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.
What is it about this 22nd win that has baffled thisclub? It is just one more win than 21, not anything special about the number 22, I am told. They lose another (10 straight overall) heart breaker, and to Minnesota again, in extra innings. This time it was the Twins who fought back in the late innings and tied it up, forcing extra innings.
The 9th inning was a rough one for the Royals, as the good performance from the mound, by Zack Greinke, was cancelled, by a 5-run, game tying, top of the inning, that the Royals had no answer for. They just got done scoring 8 runs in this game at that point, and I think that was a little much for the club to expect more from this sleeping giant.
The positive light in this game was the excellent outing Greinke had in this one. He ended up pitching 8 strong innings, scattering 5 Hits, and giving up only 3 Earned Runs, but striking out a “good-to-see” 8 batters. It is just unfortunate that the team lost this one today, if nothing else to have to see that pitching day for Greinke to go in the toilet.
It didn’t take long for the Twins to finish this one off, scoring the game winning run in the top of the next inning (10th). Again the Royals had no offensive response, posting a goose egg in the bottom of the inning, and losing the game. There was a lot of offense today, and the Royals may need to ease back into the swing of things, playing so aggressive early on this season.
The 22nd win of the season is still out of reach for the club, and their record still continues to fall. Now at a mark of 21-32, and finally alone in last place in the American League Central Division, having the Tigers figuring out how to win before the Royals, leaving them behind in the standings. The most depressing part is that they now find themselves 8.5 games out, and no answers in sight. Mayday-Mayday!
The Royals hope to win one soon, before they forget how, and avoid their third straight series sweep. They have to also be concerned about falling to far behind to make a run at the top spot before the season is through. There is still plenty of time left, remember the Yankees were 14 games out at the All-Star break last year…it’s possible, or wishful thinking, I can’t decide.
The Royals can’t buy a win right now. This was one of those games that should have snapped the funk, and turned the club towards greener pastures. It went 12 innings, and was forced into extra innings by an inside the park 3 Run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning. Very dramatic, and worthy of “the thing” that switched everything around.
Everything was going the way it has been going, with the offense silenced for the first 8 innings, getting no Runs again. Then the 9th inning. Teahen at bat, with 2 on, bottom of the inning, and he smacks a hit hard into the outfield, and into one of those places that cause problems for unsuspecting outfielders, circling third, and crossed home plate for an in-the-park home run. That tied the score at 3, and gave the Royals a much needed boost in momentum.
However, the Twins had other plans. They dug in their heels, and did not yield another run, nabbing one themselves for the win the the top of the 12th inning. Kansas City could not answer that call, and ended up losing this one, 4-3, and handing the club their 9th straight lose.
The club is still holding on to that tie for last with the Tigers, one of these 2 teams has to win sooner or later, leaving the other behind, in the cellar by themselves. Who will be the first team to actually win a game? Crazy.
To say that this has been a rough road trip would be kind. It took the Royals from contention for the lead in the AL Central to tied for last place with the terrible Detroit Tigers. Not good.
Brett Tomko was roughed up today, going a total of 6 innings, but giving up 8 Hits, translating to 7 Runs (6 Earned). Not one of his stronger performances, and unfortunately, just adds to the losing streak, and sinks the club deeper into its funk.
The offense managed to put up 2 Runs, today, their highest Run total in 4 days. However, if the pitching staff gives up 7 Runs, there isn’t much 2 Runs can do for you.
Their Hit totals was high again with 9, but no Runs are being scored, and base runners are being stranded all over the place, throughout the whole game. If there was one positive thing to come out of this dismal road trip, it is that the bats have not necessarily been stopped, they have been knocking the ball around, just not enough to amount any form of offensive force.
The Royals will be glad to go home after this road trip. They were 2-11, winning their last game back on May 18th, to the Florida Marlins, in that deciding game three of the series. It is funny how baseball works, really, when you consider the first game of this road trip was a win for the Royals, capping off a 5 game win streak, taking them to within 1.5 games of the lead in the Central.
The reality of the situation is that the Royals are 7.5 out, tied for last place with the Detroit Tigers. A record of 21-30, and an eight-game losing streak in tow. Ugly baseball right now. But plenty of time to straighten the ship, and get back to that aggressive style of Royals baseball that was so much fun, and successful, too!
