Series Wrap-Up: Royals @ Angels
Game 1:Â Bruce Chen vs. Jered Weaver
Take a look at the pitching matchup and the polar opposite payrolls, and youâ€™d think this game would be a walk in the park for the Angels.Â Well, that is why they play the games.Â The Angels had no answer for Bruce Chen, as he cruised for six innings, scattering three hits, and fanning four batters.
Unfortunately, the Royals lineup had no answer for Weaver either.Â It was an absolutely dominant performance by Weaver.Â He pitched eight shutout innings, only allowing four hits, and striking out ten.
After an impressive seventh inning by Aaron Crow, things went downhill quickly in the 8th inning.Â The Angels tagged Crow and Greg Holland for a combined six hits and five runs in two innings.Â Angels win, 5-0.
Game 2: Luke Hochevar vs. Dan Haren
This game seemed to feature yet another lopsided pitching matchup, and as it turned out, it did.Â Luke Hochevar out-dueled Dan Haren.Â Haren wasnâ€™t sharp, and the Royals lineup took advantage of it.
The Royals got to Haren early, tagging him for two runs in the first inning on a bases loaded two-run single by Jeff Francoeur, and single runs in the 2nd, 5th and 6th innings.Â The Royals added yet another run in the 8th inning when Chris Getz stole third, and advanced home on the throw from Angels catcher Bobby Wilson, which sailed into left field.
It is safe to say that Luke Hochevar picked up where he left off in the second half of 2011.Â Hochevar threw 6.1 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits.Â He walked two, and struck out four.
Tim Collins and Greg Holland successfully bridged the gap between Hochevar and newly announced Royals closer, Jonathan Broxton.Â They threw a combined 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, and striking out two.
Broxton was a little shaky in his first outing as the Royals closer, but ultimately got the job done.Â He gave up a run on two hits in the 9th, before coaxing Vernon Wells into a game ending double play.Â Royals win, 6-3.
Aside from Hochevar pitching so well, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas going deep is what left Royals fans with an ear-to-ear grin.
Game 3: Jonathan Sanchez vs. Ervin Santana
Once again, the Royals lineup struck early by scoring three first inning runs, helped in part by a two-run homer by Billy Butler.Â The Angels answered by scoring single runs in the 1st and 3rd innings, but the Royals pulled away by scoring two in the 5th innings, and single runs in the 6th and 7th inning.
I think Royals fans got pretty much what they expected out of starter Jonathan Sanchez.Â He threw 99 pitches in just 5 innings of work.Â He surrendered just four hits, and struck out four batters, but also walked four.Â He gave up just two runs in his Royals debut.
Jose Mijares came on to pitch a scoreless 6th inning.Â Kelvin Herrera followed, but labored through 1.1 innings by giving up five hits, including a solo homerun to Vernon Wells.Â Aaron Crow relieved Herrera by finishing of the last two outs of the 8th inning.Â Crow came back out for the 9th inning, but allowed Howie Kendrick and Albert Pujols to reach base.
Royals Manager Ned Yost summoned Jonathan Broxton from the pen, and Broxton responded by striking out the next three Angels batters to end the game, and to secure the series victory for the Royals.Â Royals win, 7-3.
Red flags: None.Â Too early to be too concerned over anything that was seen in this series.
- Alex Gordon is 0-13, with 6 Kâ€™s.
- Base running.Â Big time base-running gaffes by Lorenzo Cain and Humberto Quintero.Â The Royals are a team that allegedly takes their base-running very seriously.
- Aaron Crow struggling when asked to go more than one inning.Â Guess that answers the question about Crow being a starting pitcher.
- Eric Hosmer hitting two homeruns in the series.Â This kid is the real deal.
- Jonathan Broxtonâ€™s velocity.Â He reached 98 mph on the radar gun.Â Regaining his velocity was a concern for many.
- Bruce Chen proving a lot of us Chen naysayers wrong.Â Maybe heâ€™s not a gimmick pitcher after all, and just flat out knows how to pitch.