Veteran pitchers show bad tendencies in a loss
The Royals would get up to a four-to-nothing. Both the starting pitcher Zack Greinke and the first reliever of the day, Ryan Yarbrough were effective and efficient on the day. The fifth inning is when the Royals fell apart.
Josh Staumont struggled in the fifth inning when he loaded the bases without giving up a hit.
Staumont gave three free bases to the Brewers. He walked the first batter, hit the next, and finished the sequence with another walk. He would get out of trouble with a pair of strikeouts but not before giving up the Brewers’ first run of the day.
In the next inning, Nick Wittgren would get knocked around by the Brewers. A home run error and walk would allow the Brewers to put three more runs on the board. Though his performance was not the most disappointing of the day, that goes to Jackson Kowar.
Kowar gave up back-to-back doubles and gave up two-run home runs after leaving a pitch high and over the middle of the plate giving the brewers 7-4 top of the eighth inning.
Kowar dominated in college and all forms of the minor league. He would face his first significant adversity when he hit the big leagues during the 2021 baseball season. One of his biggest issues has been the lack of control and not hitting the strike zone. Over the last two seasons, he has posted an 11.27 ERA in 2021 and 9.77 in 2022.
Kansas City is excited about Kowar’s pitch arsenal because he has a dominant breaking ball when he can get it going. Today was a good example of what happens when he consistently fails to locate his pitch.
The Royals cannot allow their bullpen to revert back to the pitching of last season. Uncompetitive pitches lead to walks. Giving professional ball players free baserunners leads to giving up more runs. If the pitching staff is going to improve the team and its performance, reducing walks has to be the first criterion. So far the pitching staff has been attacking the strike zone. This could be an anomaly but this is why Kansas City lost so much last season.
The Royal’s bats were hot today as they racked up eleven hits. They were simply not able to capitalize late when they had multiple base runners. MJ Melendez had the big hit of the day for the Royals with a line drive to left field. He drove in two runs.
Royals continue spring training tomorrow facing their division rival the Cleveland Guardians. Jordan Lyles will get his first start for the Royals since joining the team.