For the third straight day, the Royals are on the losing end of the scorecard to the Toronto Blue Jays. Gil Meche took his record to 3-7 on the season, after this lose. Pitching 6 very solid innings, scattering 2 Runs, on only 5 Hits, and getting 5 Strike Outs. But that wasn’t enough, as the offense seems to have “gone bye-bye.”
The offense did manage to get 9 Hits off of the starter, McGowen, but producing any runs from it, seems to be the problem. The Royals have scored only 2 Runs in the last three games! Extending their losing streak to seven, and still in a dead heat with the Detroit Tigers for last place in the American League Central, at 6.5 games out.
Tomorrow is the last chance the Royals have to beat these Blue Jays, and also avoid getting swept (their second sweep, in as many series).
The Royals offense was shut out today, by a 9 inning pitching show, by Toronto’s Litsch. He finished the game giving up only 7 Hits, and getting 3 Strike Outs. It was a very nice pitching performance for the other team, unfortunately.
This is the sixth lose in a row for the club, and things don’t look any better on the horizon. They still have two more games left with Toronto, and then the division leader/contender Minnesota Twins come to Kaufmann Stadium. So, if nothing else, at least they will be at home. They get to see their families, and be with their children. Not everything is about baseball, I guess.
They are falling down the standings in the AL Central fast (that is what a 6-game losing streak will do), and they now tied for the basement with the Detroit Tigers, at 5.5 games out. It is not impossible for the Royals to put together a nice little run in the opposite direction, and climb right back in this thing. If they don’t change some things fast, though, that window of opportunity is slowly closing. If everything stays the way that it is, and there is no changes made, then they won’t have to worry about the top of the Division, they will be more concerned with staying out of the basement.
Their record stands at a dismal 21-28, tied for last place in the Central, and a 6-game losing streak. Yikes!
The Royals lost the first game of this long series with the Blue Jays, in Toronto. This is an unfortunate continuance of the previous 4-game affair with the Boston Red Sox, getting swept. Greinke was the losing pitcher, seeing his record go to 5-2, and ERA slip a bit to 2.82. Fifth straight lose in as many games, and a dark cloud is starting to form over this team, they just need to put together some wins, in a little streak, to shake this funk.
Zack Greinke put out 5 rough innings, giving up 9 Hits, 6 Earned Runs, only striking out 2 over those shakey innings. The bullpen stopped the bleeding, and combined only for 1 Hit, and 1 Run.
The offense ran into another buzz-saw, today, in Roy Halladay, who pitched a complete game 4 Hit, 1 Run affair. Nothing could be done against this guy today. The offense came from a still hot Jose Guillen, and managed to knock in one run in the 1st inning. But that was all they could push across home plate today.
The Toronto bullpen got the day off today, Halladay pitched a complete game, and handed the Royals their fifth straight lose, taking their record to 21-27, and puts them at 5.5 behind the American League Central leading Chicago White Sox, and only one run ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the basement.
Just as we were discussing a week or two ago, a nice win streak would boost this team right into the thick of it, up near the top. The same applies to a losing streak, and how fast you can see first place pull away from you in a matter of a week of loses. This is now the Kansas City Royals. They have had a very up and down season so far, and this last little down, has to teach the club something. Specifically losing to Boston Red Sox.
This Boston team is the hottest thing going right now in the majors. They get it done from every angle imaginable. Hitting/running, pitching, pinch hitting/running, and bullpen. It is quite a sight. But the lesson to be learned from all this is that the Royals can play against the best, and participate on a major league level against the best. Don’t take to much away from these Royals, they did put an 8-spot up against the best there is.
Brian Bannister took one today, and was dismissed early, only going 5.1 innings, giving up 12 Hits, and watched 7 base runners cross home plate. Yikes! Bannister included a grand slam in his Hits totals, giving it to JD Drew in the 2nd inning. That is a sure fire way to get that ERA sky-rocketing. He took the loss and saw his record slip to 4-6.
Gobble came in relief of Bannister, and gave up another grand salami, in the 6th inning, taking the lead to 11-3, at that point. A lead, despite a late inning rally from the Royals, held on to win this game 11-8.
Jose Guillen had a tremedous individual day today from the plate. He went 4 for 5, with 3 RBI’s and a homer. Miguel Olivo went off for 5 RBI’s of his own. Included in this rally were 2 Doubles, and a 3-Run homer, in the 8th inning.
This is the forth straight loss for Kansas City in as many games, and all against Boston, in this 4-game series. The Royals are now 21-26, 5.5 games out of the Central, behind Chicago, and only 1 game out of a tie for the basement. Sinking fast.
