A Royal Review
Opening up at home after a good spring training is just the thing this young ball club needed after showing off to mainly Arizona natives and a handful or reporters. A chance to show off their energy that made this writer intrigued for the first time in awhile.
I was extremely skeptical of what this team would look like after seeing the off-season transactions that took place. Two all-star caliber players off to new teams, a veteran taking one for the team (good job Gil) and lots of young, inexperienced but very energetic and enthused players.
Opening Day, the bats were as cool as the weather. The Royals went scoreless until late in the game and came up short in the end. However, the defense committed three errors, which was a problem reminiscent of last season. Any time you commit an error, it gives you an extra out and the Royals gave a whole extra inning to the Angels on Thursday.
Friday night was a different story however. The game was tight from start to finish despite the both defenses making what could have been costly errors but did not come back to haunt either team. However, in the bottom of the ninth Kila Ka’aihue blasted a ball over the right field wall for the game winning home run.
The Royals will finish their four game series with the Angels with a game on Saturday and Sunday. It may also be noted that there will be a special double header following Saturday’s game featuring the Storm Chasers and the Naturals, the Royals AAA and AA affiliates, respectively.
The Royals then have Monday off as they prepare to host the Chicago White Sox for a quick two game series. After that series, the Royals will have another day off before having a weekend series against another central division foe, the Detroit Tigers.
The Royals struggled against both of these teams last year. Accumulating a below par 16-20 combined record against these teams last year, the Royals look to improve upon those numbers. If they are going to compete this year, they are going to have to be able to consistently play well against division opponents.
Having these two days off this coming week will keep the Royals well rested before hitting a string of thirteen straight playing days beginning on April 12. The good news is that eight of those thirteen games are at home and against teams that finished off last season in just as bad shape as the Royals did (Cleveland and Seattle). However, before the Royals can get to these two teams, the Royals have to go to Detroit and then to Minnesota.
Solid pitching, timely hitting and executing on defense are the ways to win ball games. If the Royals can do that, they can compete with anyone.