Edinson Volquez and the Kansas City Royals' bullpen shut the Toronto Blue Jays out in Game 1 of the ALCS last night in Kauffman Stadium. Now righty Yordano Ventura and lefty David Price match up in the second game of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
Will the Royals start up 2-0 or can the Blue Jays even things up in the second game in Missouri?
Price, 30, went (18-5) in 32 starts this season between Detroit and Toronto's rotations, posting a 2.45 ERA, a 2.78 FIP, 47 walks (1.92 BB/9) and 225 Ks (9.19 K/9) in 220 ⅓ innings pitched, over which the southpaw held opposing hitters to a .227/.271/.350 line.
In two starts in the ALDS, the veteran left-hander was (1-1) with a 7.20 ERA and a .282/.349/.487 line against in 10 IP.
Blue Jays' skipper John Gibbons was asked today if Price might be motivated by his postseason struggles thus far (0-6, 5.23 ERA as a starter) to go out and do something special?
"I don't give a thought what he's done in the postseason," Gibbons said. "I've seen him. He's been a key guy getting us here. I look forward to every time he's taking the mound.
"I get asked that same question, but I really have no concerns. If he's on, you know, he's going to shut you down. That's something I focus a lot on."
Yordano Ventura, 24, was (0-1) with a 7.71 ERA and a .276/.382/.552 line against in seven innings on the mound against the Houston Astros in the ALDS, leaving him (1-1) with a 3.66 ERA and a .242/.319/.392 line against in six starts and 32 innings pitched in the postseason in his career.
In 28 regular season starts this year, the righty was (13-8) with a 4.08 ERA, a 3.57 FIP, 58 walks (3.20 BB/9) and 156 Ks (8.60 K/9) in 163 ⅓ IP in his third major league campaign.
Royals' manager Ned Yost talked on Friday afternoon about sending Ventura out for Game 2 in his second October run and what the young starter learned from last year's experience in Kansas City's postseason run?
"I think it's going to help him a lot," Yost said.
"I think he's made great improvements from the beginning of the year on. And a lot of them were just learning how to deal through adversity and how to become a better professional. And I think he's learned those lessons really, really well.
"The quality of stuff is the same. I don't think he's gotten any better in terms of his talent, but as a professional and as a competitor he's gotten a lot better. He's matured a lot, which is a good thing. Young guys go through some tough times up here. And the more you endure it, the more you learn from it, the better off you're going to be."
Game 2 of the ALCS starts at 3:30 PM EDT in Kansas City...
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|Ben Revere - LF||Alcides Escobar - SS|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Ben Zobrist - 2B|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Lorenzo Cain - CF|
|Edwin Encarnacion - DH||Eric Hosmer - 1B|
|Chris Colabello - 1B||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Troy Tulowitzki - SS||Mike Moustakas - 3B|
|Russell Martin - C||Salvador Perez - C|
|Kevin Pillar - CF||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Ryan Goins - 2B||Alex Rios - RF|
|David Price - LHP||Yordano Ventura - RHP|
Ventura vs the Blue Jays:
Price vs the Royals: