Even with Greinke back, Royals have work to do

KANSAS CITY — When Zack Greinke takes the mound, the Royals’ offense tends to go quiet.

Not deliberately, in fact, however Kansas Metropolis’s starter has garnered a median of simply 2.7 runs per recreation behind him, together with one or fewer runs in 11 of his 19 begins this yr.

That features his return from the injured record, when Greinke was handed his tenth lack of the yr because the Royals completed their homestand with a 3-0 defeat to the Tigers on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas Metropolis was shut out for the twelfth time this season — and for the third time in its previous 12 video games — matching Detroit for essentially the most shutouts within the Majors. Previously eight video games since July 9 (the day earlier than the All-Star break), Royals starters personal a 3.55 ERA.

The staff is 3-5 in that stretch.

“We have to do a greater job offensively,” outfielder Kyle Isbel stated. “Pitchers are doing their job, and we have to get higher on daily basis.”

Listed below are three takeaways from the Royals’ loss:

1. Greinke’s return
Greinke made his first begin since a two-week stint on the injured record with a proper shoulder pressure, and since the 39-year-old didn’t make a rehab look, the Royals knew they must restrict his workload and construct him up over his subsequent couple of begins.

“All the pieces felt fairly sharp,” Greinke stated. “Bought somewhat drained that final inning. However stuff was fairly good, location fairly good.”

Greinke confronted the Tigers’ lineup twice, permitting two runs on 4 hits in 4 innings over 62 pitches (39 strikes). He walked two — Akil Baddoo each occasions — and solely confronted bother within the second when Andy Ibáñez lined a two-out RBI single to left area, the place MJ Melendez noticed it fall simply in entrance of him. Eric Haase adopted with an RBI single.

Having Greinke again within the rotation means the milestone watch is again on for the 20-year veteran pitcher. After one strikeout on Thursday, he’s 53 away from changing into the twentieth pitcher in AL/NL historical past to document a minimum of 3,000 strikeouts and the primary to take action in a Royals uniform.

It’s a milestone Greinke considered — however one he’s uncertain he’ll hit this yr. He’ll have to remain wholesome, go deeper into begins and get extra whiffs than he’s proven currently.

“It’d be nice,” Greinke stated. “I’m simply slowing down somewhat bit. It is perhaps more durable than I hoped it will be to get to it.”

2. Baserunning woes
When the Royals’ offense is as flat because it was in opposition to Tigers starter Michael Lorenzen within the collection finale, errors are usually magnified.

Kansas Metropolis mustered simply three hits in opposition to the Tigers’ All-Star, together with Isbel’s double into the right-field nook within the sixth inning. It might have been a stand-up double, however Isbel was simply thrown out making an attempt to stretch it right into a triple.

“I wasn’t a fan of that,” supervisor Matt Quatraro stated. “He would take that again on daily basis of the week. They obtained to the ball rapidly within the outfield. Personally, any time I do know [shortstop Javier] Báez goes to have an opportunity to deal with the ball, you’ve obtained to watch out. He’s among the finest arms within the recreation.”

Isbel stated he obtained a foul learn on the place the ball fell and thought he had extra time.

“That’s only a unhealthy determination on my half, and I’ve obtained to study from it,” Isbel stated.

3. Feast-or-famine offense
The Royals’ offense has been by extra ups and downs this week than a curler coaster at Worlds of Enjoyable. In its 5 losses this homestand, Kansas Metropolis scored a mixed seven runs. Within the two wins? A mixed 19 runs.

“The pitcher has lots to do with it, for certain,” Quatraro stated. “Yesterday, Eduardo Rodriguez; right this moment, Michael Lorenzen. They’re [Detroit’s] two greatest starters. … You see flashes of us getting going at occasions, after which it’s the consistency of doing it on daily basis. That’s what differentiates the persistently good offenses.”

Lorenzen solely struck out three in seven innings, however he obtained forward in counts, with a first-pitch strike to 18 of the 24 batters he confronted. And he additionally generated weak contact, with a median exit velocity of 87.3 mph.

The Royals noticed 10 pitches or fewer in 5 of 9 innings Thursday.

“With the quantity of strikes that I have been recognized to throw, I do know groups are going to come back out aggressive,” Lorenzen stated. “[I’m] simply leveraging them being aggressive and making an attempt to show it into weak contact.”

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Revealed : 2023-07-20 22:20:43

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