If the Kansas City Royals could have asked for something better than Johnny Cueto‘s performance on Wednesday night, they got it in spades yesterday from Edinson Volquez. He erased a chunk of his previous postseason records, where he had given up 12 runs in his previous 12 1/3 innings.
Hitting 97 on the gun, he was living on the edge all night, getting call after call from the home plate umpire, Tony Randazzo. When a pitcher is getting both, what were the Toronto batters thinking by not hacking all night at a pitch located there?
Curt Schilling immediately started tweeting that if the pitcher gets an edge. “Any time an ump will call a ball a strike you keep throwing it. Outer edge is wide, use it,” he said. That home plate umpire would not be likely to change his strike zone in the middle of the game. Of the five Ks Volquez recorded last night, four were called.
A piddly three hits the Jays got all night, a meager two off of Volquez who lasted six innings. But he somehow survived a 29 minute, 37 pitch sixth inning. The Jays had nary an extra hit game all night.
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Volquez gave up a walk in the first to Jose Bautista. Three up and three down in the second. A walk in the third. In the fourth, he finally “surrendered” a single to Chris Colabello. A second single went to Ryan Goins in the fifth. No more hits for the Jays against the Volquez.
But the sixth was almost scary. Josh Donaldson and Bautista opened with the usually deadly walks. Then the Jays’ world then come caving in as Volquez steadied himself. That Jays’ offense suddenly went limp under Volquez’ glare. Edwin Encarnacion struck out looking. Colabello lined out to Gordon. Phew. Then Tulo down with 3 strikes. Rung up by the umpire.
Eddy was done for the night. He had to be mentally exhausted, but his rubber arm lasted yet another six innings. This time, with the Jays putting a Canadian zed up on the board for runs.
At this point, the Royals were up 3 to nothing. The Jays looked worse than the Astros, like yesterdays news. Although at this point, it is only one game in the books for the Royals. What a glorious Royal night? Third post-season game in a row. No need to come back tonight.
After the game, Volquez said,”The fans give me a lot of energy. I think seeing all those fans in the stands, calling my name, ‘Eddie, Eddie, Eddie,’ and I was like, ‘Come on, I have to do it for them.’ And I did it.”
Ned waxed poetic on the Ed: “Eddie was superb today, had everything going on, had his great fastball, locating well, really good curveball, really nice changeups, on the attack from the first inning on.”
The Dominican Republic saw their Pedrito do a darn good Pedro imitation last night, and with that outing, the Kansas City Royals are one step closer to returning to the World Series.