The Royals lost their second game of their split-squad doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs 8-0 However, they got a good look at what could be the future of the team with strong showings from three of their top pitching prospects.
Brady Singer got the start for the Royals and looked every bit as impressive as he was made up to be, getting three groundouts from Cubs stars Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez. He only needed 13 pitches to do so, and was given another inning of work. He began the second inning by allowing three straight singles, but regained his composure to strike out Albert Almora Jr. on a nasty offspeed pitch in the left-handed batter’s box. Singer then struck out Jason Kipnis and got another groundout to get out of the inning unscathed. He most sat around 93 mph with his fastball and only needed 26 pitches to record his six outs.
Scott Barlow followed Singer up by allowing a home run to Baez, which turned out to be the death blow for the Royals, as the offense was nearly nonexistent today. The team collected just five hits against 12 strikeouts in an otherwise unnoteworthy afternoon with the bats. Brewer Hicklen had the only significant offensive moment, as he hit a double to leadoff the ninth inning for the Royals’ sole extra base hit.
Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar also got the ball today. Lynch pitched two shutout innings and did just as well as Singer, pitching two shutout innings while allowing two hits and a walk. Similarly, he also collected two strikeouts, but worked around an errant pickoff throw and wild pitch to strand Baez at third base. His outing ended by inducing a double play from Kipnis. Lynch mostly pitched in the very low 90s, but maxed out at 94 mph.
Kowar, meanwhile, had a nice bounceback outing, allowing two baserunners in one inning of work; he worked around the baserunners to toss a scoreless inning, which lowered his ERA to 10.80. The top prospect showcased a good fastball, as he topped out at 95 mph. He needed a few more pitches than he probably would have liked though, throwing 23 pitches in his lone inning of work.
Otherwise, it was a very forgettable day, as the final score ended up being 8-0. Bullpen piece Jesse Hahn got roughed up badly, allowing four runs in only two thirds of an inning to the Cubs’ replacement players. Richard Lovelady was forced to come in and record the final out of the eighth inning to stop the bleeding. All told, Hahn allowed four hits and a walk in the seven batters he faced and also threw two wild pitches in a day he would probably not like to think about.
Kris Bubic was also scheduled to pitch in the game but didn’t for reasons that have not been revealed. He may pitch tomorrow, when the Royals take on the Milwaukee Brewers in Maryville. Jakob Junis will get the start as he begins his effort towards a season in which he will not allow 30 home runs, going against Major League veteran Brett Anderson in his second appearance as a Brewer.