On the second straight day that the Royals offense has life, they are met with some Texas winds that stirred it all up. The Royals could not overcome the 7 early runs scored on Brian Bannister in the first 2 innings. “I felt like I was pitching on the moon tonight,” Bannister said about tonight’s performance.
The scoring for Texas happened early and fast. Bannister gave up a 2-run shot to Milton Bradley in the first, and luckily got out of the rest of the inning. It was the second where he was really in trouble. Rookie Brandon Boggs hit his first home run of his career, a solo shot in the first part of the inning, creating the third run of the game for Texas. After a couple of really poor pitching sequences, Bannister then found himself with bases loaded, and staring at a hungry Josh Hamilton. Hamilton gave the Rangers their 4, 5, 6, and 7th runs of the game on a grand slam.
Ironically, the scoring did not stop there for the Rangers. They scored 2 runs in the fifth inning by a home run off the bat of Murphy with 1-man-on, against Peralta. Making that 9 runs scored from home runs today.
Why not add 2 more runs in the 7th inning, courtesy of, again, a 1-man-on, home run off the bat of Laird, against Yabuta with 2 out. This makes a shocking 11 runs scored from home run shots by the Rangers today.
The offense looked good tying their highest output of the season with 9, but it was not enough to beat the Rangers today. The Royals look to take the series tomorrow, as they play a day game. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 pm EST. Hopefully the bats can stay hot, and the pitching gets things straightened around.
With the largest offensive out pour this season, the Royals gained a needed win from the Texas Rangers today, and improved their record to 12-14 (2 games shy of .500). The starting pitching did not fair as well as the bats on this day, as Brett Tomko was hit pretty hard today in his short stint on the mound.
Tomko pitched 3.1 innings, gave up 7 Hits, 5 Runs (all earned), and 3 BB’s, striking out only 3. This was not what you want to see from your starter. mlb.com : “I’m just fighting it right now,” Tomko said. “My secondary pitches are just garbage; they’re just not working.”
That says enough about the pitching. The Bullpen came in and really held off the Rangers well, no allowing another run to score. It took 4 pitchers to pitch the rest of this one, and each did an awesome job. Mahay, Gobble, Ramirez, Soria, in that order, combined for 5 and 2/3 innings of work, giving up 3 Hits total, NO Runs, 3 BB’s, and 4 K’s. Pretty impressive.
The bat of Jose Guillen sprung alive today, as he turned his 4 At-Bats into 2 Runs Scored, 2 Hits, and 5 RBI’s. This included a 4th inning dinger off of reliever Feldman, with one on for the 2 runs in that inning.
The Royals need to have a little more solid outing from the starting pitcher’s staff. As long as those bats can stay this hot, we may see these Royals at the top of our Division before to long again.
Even though Gil Meche pitched a solid game for the Royals today, he picked up the lose and watched his record dip to a staggering 1-4 to start off this young season. Noone would have anticipated this. The problem seems to be more the lack of offense, than a lack of pitching lately. The starters are at least keeping us within reach, a lot of the time leaving the game with the lead.
Admittedly the bullpen is not helping the situation any, but you cannot win games, ever, by scoring NO runs! The offense is slowly starting to sink farther into the bottom half of the worst in baseball. Separating itself from teams like the Tampa Bay (once called Devil) Rays. Who? Exactly! Sad.
The positive here again is the pitching seems to be coming into its own. It started on fire, the talk of the town, and just got done being lite up night after night. This seems more like an honest spot for them. The starters pitching about 6 to 7 innings, giving up a max of 3 or 4 runs, striking out 4 to 5, and keeping a steady 3.25 ERA, collectively.
The worries continue for this offense. Ranking last, or second-to-last, in many different categories, they need to do something to spark this young group back into its hitting ways. Jose Guillen has been the mvp for them during this slump behind the plate, as he has been hitting the ball very well and seems to be responsible for quite a few of those runs scored during their losing streak. The total runs scored ranks last in both leagues, with 82. 13 runs less then the second-to-last Minnesota with 95.
The Royals couldn’t get it done today, and lose this one 2-5, as the Blue Jays avoid getting swept. Their record is now 11-14. They now pack their bags and head to Texas, and take on the Rangers for a 3 game series.
This was the pitching performance that we were hoping to get from Luke Hochevar his last start. Maybe it was the pressure of being “the guy” to bring the team out of that terrible slump. Whatever it was, it was not present today, and Hochevar pitched a very nice game.
The Box Score shows: 6 innings; giving up 1 run on 6 Hits, and 2 BB’s. Struck out 3.
That is a very nice set of numbers, good enough to win most major league games. Now all we need is offense. Well there was none. The Roylas happened to turn out 2 runs on just 5 hits (to their 6). One more than their opponent to win this one.
The batting situation has worsened. They are considered one of the worst hitting teams in baseball. Ironic since we saw the Royals come out swinging against everyone to start the season. Weird since we were hearing nothing but how the young talent in Kansas City is starting to catch fire on Talk Shows all over the country, on both TV and radio. Humbling because it was so early and we were talking George Brett in 1985. Baseball is a marathon of peaks and valleys, and patience is hard during the slumps. However, it is also a group of “mini-sprints,” and I believe we may have lost sight of that a bit. But it sure was fun while it lasted.
Let’s see if we can take this momentum on to the final game here with the Blue Jays, and send them away after a sweep by these resurrected Royals. The record is now 11-13, after winning their second in a row. Tomorrow is a day game and the forecast is favorable for a Royals win (and sweep) tomorrow.
The Kansas City Royals broke a 7 game losing streak with their win over the Toronto Blue Jays, today, by a score of 8-4, home at Kauffman Stadium. This is just what the team needed. A good, solid, come from behind, victory, at home, in front of their fans.
