Bruce Chen earned himself a spot in the Kansas City Royals starting rotation on Friday night.
True, the Royals didn’t win, but Chen was excellent in his first start of the season and he should get his second start very soon. The only problem with Chen, who threw six scoreless innings, is that he couldn’t pitch in the seventh. That’s when the Cleveland Indians scored three runs en route to the 3-0 victory. The Royals bullpen let Chen down and spoiled his excellent starting performance.
The Royals are 43-47 and were hoping to get to the .500 mark by All-Star break, which they can’t do now.
Chen’s performance at least gives the Royals another starter to look at for the second half of the season. When a left-hander throws for six innings and allows only one hit, one walk and strikes out four, he might as well stay in that spot for awhile. There’s no reason to put him back in the bullpen.
Chen is having a strong year for the Royals. He’s 3-0 with a 2.04 ERA. Prior to Friday’s game, he was allowing almost one hit per inning, which isn’t good, although his ERA was very low. On Friday, he was able to get the hit count down dramatically. His control was fine and he had excellent control of his pitches. The main thing is that he put his team in a position to win.
Whether he’s a starter or in the bullpen, Chen is a valuable pitching commodity for the Royals right now and he’s going to be a key factor the second half of the season.