Elarton pitches Royals past Angels
Sounds great! The Royals had won 7 of their last 8 games with some very impressive pitching sprinkled in. The headline made me think that the Royals enjoyed yet another fantastic outing by a pitcher, after Affeldt and Bautista both had great games this week.
Then I read the sub heading:
Starter allows just one run in six innings
Wow! Sounds great!
I skipped down to the box score to try to get an idea of how Elarton crafted his masterpiece. I found this:
Elarton (W, 3-0)
Ouch!!! Nine hits?!? Sure, allowing just one run over six innings is great. But allowing 9 hits over six innings? Sounds to me like a very lucky pitcher. Elarton only struck out one and walked one.
I checked the Angels batting stats and found that all of the hits were singles except for one double by Cabrera. So, apparently the Angels were hitting, they just weren’t hitting hard and were not able to string the hits together at the right times to push runs across.
I’m not too sure what to think about this performance. Of course, I’m glad the Royals won. It’s a great feeling to look at some standings and find the Royals at the top (The Royals lead the Cactus League). And I’m glad that the Royals held the Angels to only one run. I’m not very familiar with Elarton, so perhaps his strategy is to allow hits but not runs. Bend, don’t break.
Either way, I’ll take the win and look forward to seeing Elarton on April 3 when the game will count for real.
On a side note: Wood had another outstanding outing, pitching 2 innings without giving up a run. He lowered his ERA to 1.29. Outstanding. Wood is staking his claim to the starting rotation. I’ll stand by my earlier stance that Wood should be a long reliever giving the starts to Affeldt and Bautista. But, I’ll take all of these fantastic pitching performances any day of the week!