Grienke pitched very well and left the game after the 7th inning, with the lead. He only gave up one run, on 5 hits, striking out 4, in those 7 innings. The lead was lost, however, when the bullpen, came in relief, and gave up 3 runs in the 8th, losing the lead, and a win opportunity for Zack. When the Royals came to bat in the last half of that inning their lead was gone, and it looked all to familiar.
mlb.com: “That shows the type of team we are,” DeJesus said. “We lost seven in a row and we could have just bent over after that three-run inning they had, but Trey always says keep your head up and we kept grinding out at-bats in that eighth inning. Everybody did something right.”
The Royals did just that. Kept their heads up, and drove home 6 runs in the 8th inning, regaining the lead for good, and giving them their first win in 8 games, on a dandy today. To come from behind like that, against a pitching staff such as the Blue Jays, is another incredible compliment to the work ethic of this club. Keep plugging away and you will eventually be successful.
mlb.com: “Zack pitched well and [Nunez] just elevated a couple balls, but it was good to get a win coming from behind, the way we’ve been struggling,” Buck said. “That’s exactly what we wanted: a ‘W’ with all those ‘L’s’ looming over us.”
This was a tough loss. This was one of those that could have changed things around. Brian Bannister came out today ready to pitch. He pitched very well, going 6.2 innings, only giving up 4 hits, and 2 runs. The problem wasn’t pitching, for a change. The problems were with our bats.
The Royals laid an egg today, in this, the second game of a double header, rescheduled from yesterday’s rain out here in Kansas City, at Kaufmann Stadium. The offense was Jose Guillen, period. He had 2 of the 3 hits, and that was it. No runs scored against a very fine pitching performance from Indians Cliff Lee.
Nothing the hitters did in the batters box seemed to matter here today. It was simply that dominating. He had his whole entire arsenal out there and everything was on. As the game went on, it was apparent that we were watching a great dual of two hungry pitchers. But Lee had “it” longer, and did it for 9 straight innings.
This drops the Royals right in the basement of the American League Central. I don’t even think anyone who is a Royals fan could have seen this one coming. Not even them.
The numbers are getting sick. 7 game losing streak (8 out of last 9), and from the top to the basement of the AL Central. Something needs to shake this team loose. There is noted talent on this team, and to have a slump spread like a disease throughout the locker room is bad. Hopefully they can turn things around as they start another 3-game home series with the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow.
In a “must win” of sorts to gain some confidence back, the Royals showed some offense, just not enough, today, as the Royals lose another one due to pitching, 6-9, and watch their wonderful start seem meaningless, as they have dropped from a nice 6-2 start of the season to a dismal 9-12, and a losing streak rising to 6. Mayday!
Instead I choose to concentrate on the positive. The team showed that maybe some of that rust is starting to wear off, as they amounted a couple of offensive attacks. Sometimes when the team is down, it is surprising what brings things back around for the club. Like the number 8 and 9 hitters catching fire, and bring the club out of it’s slump. But not here.
The Royals got their offense where they are supposed to be getting their offense, from Butler and Gordon, and quietly from their catcher, Olivo, who is hitting a solid .313.
They made a couple of rallies in the 5th and 7th innings, scoring 2 runs in each inning, but the early deficit was to much to overcome.
Here is what Tomko had to say about his performance today:
“It wasn’t a whole lot of fun tonight. You hope you can just chalk it up to one of those games. I was getting behind a lot of guys — a lot of even counts, a lot of hitter counts. I never really had control of any of the counts to try to do anything.”
Well hopefully we can rebound for the game this evening, if nothing else win one to remember how it feels.
They are going to try to squeeze this one tomorrow after the regularly scheduled game at Kaufmann Stadium. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. Maybe this extra rest is just what the doctor ordered.
It was Gil Meche’s turn to take the mound, and see if he could be the one to bring the Royals out of this slump. And he found out early in this one, that he was NOT. Usually in a situation like this, you have to let the numbers speak for themselves. Meche pitched 3 and 1/3 and gave up 9 hits. The staggering result in 8 runs! (ALL of them earned) He gave up a grand slam to Casey Blake in the 4th inning to cap off a 5 run, 4th inning. That was after a 2-run, 3rd inning, and followed up by a 2-run, 5th inning. Not to mention the 2-run, 7th inning, and the 3 runs that they tacked on in the 8th inning for good measure. Ugly.
The final score in this little gem…your Kansas City Royals 1 … the Cleveland Indians 15.
This takes them to 9-11, losing 5 straight, and 6 of their last 7. Yikes!
The Royals needed to do something, and quick. So they put one of their most highly-toted prospects onthe mound, in hopes of giving this team a spark. Luke Hochevar made an appearance for the Royals, and was roughed up for 6 innings. Not what the Royals needed to pull them from this slump, and they get swept in Oakland, by a score of 1-7.
Hochevar pitched out of trouble in the first few innings, and did not allow any runs. It wasn’t until the 4th inning that things got out of control. The A’s scored 5 runs in the 4th, and again never took their foot off the peddle. They cruised to another win today, and handing the Royals their forth straight lose, by sweeping them in sound fashion.
The only game of this series that the Royals were even in was the second one, where they lost the lead late, and never scored another run. Other than that it has been a dominating performance by the Oakland Athletics in this series. Each inning seemed to produce trouble for the Kansas City pitching staff, as they were always working out of a hole.
This lose drops the Royals below .500 for the first time this season, at 9-10, and drops them to 2 1/2 games behind division leading Chicago White Sox. Also tying them with the Minnesota Twins for 2nd.
They will be glad to return home, have a day off, and try to fix the problems that seem to be accumulating. They face the Indians of Cleveland next at Kaufman Stadium on Tuesday, April 22nd. Hopefully some home cooking can put that spark back in this lineup, and also get this pitching staff’s confidence back up. It is still very early, and the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Shape up boys, you are better than you have been previously playing. Let’s turn that corner, and start winning again.
