Above Marco falls behind 2-0 -- not missing any of these pitches by much. He's being careful, trying to paint. But it is a hitter's count; we're not saying Marco was a Cy Young winner in this game.
But what do YOU throw 2-0? He needs a strike with runners on. He hits his target, a cut fastball (moving in rather than the usual easy-to-hit armside sinker) right at the knees.
Orlando hits a sharp grounder up the middle, maybe taking Segura to the bag for a DP ... but Gonzales deflects it with his glove, infield hit.
Is the above knee-pounder a bad pitch? Of course it is not. Baseball Prospectus' recent study defined "mistake pitches" with that grid and knee-high was obviously not on it. This is not like getting behind 2-0 and then grooving a fastball stomach-high and outer third. Neither is it similar to lobbing a curve ball that spins badly and doesn't break.
When a pitcher is getting destroyed, it is because he is hanging offspeed stuff high in the zone, or falling behind and throwing center-cut fastballs. The above pitch is an excellent pitch in a 2-0 count.
Hitter 1-7, inning 1 number 7, was Cam Gallagher. He struck out swinging, K.
Hitter 1-8 was a walk.
Hitter 1-9 was Drew Butera, a strikeout, K. Inning over, 40-odd pitches.
Marco gave up one hit in the 2nd, but two smoked lineouts saved him, no runs. Royals had the signs?