Yordano Ventura is Facing the Biggest Start of his Career
By David Hill
The season for the Kansas City Royals hinges on the outcome of tonight’s contest. Down three games to two in the World Series, a loss tonight means that there is no tomorrow. Perhaps fittingly, given how the Royals had pinned their hopes for the future on their young talent, the fate of the 2014 season now rests upon the shoulders of Yordano Ventura.
Ventura, aside from his performance in the Wild Card game, has acquitted himself rather well in the playoffs. Taking out his disastrous third of an inning against Oakland, Ventura has posted a 3.50 ERA and a 1.222 WHiP, striking out ten batters while issuing only four walks. He has certainly stepped up for the Royals during the postseason.
Yordano Ventura also played the role of stopper for the Royals earlier in the World Series. After James Shields imploded in Game One, Ventura held the Giants to two runs on eight hits over his 5.1 innings of work. It may not have been his best start of the postseason, but it was enough for the Royals to earn the win and tie the series.
Call to the Pen
Now, the Royals need Ventura to, at the very least, replicate his performance in Game Two. The offense should have it’s chances against Jake Peavy, who they hit around for four runs on six hits and two walks in his previous appearance. In fact, the Royals have produced against Peavy throughout his entire career, as Peavy has a 4.97 ERA and a 1.380 WHiP against the Royals in his 14 regular season appearances against them.
If history repeats itself, then the Royals and Yordano Ventura may well find themselves in the perfect spot. Based on the Royals track record against Peavy, it would seem that they should be able to score a few runs tonight. All that Ventura would need to do, in that case, would be to keep the Giants in check through six innings, allowing the Royals bullpen to take over.
Of course, that may be easier said than done. As easy as it is to forget, Ventura is still a rookie, and is about to be placed in the biggest spot of his career. Yet, he has displayed amazing poise throughout his young career, as evidenced by his outings during the stretch run last year and his playoff performances this year. However, as good as he has pitched, Ventura has never been in this spot before.
Tonight will be the biggest start in Yordano Ventura’s young career. By all indications, he will be ready for it.