The KC Royals pulled off an important sweep and now know even better where the issues are.
The KC Royals managed to do something they haven’t done since 1999. They pulled off a four-game sweep on the road. It’s even better that they did this against an AL Central rival, putting more space between them and the bottom of the pack Tigers.
They move on to a quick two-game series with the Pirates before seeing a long stretch against the AL Central. These next few weeks will be important if the Royals want to continue sitting in first place and push themselves even closer to the postseason.
Thankfully, getting further into the season is also showing the Royals what is working and what isn’t. With each series, Kansas City can look back to see what the takeaways were.
The young bullpen arms are coming through when needed
When the Royals won the World Series in 2015, one of the most important groups in the organization was the bullpen. They shut games down quickly and the Royals seem to be looking for that strategy again.
There is a mix of veteran and young arms pitching in relief in 2021 but it became apparent in the series with Detroit that Matheny is looking towards the younger and more inexperienced arms to help through the rough points.
The bullpen gave up no runs in the four-game series and some of the biggest contributors were the younger pitchers, Jake Brentz, Josh Staumont, Scott Barlow, and Kyle Zimmer.
Zimmer and Barlow each pitched 2 scoreless innings and recorded 3 strikeouts and Brentz and Staumont each pitched 3 scoreless innings with Brentz striking out 5 and Staumont 4 along with recording 2 saves.
These players are taking charge and helping to lead the pitching staff even though there are plenty of veterans pitching alongside them. Mike Matheny is throwing them into tough situations and they are rewarding him with outstanding performance.
The Royals will need good relievers if they want to make it to the postseason and these four young arms look to be the future of the bullpen in Kansas City.