Kris Bubic got an opportunity to start his first game of the season and pitched well enough to win.
Last season, Bubic was one of the worst pitchers in all of the MLB. Over the 2022 season MLB pitchers walked opposing batters at a rate of 8.5% Bubic walked players at a 10.7% rate. When Bubic was hitting the strike zone he was leaving balls up allowing solid contact to be made leading to home runs and hard hit balls. 38.5% was the average rate across the MLB for hard hit balls. Hard hit balls is calculated when a players hit leaves the bat with an exit velocity of 95 miles per hour. Bubic’s hard hit rate was at 45%. All of these numbers indicate that last year he struggled.
In his opening debut, Bubic put up a good start. He pitched five innings and only gave up two runs. He limited the walks to only one through the five innings. Even though he was charged with the loss he pitched well enough for Kansas City to get the win. Bubic’s new slider worked well against left handed batters.
Royals manager Matt Quatraro liked what he saw in Bubic use and execution of his slider.
“I was happy with the slider and he threw a couple good changeups,” Quatraro said. “I think the confidence is growing in it and doing it against a team like this is only going to help. using it in big spots, good hitters it’s only going to help.”
The only offense for the Royals came off the bat of Franmil Reyes. Reyes smashed a slider that stayed up in the zone. The ball went 455 feet to give the royals a one nothing lead. That was the longest home run by the Royals since June of 2021. Since that home run, in the second inning, the Royals only left three runners on base. Kansas City only managed one hit after the fifth inning.
The Blue Jays responded in the top of the third inning. Bo Bichette got on base to start the inning. Matt Chapman singled to left field to allow Bichette to score
Toronto would take the lead in the top of the fourth with a double by former Royal Whit Merrifield. He would advance to third on a fly out to right field and score on a wild pitch.
Toronto added to their total with a 373 foot homerun by Daulton Varsho, in the sixth to make the score 3-1. The Blue Jays would add their final run of the game in the eighth after Chapman doubled and scored later on a fielders choice.
Kansas City’s record moves to 1-4 on the season and the Royals continue their four games series against the Blue Jays tomorrow with a first pitch time of 6:40