation. That’s not to say bullpen guys like Wade Davis and Greg Holland aren’t benefiting as well, Perez wasn’t a highly thought of prospect until he made it to double A and just took off.

LL – Do you think the Royals got proper value back in the Greinke trade? If you could do it all over again, would you still want to trade Greinke?
KOK – In bigger trades (which KC knows all about) you hope that you can get at least one guy back who can contribute when losing someone with Greinke’s talent. The Royals got two players who are now valuable starters in Cain and Escobar but also got Jake Odorizzi who was in the Shields trade plus another pitcher who is lord knows where. Zack wasn’t happy with how things were going and I don’t see how it been any different, he’s a peacock that KC had to let fly.

LL – Do you think the Royals will try and acquire a power bat during the trade deadline? And if so, who do you like that could be available?
KOK – We all hope that Dayton Moore goes out and tries to upgrade right field or even third base with a bat instead of “hoping” Billy Butler and Hosmer rediscover how to hit the ball. This team needs more consistent hitters on the team then they’ve been getting so far so if GMDM can find it I hope he goes for it, we’re starved for playoff baseball.

LL – What’s the scouting report on Duffy? What’s his best pitch?
KOK – Duffy, throws hard and can waste a lot of pitches which results in shorter outings but the last month he’s done a better job going six to seven innings. No doubt his fast ball is where his bread is buttered but his change-up and curve ball have improved since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Tonight’s pitching match: Clayton Kershaw/LHP (7-2, 2.52) v. Danny Duffy/LHP (4-6, 2.80)
Game is on FSKC with Royals Live at 6:30 pm and first pitch at 7:10 pm followed up with the postgame show.