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Kopech struggles in third spring outing

The flamethrower’s command just wasn’t there today

MLB: Spring Training-Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox
Reality Check: Michael Kopech was not his dominant self in Glendale on Thursday, surrendering five earned runs on four hits and three walks.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Kopech is human.

Don’t panic. It’s OK.

The right-hander struggled mightily in Thursday’s split-squad 12-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals in Glendale.

Kopech didn’t strike anyone out. Yeah, that won’t happen too often in his career.

Kopech allowed five earned runs on four hits and three walks (yuck). He could not control any of his pitches: His slider wasn’t biting as much as his previous starts, and his fastball rarely found the strike zone.

Welington Castillo wanted a low outside fastball to Jorge Soler in the top of the third, and Kopech kept it up. The get-me-over fastball was a clear, bad miss. Soler popped it over the left field wall to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.

Kopech called the 91 mph fastball “the slowest pitch I’ve thrown since I was 17 years old.”

His fastball was sitting at 97-98 mph throughout the game, but his lack of command hurt.

In the loss, Kopech’s spring ERA jumped from 0.00 to 6.75.