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Opening Day Newsbeat

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Judging the Royals:  Should Yordano Ventura be the Royals’ opening day starter?

During the 2014 AL Wild Card Game against the Oakland A’s, the Royals were up 3-2 going into the sixth inning. Starting pitcher James Shields gave up a lead-off single to Sam Fuld and then walked Josh Donaldson. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Ventura was brought in to face Brandon Moss….

Ventura had faced three batters, given up two hits, allowed two earned runs and finished his one-third of an inning with a postseason ERA of 54.00. According to Star columnist Vahe Gregorian’s recent profile, Yordano cried after that outing and was so despondent that he texted Rene Francisco, the Royals’ vice president for international operations, “Please tell them not to lose confidence in me.”

So what’s all that have to do with being the opening day starter?

At the beginning of the season, No. 1 starters face No. 1 starters. Each team throws their best guy out there on opening day and for a while — until days off or rainouts throw matchups out of sync — an opening day starter can assume he’ll face the best pitcher the opposition has to offer.

And that means you can pitch great and still lose.

If a pitcher is mentally strong that might not matter; he knows what he can control and how well the other guy pitches isn’t on the list. But if a guy isn’t confident it can get in his head; he feels like he’s pitched very well and is still losing.

If only we had an idea how Yordano might respond under big game pressure.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2015 at 02:03 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day, royals, yordano ventura

 

 

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