Bubic's 7 IP 'as good as we can expect'

September 6th, 2020

KANSAS CITY -- Royals rookie left-hander ’s final line will read five runs allowed, including two home runs, and therefore might not look that impressive.

Actually, it was very impressive.

Bubic threw a career-high seven innings and gave up just four hits against the White Sox on Saturday night. And only two of the runs were earned.

But the Royals lost, 5-3, and have now lost eight of nine games, including the first three of this series, to Chicago.

Bubic went with his two strengths -- his fastball and changeup. Of his 106 pitches, 87 were either four-seamers or changeups. And Bubic got 26 called strikes or whiffs on those pitches.

Bubic said after the game that his command likely was the best it has been this season.

“Overall, when I can locate my fastball like that, in and out, up and down,” Bubic said, “that’s a good sign for me, good sign for my changeup.”

Bubic made two key mistakes with both pitches. He let a changeup shift back toward the middle of the plate to José Abreu in the first inning, and Abreu hammered it for a two-run homer.

“We had kept trying to pound him in, pound him in,” Bubic said, “because he had been sitting soft a little. If I had just gotten it down a little bit more -- actually a lot more. But that lineup will make you pay. Facing this lineup three times in seven starts, they make you pay.”

In the fifth, an error by third baseman proved critical. “I’ve got to do a better job there,” Franco said.

Bubic bounced back with two quick outs, but then an infield dribbler by Tim Anderson went for a single and plated a run. The next batter, Yasmani Grandal, crushed a two-run homer to left on a fastball that was down and in.

“I didn’t think it was a bad pitch,” Bubic said. “Looking back, he had taken some pretty good swings off my fastball. … Maybe we should have thrown a changeup in that spot.”

Bubic struck out four and walked only one batter on the night.

“He showed no chink in his armor after that first inning,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “Almost every time we’ve been able to stretch him, it looks like his stuff gets better. He really helped the bullpen and allowed us a chance to make a push. That’s as good as we can expect Kris Bubic to do against that lineup.”