I understand that the Royals are playing out of there minds to start the season. In fact, I have heard the Kansas City Royals mentioned more time on ESPN so far this season then I have the last three years combined. Don’t misunderstand the following as hate mail by any means. But I am now spoiled. I am used to the Royals winning, and by golly, that is what I expect.
Everything looked good in the beginning of the game, and the bats were hitting. They took a quick 4-0 lead in the first couple innings of the game, and things looked to be back on track. Grienke was pitching out of a lot of trouble every inning, but no runs were scoring. With that 0.75 ERA, and perfect 3-0 record, you would think that this one was in the bag. In the 5th inning the A’s snuck three runs (two earned) from Grienke, ballooning his ERA to 1.24!
He was relieved by Ramirez, and left the game with the lead. However, just like yesterday, they fought back in the late innings, caught up and passed the Royals with one run in the 6th, and 2 more in the 7th, creating a one run deficit for the Royals going into the 8th.
But that was all she wrote for the bats of K.C., and they fall to the A’s again, 5-6, and officially find themselves at .500 (9-9), losing their third straight contest.
Some concerns are growing with me about this bullpen. The Royals are giving themselves a chance to win every game, by creating situations of having the lead going into the late innings, but it is the bullpen pitching that has really been giving up a lot of runs lately. Granted the 8 runs scored on them in the 8th inning yesterday was not a deciding factor of the game, however, it is a heck of a lot easier to get something started and rip off a couple runs, and jump right back into a game, rather than be down by 9 or so runs. It could really take your interest right out of the game.
Kansas is now 9-9, and look to avoid the sweep tomorrow, Sunday. Guillen has the hot bat right now, let’s see if they can take from that and build on it.
Even Bannister knew himself, in the 1st inning even, that today was not going to be a great day. There is a lot to be said for that “extra-little-something.” That one thing that you can’t quite explain, but you know whether you have it or not. Bannister did not have it today. Don’t get me wrong, he still looked better then most, but he just could not put batters away today, and he looked like a man always working from behind.
In Dick Kaegel’s column for MLB.com , Bannister had this to say:
“I could tell in the first inning that it wasn’t going to be one of my electric nights where I felt really sharp.”
Kansas City had everything going for it clear into the 6th inning, having a 2-1 lead (seemingly all Bannister would need to close it out) going into the 6th inning. But that was when the A’s broke lose. 4 runs were scored in the sixth, quickly, and before you knew it, it was 5-2, and the A’s never looked back. After another brutal inning in the 8th, seeing reliever Yabuta walk four give up some hits, and Nomocoming in after him, and some poor fielding (getting signals crossed with the outfield on a pop-up, ans watching the ball fall between them), saw 8 notched up on them, creating a 13-2 deficit, and that was how this one ended.
The Royals have slipped even closer to .500 today, taking there record to 9-8. They lose this one today, badly, to the A’s of Oakland. Game 2 of this series tomorrow, where the Royals try to break this 2-game losing streak, and force a rubber-game on Sunday.
The Royals must be glad to get rid of these quick 2-game series. They don’t seem to be able to win the second game, especially after winning the first. Tomko took the loss today, and watched his record slip to 1-2, his ERA is thankfully a solid 3.60. The Royals could not rebound from giving up 5 runs in the first 5 innings. A small rally in the 9th inning did not produce enough runs to make it interesting, only scoring one run, and bring the Royals within 2 runs (3-5). F. Rodriguez got the save in this one, and secured the Angels the win.
Jon Garland, who has pitched more games against the Royals (with the most wins of any pitcher), looked very good, and comfortable out there. The Royals could only put together 3 runs, on 7 hits, and 3 walks. This is Garlands first year with the Angels, coming off an entire career with the Chicago White Sox. His comfort level is most likely attributed to his seemingly easy outings against Kansas City throughout his tenure in Chicago.
Tomko, on the other hand, did not fair as well. He pitched 7 innings, gave up 6 hits, 5 runs, and walked one, striking out only 3 batters. He was just out pitched today. Period. He did not have an outing that raised any flags or anything like that, he actually pitched fairly well. The score can get away from you pretty fast when you give up a bases loaded double. As it did here. Even Hillman wasn’t to hard on him after the game in his post game evaluation.
The Royals made it interesting, scoring a run in the 4th to pull within one run, at 3-2, but that was as close as they were going to come. The RBI came off the bat of Jose Guillen, who shot a double, bring home the runner on second.
They tacked on a last minute run in the 9th, but could not catch up today. The Royals lose the second game of the series to the Angels, 3-5, and see there record fall to a “not so shabby” 9-7, 2 games above .500.
Kansas City is staying out west to take on the Oakland Athletics tomorrow. We are back to normal 3 and 4 game series, let’s see if that makes a difference as well.
It was one of those days. A day that in the past the Royals would have found themselves on the losing end, after giving up the lead late. Not this year. This is a new Royals team in Kansas City. Gil Meche pitched just good enough to win this one, and received some much needed help from the bullpen to do it. Meche almost hit the century mark in pitches, with 99 (65 strikes), gave up 2 earned runs, on only 6 hits in 6 innings. His ERA is now 6.08, which is falling, and this is just the type of game that he needs to gain some of the confidence that he may have lost in his first 3 starts of the season.
Trey Hillman had this to say: “I was glad Gil got the ‘W,’ he fought himself out there a little bit but he pitched well enough to win. We made some mistakes that we shouldn’t have made tonight, but fortunately they didn’t come back to bite us and the bullpen picked us up and did a very good job.”
The bullpen entered in the 7th inning, and it took 4 pitchers to get the job done, holding the Angels scoreless for the remainder of the game. The 2 runs that were scored by the Angels in the 4th inning was all they were going to get against this pitching staff today.
This was a good thing, since the bullpen for the Angels also held the Royals scoreless for the remainder of the game. However, the lead that the Royals gained in the early innings was enough to hold on for the win.
