John Danks made his major league debut against Santana. He pitched well, 6 innings with just 4 hits but he gave up a 3-run homerun to Justin Morneau. Justin Morneau has always been on the Twins, you caught me, I was talking about Johan Santana. It’s true though, he pushed his debut to the limit of the “quality start”. Exactly 6 innings, exactly 3 runs for a 4.50 ERA. John’s current ERA as he heads to Kauffman Stadium to face off against the inexplicably round-faced Ervin Santana is 4.54. Ha! Quality! We joke, but as I’ve said before he’s pitching roughly to league average this year. There’s a lot of bad out there, and John Danks isn’t it. He’s also only 28, which I often lose sight of. Amazing considering the amount of time I spend looking at his baseball-reference page. Anyway that debut against the other Santana (who incidentally has the same amount of no-hitters as Johan) ended in a loss for the White Sox. Their only run scoring when Juan Uribe went deep off of Jesse Crain.
Ervin “Got My No-No First” Santana is vying with James Shields for tops of the Kansas City rotation. Actually their numbers are eerily similar. Shields has 2 more starts than Santana at the moment, but they carry identical 3.19 ERA’s, strike out about 7 batters per 9 innings, and are within a tenth of a point of WAR of each other according to fangraphs. Wild, wild stuff. Santana has been less than wild, though. He issues walks the least frequently of any Royals starter, though it’s not an altogether foreign occurrence. This month he’s had solid outings against the Marlins and the Mets to bookend a clunker against the Red Sox. On a short, recent timeline he’s pitching to his competition. Uh oh.
Last season the Royals played spoiler in a big way to the White Sox and their playoff chances. The Royals aren’t looking at the playoffs as plausibly as the White Sox of 2012 were, but they are a living, breathing possibility, which is more than the Pale Hose can say. The bitter Sox fan will feel pretty good about him or herself if the same treatment is given to the culmination of Dayton Moore’s process this time around.
1.De Aza – LF
2.Beckham – 2B
3.Ramirez – SS
4.Dunn – DH
5.Konerko – 1B
6.Garcia – RF
Keppinger Gillaspie – 3B
8.Viciedo – LF
9.Phegley – C
Alexei Ramirez is trying to prove that hitting in the 3 spot automatically creates a productive hitter. Having taken over that spot in the order since the departure of Alex Rios he’s 5 for his last 12 and has hit safely in 13 of the last 14 games. He’s also got exactly 1 walk over the course of that same hitting stretch so *mumbles inaudibly about sustainability*
Keppinger scratched with a stiff lower back.
Kansas City Royals Lineup:
Heh. Chris Getz.
Where to Watch
Today’s game will be broadcast on WCIU and Fox Sports KC. 7:10 Central start time.