Six relievers, 15 combined appearances, 16.1 total innings, no runs. That is the line of perfection the Kansas City Royals’ bullpen boasts through six games, all wins for Kansas City. More of the same can be expected this week against the Minnesota Twins, who are tied for the fewest runs scored (13) in Major League Baseball.
Beasts of the East
All five teams in the always-entertaining American League East scored at least 28 runs in their first two series of the season. The Toronto Blue Jays crossed the plate 38 times. At the same time, all five gave up at least 27 runs—including 33 allowed by the New York Yankees. The over is a combined 22-6 in games played by AL East Clubs.
The San Diego Padres won three in a row to end their four-game series against the San Francisco Giants and newcomer Craig Kimbrel saved two of those victories. He is perfect through four appearances with his team (4.0 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts). But the Atlanta Braves are not yet missing him. Atlanta (5-1 SU, 4-2 O/U) is 4-for-4 in save attempts, three courtesy of free-agent signee Jason Grilli.
* Matt Harvey of the New York Mets returned from a lost season because of Tommy John surgery to befuddle the Washington Nationals across six innings in his 2015 debut last Thursday. Harvey surrendered only four hits and one walk while striking out seven. Next up for the hard-throwing righty on Tuesday are the Philadelphia Phillies, whom he dominated two years ago to the tune of a 3-0 record in three starts and a 0.45 ERA in 20 innings.
* Seattle Mariners’ 22-year-old Taijuan Walker is set for what will presumably be his first full season in the majors (he appeared sparingly in 2013 and 2014). But he will not last long if he does not improve upon his first start. Last Friday against the Oakland Athletics, Walker allowed nine runs on nine hits and two walks in 3.1 innings during a 12-0 loss. The righty has to face the high-powered Los Angeles Dodgers in his next start on Wednesday.
* Though Sunday’s action, only two American League hitters (with enough at-bats to qualify) are batting better than .500. Both reside on the Detroit Tigers. In addition to Miguel Cabrera (.520, 2 HR, 8 RBI), Jose Iglesias (.526, 2 SB) has also started in fine form for Detroit (6-0 SU, 4-2 O/U)
* Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies is dealing with some early-season struggles. The slugging southpaw has not yet left the yard and he is not hitting for average, either. Howard is 4-for-23 (.174) with no homers and one RBI. Philadelphia (2-3-1 O/U) scored just 16 runs in its first six outings.
New York Yankees (5-1 O/U): The Yankees are scoring plenty of runs (31 through six games) but giving up even more early in the season. An apparently-rejuvenated Alex Rodriguez is batting .300 with six RBIs. Next up for New York is a three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles (4-1-1 O/U).
* Cleveland Indians’ catcher Yan Gomes suffered a sprained knee in this past Saturday’s loss to the Detroit Tigers and an MRI confirmed that he will be out 6-8 weeks. Gomes was off to a 3-for-20 start this season for Cleveland (2-4 SU, 3-3 O/U), but he hit .278 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 2014.
* The news is much better for the Washington Nationals (2-4 SU, 1-4-1 O/U), who need an injection of offense after crossing the plate a mere 13 times in their first two series. Jayson Werth (shoulder) has been activated from the disabled list in time to face the Boston Red Sox from Monday through Wednesday.
MLB WAG of the Day: There’s no need of an introduction for Kate Upton, but Justin Verlander’s girlfriend Kate Upton is always a fan favorite.
Weather is supposed to cooperate for most games, but there is a 40 percent chance of showers at Camden Yards for Tuesday’s New York Yankees-Baltimore Orioles clash.
Umpire Note: N/A