The offense came from the usual suspects. Gathright started things off with a single in the 1st inning, but was picked off at first, looking to run, as usual. That was not what the team needed right out of the gates, but the Royalsfollowed up with 4 consecutive singles by the familiar names; Mark Grudzielanek, Mark Teahen, Billy Butler, and Alex Gordon. This explains the two runs scored in the 1st inning.
The last Royals run came again from aggressive base running by Gathright, in the 2nd inning. With two outs, Gathright singled, and then stole 2nd base. Smart base running dictates that you take off on errors, or wild pitches. Well the Royals received a gift off the glove of Weaver, the Angels pitcher, as he errored on a play, and Gathright sprinted home, for the decided winning run.
This is the type of test that the Royals needed. Once they have the lead, can they keep it? Once the Starting Pitcher is releived, does the bullpen have what it takes to shut it down for the win? Is aggressive base running helping or hurting the club?
These answers are evident, and every Kansas City fan has to like what they see. With this win today the Royals take their record to 9-6, and look towards a sweep of the Angels tomorrow. This is the last shortened 2-game series of the season, and hopefully the Royals can end them with a sweep.
Just when we were getting used to seeing our starters go the distance, give up one run, record the win, and give the bullpen another day off, we are reminded how special those last two pitching outings were. Things were not as rosy today, as the Royals drop one to the Mariners and leave Seattle with a shortened series “wash.” The pitching was not as consistent as we are getting accustomed to seeing. The bullpen was worked hard today (for a change), letting up a collection of 6 of the 11 runs scored in the game, and giving up 6 of the 13 hits. Bale made it only 3 innings, before getting relieved by Hideo Nomo. Bale’s numbers were a dismal 7 hits, and 5 runs scored (all earned), with only recording three strike outs. Base runners were plentiful for the Mariners, as all of the runs that they scored came off of solid hits, instead of clicking 2 or 3 at a time off of home runs.
There was not many positive aspects to this game for the Royals pitching staff, as their woes continued even after the relief took the mound. Hideo Nomo entered the game in the 4th inning after Bale pitched to one batter. Nomo’s performance was far worse then average, even, as he was lite up good, giving up 3 hits, taking 4 earned runs, and watched his ERA soar to 13.50. The rest of the relieving cast did not fair well, either, giving up 2 more runs in the late innings.
The Royals, however, were not without some offense. They scored a run quickly in the first, and then struggled a bit against Batista, until they found a way to make some offense out of nothing in the forth, knocking in 3 runs. They managed 2 more runs in the 6th inning, but by that time the damage was done. The good news here is that the runs batted in were coming from everywhere in the lineup, including 2 RBI’s from Pena Jr. in the ninth slot. So not all was bad. It just feels that way coming off those two pitching gems back-to-back.
The Royals’ record falls to 8-6 with this ugly lose, and snaps a 2-game winning streak. Next up are the Angels of Anahiem, for another one of these shortened 2-game series. And then it is off to Oakland, for a 3 game series over the weekend with the Athletics.
Zack Greinke seemed to follow right along with Bannister’s stellar performance yesterday to pitch a one-run complete game of his own. This is the first complete game of Greinke’s career in the majors. He did so on just 107 pitches as well. This makes the second complete game by the Royals starting pitchers in as many days. This could not be any better in the eyes of the skipper Trey Hillman. What else can you ask for but one run complete game pitching from your starting staff. It sure does take the pressure of the bullpen as a whole.
To give an example of how well Zack has been pitching; His ERA went up from the 0.60 he earned after his outstanding outing against the Yankees, to 0.75, because of the one earned run he gave up in the 3rd inning off the bat of Ichiro Suzuki (go figure). That is an ERA below Bannister, below most pitchers in the majors (with that many innings), and below one! Wow. Who would have thought that at the beginning of this season we would be talking about any Royals pitcher in the top rankings in the league? How about the entire pitching staff?
Aside from some questionable outings, so far this year, the Royals are the talk of baseball. ESPN, and FOX Sports Net, CBSSportsline.com, and every baseball publication known to man, can’t stop talking about these Royals. It is really quite exciting, especially when there is nothing but comparisons to the great years, with George Brett and the boys. There is a winning tradition here in Kansas City, and it seems that this young club may be waking a sleeping giant.
The 5 runs scored came from an early set of homers in the 3-run third inning, off the bats of Billy Butler, and Miguel Olivo. They stole a couple of runs in the 7th and 8th, turning this into a 5-1 lead, and the victory.
This was the second win in a row for the club, and things look very good in Kansas City. They did not seem to be rattled by their previous 3-game losing streak, and have rebounded quite well. Of course this is helped along by incredible pitching (which always helps), but they are staying strong, and fighting through the valleys early on this season. This is a different attitude than we are used to seeing. A lot of the credit goes to the skipper Trey Hillman, his drive for success, and ability to see things for what they are, game by game. Also some credit must go to the front office. Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/General Manager, Dayton Moore deserves a ton of credit, also, for driving for change in the Royals clubhouse.
Things are looking really good again, and back on track if you are a Royals fan. The get the first game against the Mariners, and look for the sweep tomorrow. The win today takes their record to an impressive 8-5, and has many in Major League Baseball taking notice. This team can get you both on the mound, and behind the plate. Things are looking very good for the future of this organization.
The best way to pull this team out of the hitting funk that it has been in is to send Brian Bannister to the mound, and let him take control. That’s exactly what happened. Bannister’s presence was felt all the way into the batting lineup, and immediately, as the scoreless draught ended in the first inning, when Joey Gaithright, and his bursting speed, beat out the throw to first on his soft chopper to the shortstop. Then Esteban German bunted him over to second, and he crossed home plate on a Billy Butler two-out single, stoppingthat dreaded 26 inning scoreless draught.
Bannister pitched another gem. What can you say? He had one run (unearned) cross the plate in the first inning, and the reat of the game was lights out. He is really mixing his pitches well, and uses every pitch in his arsenal, and can throw them all for strikes. He may be the best pitcher going so far this year. His command is great, and he is really taking control of games early. Had it not been for an error by Jose Guillen to start the day off, we may be talking about a complete game shut out.
