Wednesday, May 29, 2024

MLB Preview: Kansas City Royals (12-27) at Milwaukee Brewers (20-17)


SINGING IN THE RAIN: The Royals earned a 4-3, walk-off win yesterday vs. the White Sox on a bunt RBI single by Freddy Fermin in the 9th inning…it was the Royals 1st walk-off win of the season and the 3rd walk-off bunt RBI single in franchise history, following Royals Hall of Famer Frank White, who did it on May 26, 1975 and July 23, 1982…following a 1-hour rain delay—the Royals fourth of the season and second in 3 games—Brady Singer delivered 6.0 innings of 1-run ball as the rain continued to fall, and the Royals built a 3-1 lead thanks to a 2-run double by Maikel Garcia in the 4th…that lead held until the 8th, when the White Sox got back-to-back bloop hits off Aroldis Chapman, followed by a game-tying, 2-run double by Luis Robert Jr…but the tie didn’t last long, as Nick Pratto led off the 9th with a walk and with 1 out, Matt Duffy singled to right to set up runners at the corners for Fermin’s game-winning bunt…this marked the Royals 3rd win this season after being tied through the 8th inning, 1 behind the Tigers for the most such wins in the Majors.

Won their 1st game impacted by a weather delay since last July 1, snapping a streak of 6 straight losses.

EXTENDED STAY: The Royals went 5-5 on their just-completed, season-long 10-game homestand, after going 1-12 on their first two stays of the season…the homestand ended on a high note, as the Royals have won 4 of their last 5 games and yesterday’s win over the White Sox clinched their first series victory since April 7-9 in San Francisco, snapping a run of eight consecutive losing series, which matched a franchise record previously done from Aug. 4-31, 2008…the Royals 4 wins since Sunday are tied with Texas for the most in the Majors.

The Royals held a lead in 9 of 10 games on the homestand, the only exception being a 12-8 loss to Oakland a week ago tonight, in which they turned a 7-run deficit into a 1-run game, before it slipped away late.

DATE CHANGE: The Royals yesterday announced that their Thursday, Sept. 7 game at Kauffman Stadium vs. the White Sox will now be played on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4 at the same time, 1:10 p.m. CT…tickets for the Sept. 7 game will be honored for the rescheduled game on Monday, Sept. 4…fans do not have to exchange their original tickets if they elect to attend the rescheduled game…if fans would like to exchange their tickets for another game due to the date change, they must do so before first pitch at 1:10 p.m. CT on Sept. 4.

MAY FLOWERS: The Royals offense has blossomed in the month of May, following an unfortunate stretch in March/April, in which they ranked 24th in runs per game, 29th in batting average (.220) and 30th in OPS (.624)…but since the calendar flipped to May—which coincides with their recent 10-game homestand—the Royals lead all 30 Major League teams in extra-base hits (45), slugging percentage (.538) and OPS (.902) and rank 2nd in runs per game (6.7), batting average (.292), on-base percentage (.365) and home runs (18).

Through the 1st 10 games this month, the Royals have scored in 35 of their 86 innings on offense (40.7%).

Nick Pratto drew 2 walks yesterday and scored twice, including the game-winning run in the 9th…in 13 games since his April 28 recall, he’s batting .381 (16-for-42) with 12 RBI, tied for 2nd most in the AL.

Michael Massey has homered in his last 2 games—his 1st 2 HR of the year—and has a career-high-tying 7-game hit streak, during which he’s 10-for-21 (.476) with a 1.429 OPS, 2nd best in the Majors since May 3.

Maikel Garcia had a 2-run double in yesterday’s win, and has reached in all 9 games since his May 2 recall.

Salvador Perez is batting .396 (21-for-53) with 5 HR, 14 RBI and an 1.187 OPS over his last 14 games.

MJ Melendez has reached safely in 11 straight games and has a hit in 10 of those, a stretch in which he’s batting .317 (13-for-41) with 5 extra-base hits, 7 RBI and a .900 OPS, after starting the season 15-for-90.

Vinnie Pasquantino went 0-for-4 in yesterday’s win to mark only the 4th game in his last 58 since Sept. 15, 2022 in which he didn’t reach base, a stretch in which he’s slashing .329/.414/.528 with a .941 OPS.

DINGER PARTY: The Royals have homered in a season-high 10 consecutive games to begin the month of May,
after homering in 14 of 29 games in March/April (20 HR total)…it’s the longest active streak in the Majors, and
only two American League teams have a longer streak this season: the Rays, who homered in each of their 1st
22 games to begin the season, and the Twins, who homered in 18 straight games from April 18-May 6…this run
of 10 consecutive games with a HR matches the 6th-longest streak in franchise history, and with another HR
tonight, the Royals would match their 3rd-longest homer streak in franchise history (see chart to the right).

The Royals have hit 18 HR in 10 games this month, which leads the American League and ranks 2nd in the Majors to the Braves, who have hit 19 HR in 10 games…of the Royals 18 HR in May, a Majors-most 14 have traveled at least 400 ft., ahead of the Braves (12)…the next closest American League team is the Rays (9).

Royals catchers have hit 9 home runs this season, the most of any position on the team and the highest total at the catcher position in the Majors, matching the Braves, whose catchers also have 9 home runs.

Salvador Perez is tied for the team lead with 7 HR, including 6 as a catcher…MJ Melendez has homered once as a catcher and Freddy Fermin homered twice on the last homestand, the 1st and 2nd of his career.

PITCHING PROPS: The last turn in the rotation has been a good one for the Royals, as they’re 4-1 during the stretch and have gotten at least 5.0 innings from their starter in all 5 games…Royals starters own a 2.87 ERA (10 ER in 31.1 IP) and .205 opponents’ average (23-for-112) through the last turn in the rotation, a significant improvement on the previous two turns, a 10-game stretch in which they had a 9.94 ERA (46 ER in 41.2 IP).

Tonight the Royals will turn to left hander Josh Taylor, who is making his 131st career appearance but only his 2nd start and 1st since Aug. 31, 2019 in Anaheim, where he pitched a scoreless frame as the opener… in 9 outings this season, left handers are 1-for-10 vs. Taylor, but righties are 9-for-31 (.290) with 2 HR.

The Royals have deployed an opener once this season, in a 2-0 loss on April 21 in Anaheim, where Taylor Clarke began with 2.0 scoreless innings and Ryan Yarbrough followed with 2 runs allowed in 4.0 innings.

Royals relievers have pitched to a 1.45 ERA (3 ER in 18.2 IP) and .179 opponents’ average (12-for-67) over the last 5 games…for the season, Royals relievers lead the Majors with 167 strikeouts and a 10.6 K/9.

VS. BREWERS: The Royals and Brewers are meeting tonight for the first time since 2021, when the Royals swept a 2-game series in Kansas City and a 2-game series in Milwaukee to mark the fifth time in franchise history in which the Royals finished a season series with at least 4 wins and 0 losses vs. an opponent…the Royals are 218-178 (.551) all-time vs. Milwaukee, which is their best record against any team they’ve played at least 50 games…that includes a 20-16 record (.556) vs. the Brewers since they joined the National League in 1998.

The Royals are 3-6 in Interleague play, including 3-3 in National League ballparks…six of the Royals next eight opponents are National League teams, including this weekend’s series in Milwaukee and next week’s visit to San Diego…the Royals will host the Nationals on the next homestand for the first time since 2016, before playing the Cardinals, Rockies and Marlins in consecutive series through the first week of June.

ROAD WORK: The Royals are 6-10 on the road this season and their 16 road games entering tonight are 1 more than the Cubs and Mariners, whose 15 road games are the fewest in the Majors…the Royals won their first road series of the season in San Francisco, but have lost four consecutive road sets since, including dropping 2 of 3 in Texas, Anaheim and Arizona, before losing 3 of 4 in Minnesota.

Following the first two legs of this trip, the Royals will enjoy an off day next Thursday in Chicago, which will end a stretch of 26 games in 27 days.


Tonight marks Taylor’s 2nd Major League start, and his 1st since Aug. 31, 2019 at Angel Stadium, where he was the first of six Red Sox to pitch…he loaded the bases on 2 walks and a single, but struck out Justin Upton and induced a flyout by Kole Calhoun for a scoreless frame.

Josh most recently pitched last Saturday vs. Oakland and worked around a 1-out single to complete a scoreless 7th inning…that was his first time pitching on back-to-back days this season, as he allowed 2 runs on 1 hit and 3 walks in 1.0 inning on 32 pitches a week ago tonight vs. the A’s.

Taylor pitched in 4 of the Royals 10 games on the last road trip, and allowed just 1 run in 5.0 innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts (19.8 K/9).

Tied his career high with 5 strikeouts across 2.0 innings April 28 in Minneapolis, matching his total from Aug. 11, 2019 with Boston (2.1 IP).

He worked a 1-2-3 7th inning on April 16 vs. Atlanta, marking his 1st appearance in the Majors since Sept. 22, 2021 with Boston, 571 days prior.

Josh began the season with Triple-A Omaha and was recalled on April 16, after recording 5 strikeouts in 5 appearances with the Storm Chasers.

Taylor was acquired by Kansas City from Boston in January for infielder Adalberto Mondesi and a PTBNL (minor league infielder Angel Pierre).


