The Royals will look to have different results with this 10 game homestand. The first homestand of the season ended with a miserable record of 0-10. If the Royals would have avoided the major skid, the teams record would be over .500. The team starts the homestand with a 3 game series against the division leading Chicago White Sox. In game one Bruce Chen continued in his slump that is destroying his ERA. Before the month of July, Bruce’s ERA was 4.5 and after his last three starts it jumped to 5.5. Luis Mendoza now leads the starting rotation with a 4.5 ERA.
The Roylas lost 9-8 in the first game of the series against the White Sox. In the gameBruce Chen struggled to get through 4.2 innings. Chen gave up 3 runs in the first innings and could not find his control walking three hitters. Chen totalled 110 pitches in the short start. Hitters seemed to comfortable in the batters box. Lorenzo Cain was the bright spot in the game. In his debut, Cain went 3-6 with a double and a RBI. Having Lorenzo Cain back in the lineup will add a major boost to the productivity. Mike Moustakas homered in the second inning off of Quintana.
Alcides Escobar was the clear MVP of the second game. Escobar clubbed two homeruns, his 4th of the year. This was Escobar’s first multi homer game of his career. The Royals shortstop now leads the majors for shortstops in batting average and OPS with .311 and .791. Along with Escobar, Chris Getz went 2-3 with a double. Francoeur, Moustakas, and Butler each added 2 hits. Luke Hochaver pitched a solid 5 innings giving up 3 runs. Greg Holland was the winning pitcher with Jonathan Broxton notching his 22 save. Crow and Mijares also got work in the game combining for 1.2 innings.
The Royals will be facing dominate Chris Sale in the third and final game of the series. Sale has been lights out with a record of 10-2 and a 2.19 ERA. Sale, an All Star, pitched 5 innings giving up 3 runs against the Royals on May 12. The Royals gave Sale his second loss of the season. Ned Yost and the Royals will be led by Luis Mendoza. Mendoza faced the White Sox last on May 13 and gave up 1 run in 5.2 innings of work. He recorded his second win of the season that game. Mendoza is currently 3-5 with a 4.5 ERA.
The Royals have played a total of 62 games this season in which they have lost 35 games. As everyone knows, it took the club its first 11 home games to get the first home win. In the middle of interleague play, the Royals are looking like they may just turn the corner and get back to .500. With Salvador Perez in the midst of his rehab assignment, a major piece to the puzzle will be inserted when he fully recovers. While Quintero and Pena have done a good job filling in for Perez, the void has been detrimental. Perez does more then just hit and field. He calls a great game and adds consistency.
- The Royals have had one home game in which over 40,000 fans were in attendance.
- Lead the Majors in worst home record standing at 11-20
- Are 16-15 away from Kauffman Stadium
- Have yet to score 10+ runs in a game.
- Have scored 9 runs only twice
With the stats from the players coming up, I wanted to feature the two break out players. Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas have become offensive threats this year. Last year, both players struggled immensely. Escobar, usually known for his glove, is hitting .288 which is 34 points higher then last year. Moose is hitting the same average wise but his power numbers are higher with 9 bombs so far this year. The most impressive improvement that Moose has made is with the glove. Moustakas has always been questioned as a third basemen because of his defense. He has put all worries aside this year.
- Billy Butler leads the team with a .299 batting average.
- Butler leads the team with 11 home runs. In second is Mike Moustakas (9)
- Alex Gordon has 19 doubles which is the most among Royals.
- Alcides Escobar leads the club with 11 stolen bases.
- Billy Butler leads the team with 37 RBI’s.
- Gordon lead the team in strikeouts (52) and walks (33).
- Bruce Chen leads the team in wins (5) and innings (75).
- Luke Hochevar leads the team with K’s (54), hits allowed (82), loses (7), and the highest ERA (6.27).
- Jose Mijares has pitched in a team high 31 games.
- Jonathan Broxton leads the team in ERA (1.52) and saves (15).