Although he did only give up 3hits, and aside from the run that scored in the first inning, Bannister never had a runner advance farther than 1st base. Now that is having complete control of the game, and it seemed contagious. The Royals never looked back after getting the lead in the second, and keeping it the remainder of the game.
This is as impressive a start to the season that I can remember. Let’s look at some of the stats that Bannister is posting so far this season. In 21 innings, Bannister has only allowed two earned runs, and only given up 10 hits total! His ERA is a very stingy 0.82! That is just what the skipper ordered to have the team bounce back, and break that three game losing streak.
Another good thing to see is the bats come back alive, after being dead for some time. The hitting came from all across the board, as the beginning, middle, and end of the lineup did their own damage throughout the game. Both Hits, and RBI’s were spread out in the lineup, making this a nice team win today.
The Royals avoided the sweep at the hands of the Twins, winning this one 5-1, on another pitching sensation from Bannister. They move their record to 7-5, and start a winning streak that will hopefully amount more than just this one, and get the team back on track. It is baseball, and this is a very streaky game at times. You cannot let the wins get you to high, or the lows get you to low.
They leave this homestand (Yankees/Twins) with an even 3-3 record. They are now off to Seattle and Anehiem, for two back-to-back shortened 2-game series, on the road. We will see if they can take this momentum with them, and grow from another solid outing from their best pitcher to date, Brian Bannister.
The Royals did it again. Another scoreless event today at Kauffman Stadium, as the Twins clip the wings that have been keeping the Royals flying high early this season. Going into this game, with a worked over lineup, 6 out of the 9 batters on that list have an average above .310, with one of them (Butler) well over that with .372. That does not seem to translate to wins, though, for the club, as they lose another to the Minnesota twins, despite a good pitching outing from Tomko.
The Royals managed 5 hits scattered about by 5 different hitters. They just can not get anything going against these Twins, no matter what they try. Changing the lineup doesn’t work. Playing in a dome, or outside doesn’t seem to matter. So what is it that keeps the Royals from scoring against their AL Central foe? Who knows. I do know that if it weren’t for the Twins, the Royals would be the talk of baseball right now. With a record better than the one they have now.
Tomko was solid again, which is a very positive sign. He went 6 innings and gave up 6 hits. He gave up a one-run homer off the bat of Kubel in the 2nd inning, with 2-outs. He coasted for the remainder of his stay in this game until the 7th inning. In a “highlight reel” play in the 4th inning, Tomko took a bullet off his left calf, but still had the concentration to backhand toss the ball to Gload, at first, for the out. He pitched to 3 batters, had noone out when he was relieved by a solid bullpen. Three pitchers combined to give up no runs after that and close out the game without any further damage.
Even though Tomko and crew held the Twins to 2 runs in this one, the offense has remained silent, for the second game straight. Trey Hillman had this to say after the game, in his post game press conference; “We had some opportunities we should have taken advantage of … We need to put more hits on the board. We didn’t square up pitches that we have the ability to square up. We’ve got more ability in our bats than we’ve shown in the last couple of nights. We’ve got a couple of guys that are searching a little bit. It’s a combination of that to go along with seeing some pretty good pitching.”
The Royals drop another game to the pesky Minnesota Twins, and watch their record fall again, to 6-5. The second game in a row that they were held without scoring a run. This is no time for alarm, but something’s got to give. Tomorrow is a new day, and today will be the past. Everyday is the opportunity to start fresh, and that is exactly what the Royals need, a fresh start.
Nothing the Royals could do today could penetrate a very solid pitching performance from Minnesota’s starting pitcher, Livan Hernandez. The Royals were not able to capitalize on a bases loaded, one-out 5th inning, where they were then turned away in front of 16,691 “crazy” Royals fans. I say crazy for the fact that at gametime the temperature was about 40 degrees in the warm spots, and approximately 30 in the cold spots (wind chill, of course).
The Royals starting pitching took some lumps today as Meche gave up 5 runs on just 5 hits. However, he ended up walking 4 and gave up a HR to Morneau. The positive for Meche’s afternoon is that he did have 6 K’s, and after he settled down, starting in the 4th inning, he pitched very good baseball for the remainder of his day. He was relieved by Japanese phenom, Yasuhiko Yabuta, who shut out the Twins for the 2 innings he pitched, keeping his ERA perfect at 0.00. Ramirez came in and also recorded a scoreless inning to wrap this cold day up.
It was one of those games that the Royals would like to forget. Everything they did was wrong. Any adjustment they made was wrong. This is the second time that the Twins have played spoiler to the Royals, as Kansas City met them in Minnesota, after a shockingly victorious sweep of the Detroit Tigers, the Twins handed the Royals their first lose of the season, followed by their second lose. Now coming off another solid series with a major league powerhouse in the Yankees, the Twins have shut them out. Three of the Four loses the Royals have this season are at the hands of the Twins.
This loss did not, however, knock them out of first place, as they are still the leaders in the AL Central. Tomorrow is another day, and Tomko(1-0) takes the mound against Bonser (0-2) to put a stop to the Twins’ winning ways against these hot Royals. Their record stands now at 6-4, after this 0-5 lose today to the Twins.
Andy Pettitte must have been chomping at the bit to pitch today against the Royals. You see, Pettitte enjoys pitching against them. The Royals have the worst record against him in the American league, so this was the perfect fit for a struggling Yankees team; pitch Pettitte. And pitch him they did.
Pettitte almost threw a donut up for the Royals in the Runs column, and if it were not for a 1st inning RBI double by Jose Guillen, he would have done it. The Royals were shut down today, scoring only one run, and suffering from 8 straight scoreless innings. Uncharacteristic of this new young Royals team.
John Bale (0-2) ended up pitching 6 innings, and was handed the lose in this one. He gave up 4 runs, off of 8 hits, struck out 3, and walked 1. It was not a terrible outing, in fact it wasn’t bad at all. Without offensive production, there are few pitchers even on their good days that can win this type of game. When you are only given 1 run to play with, in the first inning, and then get shut out the rest of the way, it makes things tough.
Even tougher was the relief pitching in this one. Hideo Nomo pitched 3 innings, gave up 2 runs on 4 hits. The distracting statistic to see is that 2 of those hits came from back-to-back homers off the bats of Rodriguez, and Posada, with no men on and 2 out! Not good. That was a little disheartening to see.
The offense was quieted today, as the Yankees steal one away from the Royals. The thorn in the Royals side, Andy Pettitte, came away with the win, and the Royals record slips to 6-3.
Next up are the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. Hopefully this homecookin’ will result in some more wins for the home team, and keep the Royals shocking the league with their first place position among the American League Central teams.
As sloppy as I have ever witnessed a game being played through in the rain, the Royals and the Yankees went at it again today in, for lack of better words, soup. The field was drenched, and the players were dripping wet (even from their gloves). The rain never let up, and I am sure both teams are glad to have this one in their past. Unfortunately, in every contest there must be a loser, and the Yankees found themselves on the short end of the decision again today, dropping their second straight to this red hot Kansas City Royals team.
Not even mother nature can keep this team from winning. The rain that seemed to be coming down in buckets at times, was not even a menace to Zack Grienke, who watched another pitching performance drop his ERA to 0.60! He pitched another one of those games that at the end of the season people will contribute to the grit of this team. With weather that seemed to make playing baseball impossible, the only thing Grienke could do was pitch through 8 solid innings, soaking wet, with some of the players jerseys covered in mud. He was good enough to strike out 2, walk 2, and give up only 6 hits, not allowing a single base runner to cross home plate, to record his second win of the season, in grand, shut out baseball fashion.
Joe Girardi, manager of the Yankees, made a decision (due to the weather) to scratch their starting pitcher right before game time (Ian Kennedy) and go for a “pitching-by-committee” philosophy, in hopes that the game would be delayed for a long enough period of time to be rescheduled, or called right away on the count of rain. This decision did not work out in the best interest of Joe Girardi and his Yankees, as the game pressed on, and grounds crew members attempted to control the puddles that were forming in the infield.
As the crowd of 19,007 huddled under umbrellas, tarps, and plastic, the game did have some moments of offense in the Royals half of the 5th and 6th innings. Farnsworth, the Yankees 3rd pitcher of the day, gave up a nice home run to John Buck that sailed appropriately right into the fountain and sunk in the pool. The ball was crushed, travelling an estimated 439 feet in this extreme rain, and wind.
In the 6th inning after a pitching change for the Yanks, the original starting pitcher Ian Kennedy came in relief, and was immediately hit around, after a walk to Gordon. Gload hit an RBI double, Buck singled, and Pena Jr. hit a ground out RBI as well. This brought the Royals score to 4, and the Yankees couldn’t get anything from an increasingly tougher Grienke.
This was game 2 of 3 and the Royals are already gauranteed the win of the series, by taking their second one in a row, in a sloppy event today on the day after the home opener, and extend their winning streak to 3 (for the 2nd time this season). They will look for the sweep tomorrow, as John Bale heads off against Andy Pettitte. This will be interesting, as long as the weather cooperates, and we may see a sweep, the Royals second of this young season. They improve to a 6-2 record, and due to the White Sox lossing their game today, find themselves all alone atop the American League Central.
The atmosphere was electric as the 4-2 Kansas City Royals came home today for their home opener at Kaufman Stadium. Since the stadium opened on April 10, 1973 it has been host to 3 no-hitters. With the way this pitching staff has performed the last week, beating Detroit and spoiling their grand entrance, who’s to say we won’t be seeing #4 this season.
The 2nd inning gave Bannister the most trouble as he found himself in some trouble early. 3 walks (one with the bases loaded) and two 2-out singles to Jorge Posada, and Wilson Betemit, amounted the troublesome 39 pitch inning. Wow. Now that is a lot of pitches.
He left in the 5th inning, to a thunderous applause. I think if nothing else the crowd appreciated his effort today with the weather the way it was, and also wanted to recognize the tremendous job he has done so far this season. He really is coming into his own.
Bannister amounted 6 K’s today’s even though he was finding it hard to find the strike zone in that wind. Three of those strike outs came from Alex Rodriguez as he watched strike three pass him three times like “the house by the side of the road” (thanks Ernie). This is one measure to tell the level of maturity that Bannister has acheived compared to last season. When he faced A-Rod last year he saw him two times. Both times A-Rod got a hit, rbi, run…you catch my drift. They call those home runs. This time, however, it was a different story. A-Rod ended up striking out (swinging) again to Ramon Ramirez, to cap of an 0-4 day, all on strike outs.
Here is what A-Rod had to say about Bannisters performance: “He made some great pitches — there’s not much you can do…I can’t really look back and say those were pitches I could have hit or crushed; perhaps maybe just fooled off. Today, he was much better than I was — give him a lot of credit.”
Pretty impressive coming from one of the best hitters baseball has ever seen.
The offense was sparked by solid, aggressive base running by none other then Joey Gathright himself. He led off the 1st inning with a single, stole second, and was running on an infield out ground ball, toward the first base side, and made it easily. He was then driven home by Teahen, who hit a double to left center field. In the forth it was the same old Gathright. Led off the inning with a single. Stole second. STOLE THIRD!, and was then hit home by a single to right by Grudzielanek.
At that point in the game it was 3-2 in favor of the Royals, and they never looked back. The Royals were just to much for the Yankees today. The Yankees even tried to change up some pitching here and there in attempt to gain back some of the conttrol that was lost in this one. But it was to no avail.
