There was a time, not so long ago, when all KC Royals fans wanted was a competent team to follow. But the 2014 playoff run changed everything in Royals-land. Now we’re dreaming much, much bigger, and the 2015 team appears more than capable of delivering the goods.
Saturday night’s contest in Anaheim was a dandy, from where I sat. Jered Weaver (0-2 / 8.71 ERA) started for the Angels, and fortunately bore little resemblance to the perennial Cy Young award contender who once dominated opposing hitters. He lasted only 4 & 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits (including Home Runs to Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez), four walks, and six runs.
Weaver’s fastball topped out in the mid 80’s. And, as noted by the TV crew’s announcers, didn’t provide enough of a contrast with his off-speed stuff to be effective. So the Royals feasted.
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Jeremy Guthrie (1-0 / 5.14 ERA) started on the mound for KC. Like Weaver, he wasn’t particularly sharp, giving up six hits (including a solo Home Run to the first batter he faced – Kole Calhoun) and a walk. He allowed four runs through seven innings, before giving way to the best bullpen in baseball, which remains un-scored upon for the young season.
Wade Davis and Greg Holland (who earned his third save already this year) did their usual yeoman’s work. Moose and Sal went yard. The defense was sterling (they’ve yet to commit an error this season). The new guys — Kendrys Morales and Alex Rios — both contributed big hits. There was a lot to like tonight.
For those who like to worry, Alex Gordon didn’t look good at the plate. The wrist surgery he had in December slowed his start in spring training, and seems to have resulted in a bit of a slump to begin the year. But not to worry; most of his teammates appear in mid-season form.
This team is impressive. They’ve got a lot of fight and spirit to go along with plenty of talent and skill. The Vegas oddsmakers predicted a losing season for these Royals. I’m admittedly biased, but I think that’s absurd. These players are good, and they mean business.
The dream lives. 162-0 is still within reach.