Kansas City Royals: Strong Showing by Jason Hammel In Detroit

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 20: Jason Hammel
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 20: Jason Hammel /

The Kansas City Royals need to win a game. Luckily, they pulled out a win against Detroit in the second game of their doubleheader. Even better is if they could win a series.

Sure, that is an obvious statement but it is true. This is a team that rolled into Detroit on an eight-game losing streak and in desperate need of a confidence booster.  The Kansas City Royals went into Friday’s day-night doubleheader with a 3-13 record to start out the 2018 campaign.

Outside of Mike Moustakas, the offense has been almost non-existent as the Royals suffer from a lack of clutch hitting.  The bullpen is a disaster. Hard to get to closer Kelvin Herrera when the middle relief can’t hold a lead and some guys consistently get rocked in the process. With a better combination of the two, The Royals might have had a record closer to .500 going into the weekend.

However, that’s not the case. But one bright spot early in the season is the starting pitching. They have done their job keeping the Royals in the game as long as they could.

One perfect example of that was the outing by Jason Hammel on Friday afternoon. Good pitching is always fun to watch and the righty put on a show in Motown. Hammel went nine innings for only the second time in his career, allowing only two runs on five hits while striking out four.

The secret to his success had everything to do with the fastball and slider. Hammel was able to mix things up and locate those two pitches effectively against the Tigers. He still had nice control of the fastball in the ninth and finished the day at 101 pitches, 62 for strikes. The ERA drops down to 3.20 with a 1.18 WHIP.

Bottom line – Hammel threw a gem. You can’t ask for anything more than that.

Unfortunately, that lack of clutch hitting and everlasting bullpen issues continue to be a major problem as the Tigers got the 3-2 win in 10 innings. Reliever Brad Keller took over in the 10th and promptly gave up a walk-off homer. The Royals left 10 runners on base with a good chunk happening in the later innings of a tie game.

The team’s record now sits at 4-14 after Jakob Junis threw a gem of his own in the second game.

Related Story: Bullpen Struggles

What more needs to be said.

Despite the good work by the starting staff during the first month of the season, without a decent offense and a reliable bullpen, their efforts will continue to be wasted, just like on Friday afternoon.

What do you think Royals fan? Do you see anything other problems resulting in the horrible start? Let us know below!