Detroit Tigers (Zimmerman 2-0, 0.00) at Kansas City Royals (Kennedy 2-0, 0.66) 7pm ET on ESPN
Zimmerman is coming off his worst start of 2016, 6 innings of shutout ball during which he gave up 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4, leading the Tigers to a 7-4 win over the Pirates. At 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, Zimmerman is having himself quite a time, but it goes without saying that this level of success is unsustainable. He’s striking out fewer than 5 per 9 innings pitched, and his BABIP is a freakishly low .205 – pitchers cannot consistently convert batted balls into outs at that rate.
Ian Kennedy was signed by the Royals in the off-season to help replace 2015’s late-season rental Johnny Cueto, who departed via free agency after “helping” KC win the World Series. The Royals gave the 31-year-old Kennedy, who was coming off a 3-year stretch during which he was 29-38 with a 4.25 ERA, $70 million over 5 years, leading to a lot of head scratching and snide comments (Hello!), but thus far Kennedy has been lights out. Like Zimmerman, Kennedy’s .200 BABIP is suspiciously low, but he’s at least striking guys out, 14 in 13 ⅔ innings. In his last start, against the Astros, Kennedy went 7, surrendering 2 hits, 2 walks, and just 1 run on a solo homer.
Last night the Royals bested the Tigers 8-6, as KC’s Salvador Perez went 2-for-4 with a homer, a double and 5 RBIs, and Yordano Ventura pitched 5 innings of 2-run ball. Fortunately for the Royals, they’d staked themselves to a 6-run lead before handing the game over to the bullpen, which suffered a couple of tough outings, as Danny Duffy surrendered a 3-run homer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia after whiffing the first two batters in the 7th, and Joakim Soria came on in the 8th, only to give up a pair of singles and a walk t load the bases, before giving way to Kelvin Herrera, who limited the damage to 1 run on when he hit Victor Martinez with a pitch. The Royals lead the AL Central at 9-4, while the Tigers are in third, a game and a half behind them.
Want more MLB? Here’s the action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land:
Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 1-1, 2.84) at St. Louis Cardinals (Martinez 2-0, 3.46) 1:45pm ET on FOX Sports Midwest
Los Angeles Angels (Richards 0-2, 3.57) at Chicago White Sox (Sale 3-0, 2.35) 2:10pm ET on FOX Sports West
Seattle Mariners (Walker 0-0, 2.25) at Cleveland Indians (Salazar 2-0, 0.79) 6:10pm ET on SportsTime Ohio
Oakland Athletics (Gravemen 0-1, 2.38) at New York Yankees (Eovaldi 0-1, 6.94) 7:05pm ET on YES
Los Angeles Dodgers (Stripling 0-0, 2.02) at Atlanta Braves (Perez 0-0, 7.00) 7:10pm ET on FOX Sports South
Tampa Bay Rays (Archer 0-3, 5.87) at Boston Red Sox (Porcello 2-0, 5.11) 7:10pm ET on Fox Sports Sun
Washington Nationals (Ross 2-0, 0.61) at Miami Marlins (Chen 0-0, 5.56) 7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Florida
Detroit Tigers (Zimmerman 2-0, 0.00) at Kansas City Royals (Kennedy 2-0, 0.66) 7pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City & FOX Sports Detroit
Houston Astros (Fister 1-1, 7.59) at Texas Rangers (Hamels 2-0, 2.95) 8:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest
Minnesota Twins (Milone 0-1, 5.06) at Milwaukee Brewers (Nelson 2-1, 2.79) 8:10pm ET on FOX Sports North & FOX Sports Wisconsin
Pittsburgh Pirates (Locke 0-1, 2.53) at San Diego Padres (Pomeranz 1-1, 2.37) 10:10pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego
Arizona Diamondbacks (Greinke 0-2, 6.75) at San Francisco Giants (Bumgarner 1-1, 4.50) 10:15pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona