MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
LA Angels0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 163
Kansas City0 0 1 1 0 0 3 1 x 6111
  W: B. Keller (1-1)   L: G. Canning (0-1)
11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, April 14, 2021
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 6,814

Royals throw struggling Brad Keller in finale vs. Angels

According to STATS
According to STATS

Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

  1. The Angels are 10-3 against the Royals since the start of the 2018 season. Kansas City had won six of seven games in the series the year prior (2017).
  2. Los Angeles suffered a 15-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday after it had won the first two games of the series. The 14-run losing margin was the Angels' largest since a 21-3 setback in Oakland on September 20, 2018.
  3. The Royals had more runs (25) home runs (five) and extra-base hits (10) over their first two games of the season (two wins vs. Rangers) than in their last five games combined (12 runs, four HR, six XBH).
  4. Whit Merrifield is one of four MLB players currently leading his team outright (no ties) in home runs (three), RBI (10) and base hits (11). The others are Javier Baez (Cubs), Evan Longoria (Giants) and J.D. Martinez (Red Sox).
  5. Brady Singer led all MLB rookie pitchers last year with 12 games started and 61 strikeouts. He surrendered six runs (five earned) in 3.1 innings in a loss to the Rangers in his 2021 debut.
  6. The Angels are the only team with three players who have at least three home runs in 2021, in Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Jared Walsh. Trout (1.392) and Walsh (1.274) rank fifth and sixth in the AL in OPS, respectively.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/12/2021 thru 4/14/2021

Brad Keller is currently the ace in the Kansas City Royals rotation. With a glut of young pitchers with promise waiting in the wings, he might not always fill that role, but the Opening Day starter certainly can put that on his resume for now.

That makes his early season struggles that much harder for the Royals to take. After two starts, Keller is 0-1 with a 19.29 ERA. He's allowed 10 earned runs on 15 hits in 4 2/3 innings. He's walked five and struck out three.

He'll take the mound for the Royals on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. He'll be facing RHP Griffin Canning for the Angels. The Royals took Tuesday's game, 3-2.

When his right-hander steps on the mound, Kansas City manager Mike Matheny is expecting the old Brad Keller to return.

"I'm expecting Brad to be Brad," Matheny said Tuesday. "Nothing more, nothing less. This is a guy we love to watch every time he gets on the mound."

Matheny was quick to remind the media on the Zoom call that Keller is still a relatively young pitcher in spite of his experience. The former Rule-5 pick in 2017 will turn 26 in July. Matheny says that youth will help Keller overcome the early struggles.

"Every one of these little setbacks, these challenges, are developmental," Matheny said. "I know that Brad has worn these last two (starts) really hard. That usually causes some great conversations, where you can take a step backwards and realize that there are some steps that need to be taken forward.

"The right conversations have been happening. The stuff looks right. It's just a matter of putting a couple of things together."

Canning struggled early against the Blue Jays in his only appearance so far this season. He gave up three runs in the first inning but finished his night with four runs allowed on three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

The Angels probably just need Canning to be average, as they rely on a productive offense. They're seventh in MLB in batting average, tied for second in runs and tied for fourth in home runs. The No. 2 and 3 men in the order -- Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani -- have combined for eight home runs and 20 RBIs.

Trout is averaging 423 feet on his four home runs. And Ohtani became just the fifth player since the introduction of Statcast in 2015 to have an exit velocity of at least 119 miles per hour with a double Monday night. He hit his fourth homer of the season Tuesday night.

"It's impressive," Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani's scorching line drive. "He's an impressive athlete. And right now, he can't feel any better about himself or have any more self-confidence."

Facing hitters such as Trout and Ohtani, Matheny just hopes that on Wednesday, Keller will be "the kind of pitcher he knows he can be. I told Brad a couple of days ago, 'I can't wait to watch.' I believe it's going to be something impressive to watch."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 14, 2021

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