A consistent KC Royals theme and target of critics for several seasons has been the starting rotation’s inconsistency. As a whole, Kansas City’s starters just haven’t been very good.
The criticism has been well-earned in many cases, but Kansas City fans should also be ready to praise stellar pitching when the staff comes through, especially when the starters string together several good efforts.
Now, following the club’s two-out-of-three series win in Chicago, is a good time to sing some praises—Daniel Lynch, Zack Greinke and Brad Keller just provided the best combination of starting pitching the Royals have offered up so far this season.
Just consider how well this trio pitched against the White Sox.
KC Royals lefty Daniel Lynch shut down Chicago for six innings in Game One.
Daniel Lynch, who seems to be improving with every outing, was Kansas City’s starter for the first game of the series. His pitching highlighted Tuesday evening’s contest—he shut out of the White Sox for six innings, striking out seven and allowing his hosts only two hits and two walks to spur KC’s 6-0 win.
The bullpen secured the win for Lynch. Taylor Clarke, the reliever the club signed just before the lockout froze transactions for over three months, pitched a scoreless seventh and Brady Singer fanned two and didn’t allow the Sox a run in the last two innings he threw before the club sent him to the minors Thursday.
Tuesday’s performance marked the second straight time Lynch has throttled the opposition. The lefthander held Minnesota scoreless for five inning April 20. He’s now 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA.
Zack Greinke didn’t win, but was excellent for the KC Royals in Game Two.
Kansas lost Game Two Wednesday, but not because Greinke didn’t do his part. In six innings, Greinke struck out four—the most he’s fanned this season—and didn’t walk anyone. He did, however, give Chicago a run in each of the second, third and fourth innings.
Two things hurt the veteran righthander—the usually stingy bullpen, which took over from Greinke to start the seventh inning, gave up the difference-making four runs in Chicago’s 7-3 victory. And the Royals’ offense again failed to give Greinke much help. Kansas City is averaging just two runs in his four starts.
Greinke is still looking for his first win of the year but has a 2.86 ERA.
Brad Keller continued his superb season for the KC Royals in Game Three.
The Royals went looking for a series win Thursday and Brad Keller helped give it to them.
Keller, arguably Kansas City’s ace this season, had another solid start, allowing only one run, three hits and no walks in seven innings. He didn’t get the win—the White Sox tied the game in the eighth against reliever Josh Staumont and the win went to Scott Barlow when the Royals scored three in the 10th to take the series with a 5-2 victory.
Keller is 0-2 with a 2.19 ERA. He’s suffered from lack of run support—as is the case with Greinke, Kansas City is averaging two runs in his starts.
The Royals hope their rotation, which benefitted from probably its best two starts of the season—Lynch’s Tuesday and Keller’s Thursday—and permitted the White Sox only three runs in Chicago, continues its recent success when Kansas City opens a three-game weekend series against the Yankees tonight at Kauffman Stadium. The test will be tough, though, with the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo and DJ LeMahieu lining up against scheduled KC starters Kris Bubic, Carlos Hernández and Lynch.
Let’s hope Kansas City’s rotation stays good this weekend.