The 2021 KC Royals started off the season with a win against the Texas Rangers. It was the longest nine-inning game in franchise history and both teams did not play the best to start the season. There were some good moments for the Royals during this Opening Day game, however, there were some disappointing ones as well.
2021 KC Royals: The Good
The Royals bats were red hot to start the 2021 campaign. The team set a KC Opening Day record for 14 runs scored. After trailing by five runs in the first inning, the team battled back and answered Texas. Michael A. Taylor homered, drove in three runs, and threw out two players at the plate from center field in what was one of the greatest debuts for a Royal.
Royals were not good at being disciplined at the plate in 2020, despite this, the team during their Opening Day game was able to knock Texas pitcher Kyle Gibson out of the game after only recording one out. KC continued to draw walks and work the count throughout the day and that led to Texas using six relievers out of their bullpen.
The Royals bullpen had to enter the game early as Brad Keller only pitched one inning. Throughout the game, the Bullpen ended up keeping the 2021 KC Royals in the ball game. Over 7.2 innings, the bullpen gave up four earned runs, six hits, and 16 strikeouts. Carlos Hernadez got back-to-back 1-2-3 innings early in the game, while veterans Greg Holland and Wade Davis closed the game out.
Brad Keller was announced a few weeks ago as the Opening Day starter for the 2021 KC Royals. Keller’s last start on Opening Day came in 2019 where he pitched seven innings against the Chicago White Sox. Keller was coming off a 2020 season in which he was 5-0 at home. Despite this, Keller was only able to record four outs. He ended the day with six earned runs, two walks, no strikeouts, and an ERA of 40.50.
Keller will look to bounce back in his next start which will most likely be against the Cleveland Indians early next week.
Adalberto Mondesi ended up on the 10-day injured list before Opening Day. This meant the Royals would be using Nicky Lopez at shortstop until Mondesi returns. Late into the ball game, Hunter Dozier left the game due to a right thumb contusion.
The timetable for Dozier’s return is uncertain but the injury did not sound serious. Luckily, the Royals have the day off on Friday and have an extra day to regroup for this weekend. Expect Nicky Lopez to continue seeing time at short while Mondesi is sidelined. As for Dozier, there is no reason to rush him back this early in the season, so expect Hanser Alberto to potentially start at the hot-corner this weekend.
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