The Royals gave all 37,296 people, who were lucky enough to be there, a treat today. They showed a side of them that true blue fans of the team have been waiting for since their World Series Victory in 1985. They will dazzle you on the bases, and impress you from the mound. I know it is early, but the report card so far shows a lot of A’s and B’s.
You couldn’t ask for much more from Brett Tomko today as he showed up and gave 5 solid innings pitching today, not yielding a single run, and only allowing 6 hits, striking out 3. Then as the bullpen has done so often, took the game to the end with the lead, allowing only 1 run over 4innings of work. Soria was again lights out in the ninth. A very positive sign of a good bullpen is repetition. This club looks like its bullpen is repeating lights out baseball, chewing up innings, taking pressure off the starters, and the coaches. Wow. You know something. Right now. Today. I vote the bullpen the MVP. I know its early, I’m just saying.
The offense came from another quick burst of power and speed, as Jose Guillen led with a single. Billy Butler (get used to it) then doubled, sending Guillen to third. Then Alex Gordon (get used to it again) hit a 2-run single. This was all in the 2nd inning. They knocked one more over home plate in the 7th inning when Gordon (I’m just saying) hit a double down the right field line, then advanced to 3rd base on a balk by Bonser. He was hit home by a John Buck single to left. That sums up the scoring.
The Royals look very good coming home after this road trip, carrying a record of 4-2, highlighted by that impressive sweep over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Followed by enough determination to make sure it wasn’t a sweep-sweep road trip, which would have resulted in a lose today and a .500 record going home. But that is not the case. We are the Kansas City Royals, coming home to our home fans, and looking forward to opening up our house on Tuesday, as we host the New York Yankees. What a way to start, and who else to welcome in, other than those da** Yankees.
Your Kansas City Royals come home with a record of 4-2.
The best way to explain this would have to be in the pitching department. The best voice to use would be the pitcher himself Gil Meche. From MLB.com:
“I pitched great for three innings, and the last three I made a lot of mistakes,” Meche said. “I just didn’t put the ball where I wanted to and fell behind. That’s pretty much the story of what I did.”
So that explains the second loss of the season. Meche did not have the same command we saw out of him when he pitched that dandy in Detroit at Comerica Park. I do realize that this just might be the “hangover” from winning such an unexpected series, as they did by sweeping the Detroit Tigers. I do realize that maybe they weren’t as prepared as they could be due to their own recent celebrity. I also realize that in order to succeed instead of just win, you have to be able to repeat those type of series, back to back to back to back…you get the point, and I guess there is some areas to grow in. Which is alright. That is just fine.
The good news is that the problem has been identified. Getting to that answer can be harder than you would think, so I think that it is safe to say that the Royals will not follow a sweep, in such grand fashion, of the Detroit Tigers, by getting swept themselves by the Minnesota Twins. It’s just not their style. Look for Brett Tomko to turn things up a bit and come home to Kansas City with an above .500 record.
The Royals (3-2) lose today by a score of 4-6 to the Minnesota Twins. Pitching was the story in this one, and the club looks to turn things around tomorrow as they meet one more time before returning home.
For the first time in this 2008 season, the Royals lose, to a divisional rival in the Minnesota Twins. I have to say that it wasn’t the fact that they lost to the Twins that stood notice to me, it was how they lost. Minnesota showed the Royals how to play this style of baseball seen mostly in the National League, some call it small ball. The exact thing that Hillman said he would concentrate a little on in spring training. They were shown the correct way to execute many vital aspects of the game to manufacture themself a run or two when they might desperately need it.
Bale (0-1) took the loss as he went 6.1, striking out 2. The hits just didn’t stop today from Minnesota as they amounted 4 runs on 9 hits in just the first 4 innings. He looked a little rough around the edges at times throughout the game, especially in the begginning couple of innings.
What ended up being the deciding run was scored in the forth on a squeeze play at home. I am not kidding you. Mike Lamb doubled to start off the inning. Matt Tolbert bunted him over to third, and Adam Everett bunted him home. It really was a thing of beauty, but a tough way to lose. These are the lessons that baseball can teach the youth of this game, and hopefully help in positive ways. It is the simple things that get the job done.
The Royals fall today to the Minnesota Twin by a squeeze play bunt to get the go-ahead run home. The score was 4-3, in favor of the Twins, and drop the once unbeaten Royals to a record of 3-1.
That’s right. That’s what I said. The Royals have just completed a sweep of the mighty Detroit Tigers. Coming off another sensational pitching performance by Zack Grienke this time, The Royals made it look easy, looking forward now to our meeting with the Minnesota Twins.
The last game of this series seemed to go as a blueprint from the previous 2 games. Dominate off the mound, and keep their bats quiet, and scratch away until we find a way to get a run or two here and there. Does that sound right? Yes. If there are any teams that wanted to see how to beat the Detroit Tigers for future reference they were just given a clinic on how to do it.
Zack Grienke went 7 innings, gave up 1 run, in the seventh to a homer by Brandon Inge, on 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 K’s, and posted a 1.29 ERA. Follow that with homers from Gordon and Teahen, and there is your winning recipe for beating those pesky Tigers. Oh, and hold them to 0-11 with runners in scoring position deosn’y hurt either.
The Royals (3-0) win this one and sweep the series with the Detroit Tigers (0-3), and find themselves in first place in the American League Central. Things could not look better right now if you are a Royals fan. The last time a Kansas City Royal team swept the home team on the road to start the season was the year they won 102 games and won the division. It is a real nice time to be a Royals fan. That is for sure.