TONIGHT’S GAME: Is game 4 (1-2) of a 6-game, 7-day homestand against Los Angeles-NL (1-2) and Kansas City (3g)…..following this homestand, the team takes a 6-game, 7-day trip to St. Louis (3g) and Tampa Bay (3g).

IN THE TRAINER’S ROOM: RHP Jason Alexander (right rotator cuff), LHP Aaron Ashby (left labrum), RHP Matt Bush (right rotator cuff), OF Garrett Mitchell (left shoulder), INF Luis Urías (left hamstring), LHP Justin Wilson (left elbow) and RHP Brandon Woodruff (right shoulder) are on the injured list…..Alexander, Ashby, Mitchell, Urías and Wilson are on the 60-day IL.

IN THE STANDINGS (43 days): The Brewers have spent the following number of days alone or tied at each position in the NL Central standings: FIRST: 22, SECOND: 19, THIRD: 2, FOURTH: 0, FIFTH: 0…..the team is currently in second place, trailing the first-place Pirates by half a game…..the team has been in second place for 19 straight days.

SERIES-LY SPEAKING: The Brewers are 6-6-0 in series play.
Game 1: 6-6, Game 2: 7-5, Game 3: 6-6, Game 4: 1-0
Sweep Wins (2): vs. NYM (3g, 4/3-4/5), at SEA (3g, 4/17-4/19)
Sweep Losses (1): at COL (3g, 5/2-5/4)

AT HOME: The Brewers are 10-8 at home, going 3-3-0 in series play…..the team went 46-35 at home last season, going 15-8-4 in series play.

ON THE ROAD: The Brewers are 10-9 on the road, going 3-3-0 in series play…..the team went 40-41 on the road last season, going 9-12-5 in series play.

LET’S GO TO THE VIDEO TAPE: The Brewers have made five replay challenges this season, going 2-3…..their last challenge (won) came on 5/4 at Colorado as a hit by pitch (Charlie Blackmon) was overturned to a foul ball.

BURNES AT A GLANCE: Corbin Burnes, 28, is making his eighth start…..he last started last Friday at San Francisco in a 6-4 loss (6ip, 4h, 5r, 2er, 3bb, 5k, 1hr, 94 pitches)….. the team is 4-3 in his starts…..he has 3 quality starts…..opponents are batting .218 (31-for-142, 4hr)…..Burnes was selected by Milwaukee in the fourth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Mary’s (CA) College…..he is under club control through 2024.

LAST SEASON: Burnes went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 33 starts last season, finishing seventh in NL Cy Young Award voting after winning the award in 2021…..Burnes was an All-Star for the second straight season and was named Brewers Most Valuable Pitcher for the second year in a row…..his career-high 243 strikeouts led the National League and ranked second in the majors behind the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole (257)…..he became the first pitcher in franchise history to lead his league in strikeouts…..he also ranked among the NL top five in starts (T1st, 33), AVG (2nd, .197), K/9IP (2nd, 10.83), H/9IP (2nd, 6.42), innings pitched (4th, 202.0), K/BB (4th, 4.76), quality starts (T4th, 21) and WHIP (5th, 0.97)…..the team went 20-13 in his starts.

CY BURNES: Burnes won the 2021 National League Cy Young Award after going 11-5 with a Major League-best 2.43 ERA in 28 starts…..he became the third pitcher in franchise history to win a Cy Young Award, joining Rollie Fingers (1981) and Pete Vuckovich (1982)…..he became the first pitcher in franchise history to lead his league in ERA.

CAREER: Is 38-21 with a 3.26 ERA in 142 games/81 starts (555.1ip, 201er)… in his sixth Major League season, all with the Brewers (2018-23)… 30-18 with a 3.00 ERA as a starter (473.1ip, 158er) and 8-3 with a 4.72 ERA in relief (82ip, 43er)…..Burnes is a two-time All-Star (2021-22) and was a 2021 All-MLB First Team selection.

CAREER AT AMERICAN FAMILY FIELD: Is 18-12 with a 3.56 ERA in 69 games/42 starts (288ip, 114er)… 0-0 with a 7.71 ERA in 2 starts this season (9.1ip, 8er)…..went 7-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 18 starts last season (109.2ip, 37er)…..CAREER ON THE ROAD: Is 20-9 with a 2.93 ERA in 73 games/39 starts (267.1ip, 87er)… 2-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 4 starts this season (24.1ip, 8er)…..went 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA in 15 starts last season (92.1ip, 29er).

CAREER vs. ROYALS: Is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 2 starts (12ip, 2er)…..he earned a 5-0 win on 9/19/20 at American Family Field (6ip, 4h, 0bb, 9k, 1hbp) and had no decision in a 6-4 loss on 5/19/21 at Kauffman Stadium (6ip, 2h, 2r, 2er, 1bb, 9k, 1hr).

World Elite Syndicate

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