The KC Royals enter the final weekend of the season looking to end 2020 with some momentum to help push them forward in 2021.
The KC Royals have 2 games left before the strange 2020 season is over. While there will be no postseason for Kansas City, there is a chance at cleaning up their record a bit. After last night’s win, they are already sitting at 25-33, a record better than most probably assumed. If able to pull off a sweep of Detroit, though, a record of 27-33 would look even better.
Like Thursday night’s contest, Friday’s game was close, though the offense took a backseat this time. The Royals ended on top of the 3-2 score behind good pitching. Brad Keller, who got his 5th win of the season, pitched 6 scoreless innings with only 4 hits, no walks, and 5 strikeouts.
After what would be his last starting appearance of the season, Keller has brought his ERA down to 2.47, and his FIP to 3.42. While the season has been shorter, there is no doubt that Keller has started to find his groove again. Helping his numbers in 2020, was his dominance at home in Kansas City.
After last night, Keller’s ERA for home games sits at just 0.27, giving up only 1 run over 33.0 innings pitched. His ERA for away games is a 5.82, where he earned 14 runs over 21.2 innings.
Keller had some back up from the bullpen in his win as well. Danny Duffy strangely got some work, though it didn’t go all that well. Duffy pitched 11 pitches and gave up 2 hits and 2 runs. He was taken out for Scott Barlow before all the damage was done, but as he allowed both runners on base, he gets both knocks.
Barlow finished the 7th for Duffy and was followed by 2 good appearances from Jakob Junis and Jesse Hahn. Junis gave up 2 hits but kept the Tigers from scoring. Hahn came on in the 9th to get his second save of the season. He walked 1 but struck out 2 to end the game.
For the offense, Salvador Perez saw his back quiet down, but Adalberto Mondesi has taken over. Mondesi went 3-3 on the night with a walk and a couple of stolen bases. Mondesi got the Royals first run in the 1st when Ryan O’Hearn walked with the bases loaded. Mondesi then tripled in the 2nd to drive in Franchy Cordero and was on base again to score on a Maikel Franco sacrifice fly to center in the 5th.
The Royals didn’t score again, though because the bullpen was able to shut things down quickly, there was no need for another run.
The Royals look as if they are having fun playing. It’s too late for the postseason, but it’s not too late to grow as a team. Many of these players are fairly new to the organization, or young and inexperienced. These last few games will be essential for the Royals to learn to play as a team and compete together.
If the Royals can pull off a few more wins, they will set themselves up for success in 2021 and go into the offseason on a high note.
The Royals have 2 games remaining in the season. They will play game 3 of their series with Detroit tonight, September 26, at 6:05 p.m. CT.