If you thought Meche’s 6 innings, 3 ER, performance was impressive, yesterday, then how about Bannister’s 7 inning, 2 hit, 4 K, blanko-job he pulled in Detroit today? Are you kidding me? This cannot be the top of the mountain already is it? This is unbelievable! Not only are we shutting out baseball teams, it is the Detroit Tigers. One of the most impressive lineups in recent memory. Other then the Detroit Tigers short stop, Edgar Renteria, Bannister pitched a no-hitter. Pretty impressive. His control was there, and as he mentioned in a post-game interview with Dick Kaegel from MLB.com, he was really concentrating on mixing it up:
“I have good control, and I try and just mix it up,” he said. “Pitch in, pitch out, pitch hard, pitch soft. Just pitch out there. It’s hard to see on TV sometimes, but I’m really changing a lot of stuff each time.”
Well, whatever it was it worked. There are few pitching performances as dominating as this one. Then you add the opponent. Wow. Let’s put this into perspective. In his seven innings he walked none, and faced only 22 batters, 1 over the minimum. Congratulations to a very fine pitching performance today by Brian Bannister. Again…7 innings, 2 hits, 4 K’s, and 0 runs.
Nunez and Soria came in for relief and closer roles, pitching another 2 shutout innings of baseball! You couldn’t ask for much more from this pitching staff today. The second loss handed to the mighty Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan.
The offense didn’t come from either team all the way through the 5th inning. But in the sixth, 3 doubles for the Royals changed that. Grudzielanek hit a rocket down the right field line for the first double. Jose Guillen acheived his first hit and first RBI as a Kansas City Royal as he hit the second double just inside the right field line. And who else but Billy Butler with the third double, a screamer into straight away center field, scoring Guillen and taking the score to 2-0. The Royals notched two more on the board in the eighth, when, you guessed it, Butler and Teahen each hit RBI singles, driving home Gaithright (who led off) and Grudzielanek.
But the day was Bannister’s. What an incredible pitching performance we saw from him today. Let’s see what other people had to say about it. From MLB.com:
“When big league pitchers make big league pitches, they get people out,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “He made more big league pitches today.”
“He was great,” Rogers said. “Our lineup’s very good, but he pitched fantastic. Outpitched me by far. He’s fun to watch. … He pitches. He doesn’t throw. He’s out there moving the ball around quite a bit and changing speeds. That’s what it takes.”
Just 2 games into the season, and people are already starting to take notice. The Royals pitching staff has improved. They can make big league pitches against other real big league bats. How would you like to be Zack Grienke right now? Climbing the mound with the chance to sweep the pre-season favorite to win the World Series. Pretty nice feeling, I bet.
The Royals took 11 innings to give the Tigers their first lose of the season, and spoiled a much anticipated home opener in Detroit by winning this contest 5-4. Gil Meche pitched a dandy against possibly the best 1 through 9 batting order in baseball. They hung right in there throughout the entire game, capitalizing on the talent and power of their youth, coupled with extraordinary feilding from right field, and third base to end it. Guillen was credited with an assist as he gunned down Maglio Ordonez at the plate, saving what would have been the difference in this game, and Alex Gordon dove to save a hit, and fired a laser across the infield, showing his talent at the hot corner.
The starting lineup for the first game of the 2008 season looked like this:
As previously advertised, the Royals were off and running early, with a Grudzielanek steal of second, after a throwing error on the shortstop Renteria (E5), and collision with first baseman Guillen for the Tigers in the first inning. It was the third inning when Ordonez was gunned down at the plate for the third out of the inning, compliments of Jose Guillen in right field.
Up to this point in the game, the bats for the Royals were very aggressive, especially early in the count. This is the new attitudethat manager Trey Hillman imposed on his players early in spring training, and the guys were paying attention. This aggresion payed off in the forth inning, when Billy Butler was credited with the first hit for the Royals in this 2008 season, off of a very good pitcher Justin Verlander, who hit Grudzielanek in the left hand a few batters before.
In the sixth inning they scored their first couple runs off of a 2 run shot by Alex Gordon, cutting the Tiger lead to 3-2. It was very fitting that the first runs came off the bat of Gordon, who was the second overall pick in the 2005 draft out of Nebraska, after winning the collegiate player of the year that season, and followed it up by winning the Minor League player of the year that following campaign. Not many players came to the field today in either uniform carrying a resume like that, and it showed.
The new aggresive style of played continued in the seventh inning, when Gload hit a liner up the gut, with a hit and run call made for Teahen, who was on first. Buck then singled to drive him home from third, to tie the game at 3. Again Grudzielanek, hit a single off of the third Tigers pitcher of the inning, Lopez, to go ahead 4-3.
Before they could write this one in the books, however, Detroit’s Guillen homered to tie it at 4. Enter extra innings.
It wasn’t until the 11th inning, when everything started going the Royals way. Teahen walked to start the inning. Again, the new philosophy in place, Gload layed down a perfect bunt down the first base line to drive Teahen over to second. The next batter, John Buck, hit a shot just past the outstretched glove of the short stop Renteria for the Tigers, and Teahen was waved home rounding third. With an arm that very few major leaguers possess, Brandon Inge earned an assist of his own throwing Teahen out at the plate. This did not stop the offensive prowl of the Royals, however, as the next batter Tony Pena Jr. hit a blooper into center feild driving home Buck, in what ended up being the difference in this one, and the Royals come away with the win, 5-4, in a hard faught battle at Comerica Park in Detroit.
The atmosphere was electric, and the Royals definitely entered the game the underdog, but never showed signs of quitting. Meche pitched an excellent game, and showed why he is considered one of baseball’s elite. Holding this lineup to anything less than a double digit score is impressive, let alone the fact that he had them batting from their heels most of the game.
Overall this was what every Kansas City fan was hoping for entering this 2008 season. Agressive hitting followed by aggressive running. Good solid pitching followed by great fielding. I know it is early, but if this keeps up, we may be looking at another reason why the American League Central is the best division in baseball, and teams like Cleveland, and Chicago should be taking notice of the “new kid on the block.”
You couldn’t ask for a better way to start the season then a victory in Detroit, on opening day, against the most feared batting lineup baseball has seen in many years. It is a long season, and anything can happen, but you could not have asked for a better way to start if you are a Kansas City Royal.
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