Zack Grienke didn’t need much run support today as he posted very impressive numbers against a good team cornered by the broom. Over the 7 innings of service that Grienke pitched today, those Cardinals of St. Loius could only put up 2 Hits, 1 Run, and Struck Out 7. It was another one of those performances that all Royals fans (and Grienke fans alike) are learning to expect from this incredible arm. The Cardinals just never stood a chance today, and saw the series go to the Royals, in the form of a sweep, by the score of 4-1.
The game was knotted at zero going into the 4th inning, when the Royals started the scoring off the bat of Grudzielanek, who hit an RBI double. He was then drove in by Mark Teahen, making the score 2-0. The Cardinals got their only run in the bottom of the inning off the bat of Ankiel, who hit a nice shot into the cheap seats, with no one on. This made it 2-1 going into the 5th inning, but that was all the runs that the Cardinals would score today. Teahen hit an insurance home run in the top of the 9th inning with 1 man on, giving the club a 4-1 lead, and that is where it would stay.
This win solidified the sweep of the Cardinals, and seems to have given the team a well needed boost. They are playing good baseball right now, winning by a small margin in every game this series, which is just what Hillman and the coaching staff likes to see. Hopefully they can continue this winning way and try to make a move in the Central.
They are headed home next to host the San Francisco Giants, continuing inter-league play. Let’s just hope that the team packed that dominating pitching that they found on the road, brining it home to show the Royals faithful. The season is long from over, and this sweep could be just what it takes to turn things around.
Gil Meche had another outstanding performance today, winning his forth game for the club, by dominating the bats of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He pitched 7.1 innings of stellar baseball, giving up only 4 Hits, yielding 3 Earned Runs, but Striking Out 10 before being relieved by Ramirez in the 8th inning. He was as dominant as we have seen him this season. His control was there, and he hit his spots well. Every batter seemed to be guessing all day. Some of the D-backs got lucky, but nothing to be very proud of. Great day for Meche. One he will try to carry with him to his next start probably against the San Francisco Giants at the end of this week.
David DeJesus was the star today with 3 Hits, and 5 RBI’s in his 5 At Bats. He was an offensive machine. Four of those RBI’s came in the 4th inning, with just one swing of the bat, as he took Arizona’s pitcher Micah Owings yard on a blast to right-center, for a grand slam, giving the club a 6-0 lead.
This is something the Royals would like to see continue as the club heads to St. Loius next, to continue inter-league play, and hopefully help those “Cubbies”, who have a 3.5 game lead in the National League Central over those “never-say-die” Cardinals, led by one of the best in the business in Anthony “Tony” La Russa, Jr. (3rd all-time in games managed).
For now we will enjoy the win and hope that this can continue on, and maybe build some kind of that confidence that seems to lacking in the dugout. We won’t pay attention to records or positions within the division. Hopefully the Royals can now start concentrating on winning again, and being aggressive, like the team that started the season on fire.
Kyle Davies pitched an incredible game today, but saw his lead float away, as the bullpen entered and got rocked for the second straight day, this time giving up a total of 10 Hits and 10 Runs! This is not going to work.
Davies exited the game after the 6th inning, only giving up 6 Hits, and 1 Run, seeing his ERA drop to 1.53. His command was excellent, and the Rangers never seemed to get things going against him. This would be the only bright light for the club’s pitching staff today, however, with the bullpen giving away 2 Wins in as many days, late and demoralizing.
Mark Grudzielanek was the only player on the offensive stats sheet, as he knocked in 4 Runs in 3 different innings. His last 2 RBI’s came from a long ball hit in the 6th inning, off of Padilla, taking the club to a 5-1 lead going into the disastrous 7th inning, where it all came crashing down, the lead and the Win.
This is the second straight lose, and the clubs record plummets to 25-41 (16 games under .500!). This also drops them to 12.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox, who look to be running away with the division, if things don’t change. Who would have seen this coming after the first couple weeks of the season? Not anyone in the Royals organization, or their fans, that’s for sure.
The Texas Rangers took 6 innings to squeeze a Run out of Gil Meche today, but that was all the would get. Meche left the game after those 6 innings of work, giving up only 4 Hits, and allowing just that one Run. His ERA dropped to 5.25, and he looked all set to pick up the Win, until the bullpen entered the game.
