The KC Royals have plenty of takeaways from this season, but the most impressive might be the unforeseen turnaround from the bullpen.
The KC Royals will end the season with a losing record. While they still might not be mathematically out of the postseason, their chances are incredibly slim. Still, the Royals are not a team known for giving up, even when the season will not result in postseason play.
The Royals kicked off their second to last series of the season Monday night against their Missouri rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. Unlike the Royals, the Cardinals are still looking at a possible postseason slot. The Royals, though, could make that fight much more difficult.
If the Royals can stay hot and pull off a few more wins, the Cardinals would find themselves slipping further and further away from any small lead they might have and competing with multiple teams for a spot in October.
While the wins still won’t help the Royals much this season, the confidence it could bring for the young players especially could be exactly what they need to propel them into a productive offseason and start next season on the right path.
If the next two games of the series go as Monday nights did, fans can expect good pitching, and hopefully some noise from the offense.
The Royals won Monday’s game 4-1. Alex Gordon batted in Maikel Franco with a ground out to second to tie the game at 1-1 in the 5th. Franco answered in the 6th with a single to bat in Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez. Then in the 8th, Jorge Soler, finally back in the lineup, provided some extra space, doubling to left and allowing Adalberto Mondesi to score.
It’s always good to see this team bat in runs as the bats seem to be quiet too often this season. Like many other games, though, the hot topic in Monday’s contest was the pitching.
Carlos Hernandez started the game for Kansas City. The rookie gave up a solo homer to Matt Carpenter in the 2nd for St. Louis’s only run of the game. Hernandez went 3.2 innings, with 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, and pitched 72 innings.
Hernandez has only a small sample size for the season but has done well in his first major league experience. He is sitting with a 3.46 ERA over 13.0 innings and has struck out 10 and walked 5. He still struggles with control, but that’s not totally unexpected for a young, fresh arm from A ball.
Backing him up were Jake Newberry, Scott Barlow, Josh Staumont, Jesse Hahn, and Greg Holland. All pitched good innings with no walks, 5 combined strikeouts, and only 2 hits.
The Royals needed a win, and while the offense provided the runs, the pitchers shut down the Cardinals, helping the Royals to move their record in a better direction. The rest of this season will be about seeing who fits the future plan, and who might not have a spot in Kansas City.
There will still be plenty to see, but for now, the Royals bullpen looks to have a bright future ahead of them.
The KC Royals took game one of their series with St. Louis. Hopefully, they can stay hot and build some confidence to take into 2021.