With 100 games left in the season, there will be major changes. The Royals goal before the All-Star break should be to reach and stay at .500. While many fans have called for OF Wil Myers to be called up, I am against this decision. Myers is ready now but the Royals are not. Why burn his time in the majors now when the team is not competing. If the Royals do make it back to .500 my opinion will be reevaluated. This is the part of the Royals’ schedule where they can make a serious push to the top of the division.
The Kansas City Royals exceeded expectation for the first series of 2012 season. On opening day, Bruce Chen threw a gem. Chen threw 6 innings of scoreless baseball, however his efforts were not good enough to get the win.When Chen was taken out, Crow came in and dominated the 7th inning, striking out the side. The eighth inning, however, was a completely different story. Crow gave up 3 hits and managed to only get one out. Crow ended up giving 3 earned runs. Ned Yost then called on Greg Holland to get out of trouble. Holland gave up three hits and let two earned runs score. This outing was a complete 180 from last year. Royals starting pitching dominated this entire series. The strong group from last year, the bullpen, struggled like no one had expected. Francoeur led weak offensive charge from the Royals lineup with a double, but overall the lineup managed to only get 4 hits. Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain combined 0-8 with 6 K’s. The Angels got a strong showing from their ace Jarred Weaver who managed to strike out 10 hitters in 8 innings. Eric Aybar led the Angels with three RBI’s on a triple in the 8th inning. Of course the story of the day was Albert Pujols who, in his first game as an Angel went 0-3 with 1 K. The final score of game one was 0-5, Angels.
During the second game of the series, Luke Hochevar pitched a great game and was rewarded with the win. The former number 1 draft pick allowed runs in 6 1/3innings pitched. A great sign from Hochevar is that he threw 58 strikes in 95 pitches. Unlike last game, Ned Yost got much better results from his bullpen. Tim Collins pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up 0 runs. Next, Yost called upon Greg Holland. Holland struck out one in one inning. Jonathan Broxton got the 9th inning and gave up 2 hits and one run. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas both blasted solo home runs off of Dan Haren. Humberto Quintero drew one walk to go along with his two doubles. This is a great surprise for the Royals. After the injury of Salvador Perez, the Royals expected the hitting from the catcher position to go down in production. Jeff Francoeur produced two out of the Royals 12 hits. For the Angels, Kendry Morales led the club with 4 hits in 4 at bats. The workhorse, Dan Haren, gave up 5 runs on 11 hits through 5 1/3 innings. The Royals won this game 5-3.
To finish off the series the Royals had Jonathan Sanchez on the mound. Sanchez was actually incredibly effective. Sanchez was throwing around 20 pitches per inning. The Royals helped the new comer in a major way with scoring 3 runs in the first inning, allowing Sanchez to be comfortable and settle down. Hosmer and Butler both homered and had 3 RBI’s off of Ervin Santana. Also, Escobar and Hosmer both stole their first base of the season. Alex Gordon continued his very early season struggles with an 0-5 game with strike out (keep in mind it’s only 3 games, but he is still struggling). Furthermore, Quintero added another double to his collection for the year. Chris Getz had 2 of the 10 hits for the series. For the bullpen, Jose Mijares had two strikeouts in an inning of work. Although Herrera allowed 5 hits, Crow managed to keep the damage to a minimum. Newly acquired Jonathan Broxton recorded his first save of the young year.
Overall, the starting pitching for the Royals stole a series away from an early World Series contender. This series win will be huge for the momentum heading into Oakland. While the bullpen has not been lights out, the starting rotation has been. Along with the great starting pitching, the Royals have done a great job of hitting in the early innings. Hosmer is in a major groove to start the season. Also, the help of Quintero and Getz makes the Royals lineup dangerous from every spot. If Gordon can’t manage to start hitting a line up change may happen. The season is young so I expect the Royals to not make a change, but they already have moved Cain down to 7th. With Escobar hitting extremely well in situational hitting, driving in runs becomes extremely easy for the top of the lineup.