The Kansas City Royals are notorious for teasing their weathered fans with signs of success before viciously pulling the emotional rug from beneath their feet before the season’s end. If this stretch of ridiculously good starting pitching is just another one of those teases, the fall back to reality will really hurt this time.
K.C. put up a bizarre box score last night to inch closer to .500 with a win over the Seattle Mariners, but that win was just one in a string of consecutive dominant pitching performances. The Royals now have the perfect opportunity to get back to an even record, and the starting five deserves basically all the credit for getting them there.
An insane starter’s ERA in the last four games of 0.67 put the rotation’s ERA for the season at 3.30 and third best in the American League. This remarkable stretch began with Jeremy Guthrie on the May 6, when he allowed one run in eight full innings. James Shields threw seven scoreless innings the next day in the rubber-game against the San Diego Padres, then the newcomer to the starting five took the mound in Seattle.
Danny Duffy gave his team the “worst” performance of any starter since Monday by allowing one run in six innings. If only K.C. could get anything going offensively against the impressive Hisashi Iwakuma, Duffy would have walked away with his second win of the season. Thankfully, the Royals took advantage of last night’s stellar performance from Jason Vargas.
Vargas recorded seven more scoreless innings for K.C. yesterday to earn his third win. This is the fourth time in his eight starts as a Royal that Vargas allowed only one run or less and only one walk or less while throwing at least seven full innings.
This, and the rest of the incredible starting pitching, puts K.C. at 17-18 before the third game of four in Seattle tonight. Rookie of the Year hopeful Yordano Ventura takes the mound at 8:10 p.m. CT, and nobody on Seattle has faced him more than three times. It’s time for Kansas City to get over .500 and leave it in the dust for good.