Will Smith ladies and gentlemen.
It’s rarely possible for a middle reliever to take a star turn in a close game but Smith delivered a killer 4 1/3 innings on Monday afternoon in a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium.
Smith permitted one hit on a ball that center fielder Jarrod Dyson lost in the sun after replacing an erratic Danny Duffy with two on and two outs in the fourth inning.
“I don’t know what it was” Smith said “but it worked today.”
That is major-league understatement. Smith 2-1 set a career high with eight strikeouts and did so with eye-popping efficiency by throwing just 46 pitches.
“He was able to throw a curveball and a slider effectively” Mariners catcher Mike Zunino said. “Then he was able to get a fastball in there too to sort of slow us down and then speed us up. He did a great job today.”
It was good enough to enable the Royals to beat Seattle ace Felix Hernandez who permitted three runs and six hits 6 2/3 innings before departing after...