Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Kansas City Royals vs. Seattle Mariners June 22, 2015


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Kansas City Royals (39-27) vs. Seattle Mariners (32-38) 7:10 PM PST

Pitching Matchup: LHP Joe Blanton (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (10-3, 3.08 ERA)


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Kansas City Royals:

1. Alcides Escobar SS

2. Mike Moustakas 3B

3. Kendrys Morales DH

4. Eric Hosmer 1B

5. Salvador Perez C

6. Alex Gordon LF

7. Alex Rios RF

8. Omar Infante 2B

9. Jarrod Dyson CF

Notes: Meet the 2015 American League All-Star Team! Kansas City, which, by the way, is the second-smallest media market in Major League Baseball, has apparently put together some massive, bizarre push to get each and every Royal a starting spot in the Midsummer Classic. If it weren’t for that pesky Mike Trout, they might even do it! MLB voided tens of millions of votes in order to cancel out the craziness, but as of the last update it looks like all that cost them was first base, where Miguel Cabrera has passed Eric Hosmer.

All-Star circus aside, this is a team that barely snuck into the playoffs last year and then hit their stride. The Royals are one of the best teams in the AL this year, as they’re still playing their typical stellar defense while also hitting the ball a little bit. There are breakouts and bouncebacks everywhere you look, and the rotation is being carried admirably by – Chris Young and Edinson Volquez? Huh? The result is a 3.5 game lead over the second-place Minnesota Twins. KC is in a good spot.

Seattle Mariners:

May 12, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Seth Smith (7) reacts after being hit by a pitch during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Logan Morrison 1B

2. Austin Jackson CF

3. Robinson Cano 2B

4. Nelson Cruz RF

5. Kyle Seager 3B

6. Mark Trumbo DH

7. Seth Smith LF

8. Brad Miller SS

9. Mike Zunino C

Notes: LoMo as the leadoff man is a surprisingly non-insane idea, and it’s been nice to see Lloyd sticking with him somewhat in that spot despite his total lack of speed. The only guys with higher OBPs on the team are Seth Smith and Nelson Cruz. Yeah, Cruz isn’t gonna lead off, and neither is Kyle Seager, who’s got the same .321 OBP as Morrison. Smith’s a nice option there, too, but the team clearly likes stashing his potent bat in other spots. Whatever. Morrison works fine there, which is part indicative of a stupid problem and also part brilliant solution.

3 Things to Watch For:

1. M’s Gonna Swat Some Bombs

Joe Blanton is not exactly a pitcher in his prime. What he has been, for the last few years, is an old dude who serves up tons of bombs. I know, I know, it’s Safeco Field, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see multiple M’s hitters go deep tonight. Maybe Blanton will give up ten homers, and then I’ll be surprised. But between the crappy starter and a hopefully soon-to-be-overworked bullpen, I’d hope the M’s can get a pair of long balls, at least.

2. The Outfield Boots It

Today’s starting outfield features Seth Smith and Nelson Cruz. Both of these guys are good hitters – by some measures, they’ve been the team’s two strongest bats this year. But neither of them has range or instincts for squat, and today one (or both) of them is going to do something dumb in the outfield. An error, a missed chance to make an easy-for-someone-else chance… bonus points if both of the thumpers play decent games and A-Jax is the guy who boots it. Knock on wood.

3. Felix Is Ultra-Good

Remember that made-up-just-for-Felix “ultra-quality start” thing from last year? Seven innings pitched and no more than two earned runs? He’ll do that today, but that seems too easy, right? He’s also going to strike out seven or more Royals. UQS + seven Ks. Sounds reasonable, incredibly.

Last Game’s Predictions:

1. Cano goes yard — OUT

Cano finished 0-2 with a walk. He didn’t hit a home run. He didn’t hit anything!

2. Happ throws a quality start — OUT

Per Google: “In baseball, a quality start is a statistic for a starting pitcher defined as a game in which the pitcher completes at least six innings and permits no more than three earned runs.” Happ only lasted five innings while allowing three runs (two earned). Close! But no cigar. The bullpen sure could have used that extra inning of rest, too, as Tom Wilhelmsen and Vidal Nuno both allowed long balls.

3. Miller plays good offense, defense — OUT

Brad went 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts while making a horrible error in the field. Ummmm… yeah.

Hits: 40    Outs: 65    Batting Average: .381

Next: Taijuan Walker Has Turned A Corner