Mahay entered the game in the 7th inning with a 5-1 lead, and held the Rangers scoreless in that inning. It was the 8th inning, where things started to come apart. Mahay was relieved in the 8th inning, after giving up 2 Unearned Runs (E3, Tehean, missed catch), but did leave with the lead intact. Tomko entered and was tagged for 2 Runs of his own, and the Royals saw their lead disappear, and the club entered the 9th inning with a tie, 5-5. It wasn’t long into the 9th inning, when Yabuta pitched to a Blown Save, and picked up the Lose, giving him a 1-1 record for the year. This was his first Blown Save of the year.
Gordon, Guillen, Buck, and Gaithright all had 1 RBI today, with the fifth Run scoring on 1 of 3 Ranger Errors. They totalled 13 Hits in this contest, and looked good for most of the game, having base runners throughout the whole game, threatening at every turn.
This lose is hard to take as the team is already struggling, especially on the road. It would have been a nice win for the club, giving their dominate play here today. Everything looked great, but it was lost as fast as it was gained.
Not a good lose for a club looking to salvage the season, starting off so hot in the Central. This keeps the team at 12.5 games behind Chicago, who also lost today, and in the cellar by 2.5 games, behind Detroit. Something needs to happen before the lead in the Central is out of reach, and the playoffs become mathmatically impossible. We aren’t there yet, just ask the Yankees (14 games out at the All Star Break, and made the playoffs), or the Colorado Rockies (who put together an incredible winning streak to squek in the playoffs, also, last year). It’s not out of reach, but it is not going to be easy.
Going in to the 9th inning the Royals found themselves tied at 2 Runs with the New York Yankees, and looked at the mound from home plate, staring into the eyes of “Mr. Automatic,” Mariano Rivera. The only thing you can hope for in this situation is that your pitcher doesn’t give up any Runs in the bottom of the inning, because no one gets any Runs off of Rivera. Right?
Wrong. For just a handful of times in his Hall of Fame career, Mariano Rivera gave up a game-losing Home Run. Jose Guillen was the recipient of the pitch that exited the park in a hurry, giving the Royals the lead for good, as Soria entered the bottom of the 9th, and shut the Yankees down, giving him his 14th Save of the year.
This was the third Home Run of the day, and decided this match, but not before both teams hit a 2-Run homer in the 7th inning. Alex Rodriguez jacked his off of Hochevar, and Olivo hit his off Mussina. Both Home Runs ended 6 shut out innings of baseball for both teams. What a treat.
These are the type of games that can change things around. The New York Yankees, tied deep in the game, hitting a game-winning home run off of Rivera, you can’t ask for more. This proves that the team has it in them to win, against the best in baseball, and needs to concentrate on this victory to take the steps needed to change this season around, again!
It was May 18th, when the Royals last won a road game, beating the Florida Marlins 9-3, and taking the rubber game in that series. May 18th! But that streak (11 games total) has ended today as the Kansas City Royals win the first game of this 4-game series in New York against the Yankees.
Kyle Davies continues to impress as he hurled 6.2 innings of 7 Hit, 1 Run baseball, getting the win in Yankee Stadium today. He had 3 Strike Outs, and never really looked rattled on the mound. His control was there, and he was more than happy to receive help from his teammates, totalling 17 Ground/Fly Outs.
The Royals got little run support today, but enough to win it in regular innings, by a “pitcher duals” score of 2-1. They picked up a Run in the 5th inning, as Mike Aviles hit a double, for his Major League Hit. He was then greeted with his first Major League Run as he was drove home off the bat of DeJesus, after sliding over to third base by a Gaithright bunt.
They only got the 1 Run in the 5th inning, but responded again in the 6th inning, scoring the eventual game winning run. That would also be the only Run in the inning.
This win brought the Royals within 1/2 a game of Detroit in the standings, and also puts them 10.5 games out, behind Chicago. Three more games left in this series. It is the New York Yankees, at home…let’s hope this club continues to prove that they can play with anyone in the league, even at their home field.
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