Saturday, April 7, 2012

Game 1 Thoughts

For the most part this game was a replay of a last year's opening day. If you'll recall the Royals were unable to score off Jered Weaver in that game too. KC then shook that loss off and won the next three games in the series. Let's hope for something similar today and tomorrow. I'm not sure I get all the hand wringing about this loss. These types of games are going to happen against the Weavers and Verlanders of the world.
  • Bruce Chen looked good. The funnyman pitched 6 scoreless innings but was removed after just 75 pitches. His Game Score of 70 was the 9th highest in his Royals career. Now I know Yost pulling him caused quite a stir but I didn't have a problem with the move. Chen didn't seem as sharp in the 6th inning, and with the heart of the Angels lineup coming up in the 7th, I'm not sure he would've made it out of the inning.
  • Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas combined to go 0/19 with 10 strikeouts. Call me crazy but I don't think that's going to happen too many times. It was distressing watching them chase so many pitches out of the strike zone but hopefully that was just first game jitters.
  • Yuniesky Betancourt looked ok and actually got on base twice due to a couple Mark Trumbo errors. Yuni singled in the 7th inning after Trumbo hilariously misplayed a foul ball. That hit might have scored Jeff Francoeur had he not got picked off second base. There was a mini-controversy surrounding Yuni's start in this game, but come on, the only other option was Chris Getz. I recognize the lesser of two evils when I see it.
  • Aaron Crow looked good striking out the side in the 7th but then turned around and gave up three straight hits in the 8th. Instead of putting out the fire Greg Holland allowed all three runs to score plus two more of his own. I expect this will be a rare occurrence too but I couldn't help but think about the 2006 bullpen that was supposed to be dominant but instead was a disaster. 
  • Albert Pujols failed to get the ball out of the infield. A longtime Royal killer he looked absolutely ordinary against Chen and Crow. His only time on base was due to an intentional walk that predictably failed to halt the Angels 8th inning onslaught.
  • It was just the second time in franchise history that KC has been shutout on opening day. The first occurred in 1976 when Amos Otis, George Brett, John Mayberry, Hal McRae and Al Cowens combined to go 3/19 in a 4-0 loss to the White Sox. The Royals somehow shook that loss off and won their first division title that year.
The Royals face Dan Haren today so it will probably be another low scoring affair. He has a 1.91 ERA in 8 career starts against KC. Luke Hochevar will oppose him in his first attempt at proving his 2011 second half was not a fluke.

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