Royals/Angels (Game #01) Location, Location, Location

Successful pitchers throw strikes.
That’s something the Kansas City Royals have struggled with during this long playoff drought. Ultimately, one could argue that it led to pitching coach Bob McClure’s end on manager Ned Yost’s staff.
For six innings Friday night, Bruce Chen threw enough strike to keep the Los Angeles Angels (and their new “Superman” slugger Albert Pujols) off balance, holding them scoreless.
Then came Aaron Crow, who struck out the side and things looked bright.
All of a sudden during Crow’s second inning of work, 1-0 and 2-1 counts became more commonplace. The trouble continued with Greg Holland. The Angels (who are good hitters even without Pujols) took advantage.
Boom. Five run inning.
The Royals offense, which had started and sputtered against a dominant Jered Weaver, never got a runner past second. The Angels cruised to a 5-0 Opening Day win.
For all of the (mostly deserved) praise the bullpen has received and all of the (mostly deserved) scorn the starting rotation has been given, the key is throwing strikes.
Chen won’t blow by hitters at 84 miles per hour. But he was content to let his defense do the work and located the ball pretty well.
When the pitching staff learns to locate consistently, the Royals will turn the corner.
Don’t worry, we have the offense.

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