Toronto is the next destination for the club, as they wind up this road trip, and try to turn things around, and salvage something out of this lengthy stay away.
Brett Tomko was handed the lose today as he went into the fifth inning with a 2-1 lead. He unfortunately did not have it long as the Red Sox turned a 4-spot in the bottom of the 5th inning, to end the Royals lead, and end the day for Tomko. He went 4.1 innings, gave up 7 Hits, and 5 Earned Runs. Two of those hits came in the form of homers, off the bats of Ellsbury (in the 1st inning), and Varitek (in the 5th inning). Not one of his better days on the mound.
The bullpen finished off the remainder of the game, mixing innings between Mahay, Peralta, Gobble, and Soria. They combined to give up only 5 Hits, and 1 Earned Run, not bad, considering. Soria gave up a Hit, but no runners crossed the plate, and there was never any offensive threat in the inning, he pitched back on form, as we are used to seeing him. His ERA dropped a bit to sub one, at 0.98, and looks real good.
The offense was sparse and never threatened anything of significance. They spread out 3 Runs, not scoring more than one in any single inning. They left a total of 8 men on base, and struck out a total of 7 times. The positive thing here is that the offense still came from the heart of the lineup. So that part of the offense is still producing, even though in small numbers.
Their record slips to 21-25, and they fall another game back of the Chicago White Sox, to 4.5, still 2 games out of the basement.
The Boston Red Sox seemed to still be flying high from yesterdays no-hitter, because they forgot their offense at home. Unfortunately the small aftershocks from Lester’s history, gave them enough runs to win this tight one today, 2-1.
The Royals amounted a decent attack starting in the 7th inning when the scored one run, cutting the lead in half, but that was all. That was the only scoring in the inning, and the only scoring for the Royals. This is to bad because the Red Sox could only mount 2 runs of their own, as Gil Meche pitched a very solid game, today going 7 innings, scattering 5 hits, and 2 earned runs. He struck out 8 batters in this delight, but received his sixth lose of the season.
The only offense that the Royals could muster, came in the 7th inning off the bat Buck, with his one RBI single. They scored as many hits as the Red Sox, at 5 each, but just fell a run short. This was the only run that Kansas City has scored in the past 18 innings, against these Sox.
This is the secong loss in a row to Boston in as many games, but there is still 2 games left in this 4 game series, so a draw is still in the cards. This loss also sends the club into a downward spiral in the Division, putting them 3.5 games out, behind League leading Chicago White Sox.
So the plague of the SOX continues for the Royals. Tomorrow is another chance for the boys to break this spell they seem to be under. Their record stands at 21-24. A 4 game series against the Boston Red Sox, in Boston, tends to do that to your record.
The Red Sox proved why they are such a powerful force in baseball today. Their starting pitcher, Jon Lester, took the mound, at home, and pitched Major League history, unfortunately for the Royals, they were on the other side of the history books. Lester pitched a no hitter, walking only 2 measly batters, striking out 9, in his unhittable effort here today.
These are the type of games that you except, and move on. It is almost like being on the losing side of a lottery. There are going to be those days when everything comes together, a perfect catch in center field, and laser grabbed out of thin air on the hot corner, something. You just hope that your club is not on the other end of one of those days. The Royals, have if nothing else this year bad luck, so it shouldn’t surprise you that The Royals were the team to get off the bus in Boston to receive this welcome from the Red Sox.
You could tell something wasn’t right when Grudzielanek missed a routine catch in left, scoring two runs. Very uncharacteristic of the star. You just move on.
The test for this club continues tomorrow as they face Boston again, and hopefully they have put this experience behind them. Only tomorrow will tell.
The Royals displayed an explosion of runs today in Florida, culminated by three separate innings of explosive offensive. They jumped out fast in the first inning, tallying a couple of runs. Following that, in the 3rd inning, they scored 4 runs, capped off by a 2-run home run by Teahen. They scored 3 runs in the 7th, with Jose Guillen hitting a blast, with one on, for his 3rd and 4th RBI’s for the day. All in all, it was a very impressive day behind the plate, but the pitching did its own work today. They looked good also.
Zack Greinke went for 6 solid innings of service, and scattered 9hits, and 3 runs. He struck out 5, but did give up a dinger to Jacobs in the 4th inning. The bullpen pitched very well also, with Gobble entering in relief, and pitched two very good innings, only giving up one hit, and no runs. Yabuta finished things up pitching a flawless 9th inning. The Royals win this one 9-3.
This win takes the Royals into a tie for 3rd place in the Central, just 0.5 games behind the 2nd place, Cleveland Indians, and a measly 2.0 games behind #1 Chicago White Sox. Their record improves to 21-22, only one game shy of .500.
The Royals took the lead early, and seemed to have everything under control after they regained that lead in the fifth, squeaking out a run, for a 3-2 game. Brian Bannister on the mound, nothing to worry about, right? Well in every baseball game there is a 7th inning stretch. After the Royals produced no runs in the top of the 7th, they had no idea what was about to happen. They were greeted with a long shot off the bat of Helms against Bannister, with 2 on in the bottom of the inning, losing the lead and sending Bannister to the showers. The bullpen gives way to Mahay, who proceeds to enter the game and give up a 2-run shot, still in the dreaded 7th inning. Not good. A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
This loss ends the 5-game win streak that the Royals were riding so high on, and now is when teams show their grit. How will they respond this, and learn from it, instead of concentrating on the 5-game win streak, take one game at a time, and forget the past, you can’t change that. Instead concentrate on each performance, and try to prevent the same mistakes from happening in each event, hopefully increasing your change of victory every step along the way. There we have it.
This brought the clubs record to 20-22 for the year, and drops them to only 2 games out in the Central. Tomorrow is the rubber game between these two teams, and the hang over of today’s lose, that ended that wonderful streak.
The Royals scored one more run than the Marlins today, beating them by a score of 7-6. Tomko won his second of the year and drove Kansas City’s winning streak to 5. He pitched 7 innings of very good ball, only giving up 2 runs, on 5 hits, striking out 4. It was the bullpen today that gave the club a scare. After Tomko left in the 7th, it took a total of 5 pitchers to get this one in the books. Soria saw his first runs scored against him in the 9th, giving up a 2 run home run to Hermida, bringing the Marlins within 1 run before he closed it out getting his 11th save of the year.
The offense was again ready to go right out of the gate, scoring 2 runs in the 1st inning. The whole team seemed to help out in one way or another, and they seemed to hit any pitcher that this Florida team threw at them.
Coming off a sweep of Detroit, at home, it would not have been shocking to see the Royals falter a little bit today, after the travel, and the high of the sweep, but they did not. This win brought them within 1.5 games of division leader Cleveland, and only 1 game behind both Minnesota, and Chicago. Detroit has fallen way back to 6 games out, and have distanced themselves from the Royals. They are right in this thing early on. Very exciting.
As we mentioned a week or so ago, a nice little win streak could change things in this division tremendously, and that is exactly what has happened. With a couple more key wins, the Royals could regain the lead, and give the central a 4 dog race, excluding the surprisingly bad Detroit Tigers.
Gil Meche provided enough pitching to keep the Tigers at bay, and the bullpen finished it off, winning this one, and completing the second sweep of the Tigers this year. The offense was also hot, including another double-digit hits mark with 13. They really roughed them up pretty good.
Meche went 7 innings, giving up 6 hits, 3 earned runs, and striking out 6 as well. Even though Detroit scored 3 runs, they were spread out over three innings, and never really seemed to be a threat. Granted, I am sure he wishes he could have had some of those pitches back, but the outcome I am sure he wouldn’t change.
The offense seemd to have its way with the Detroit starter today, Kenny Rogers (or the gambler, as he is known), shelling him for 11 hits (one of them a homer in 4th inning off the bat of Guillen), and 7 runs, all charged to Rogers. They started off quickly in the 1st inning, scoring 3 runs, and followed it in the 2nd with a pair of runs. For some reason they took the 3rd inning off, but came back in the 4th scoring 2 runs again. You get the drift. By this point the game was in control, and the sweep was only innings away.
Something to notice again was the number of players left on base. Don’t get me wrong, a win is a win, but if the Royals plan on turning the corner, and start winning some of those tight games that they were losing before, then it might change some of those previous loses into wins down the road.
Things are looking a lot brighter for this club, despite some rocky stretches the last couple of weeks. They have pulled away from Detroit in the Central, and only trail the league leader Cleveland by 2.5 games. When this series started the Royals had a dismal record of 16-21, but thanks to a sweep here in Kansas City of the Detroit Tigers, they are now looking at a fairly respectable 19-21. A great showing in this series, the second 3 game sweep of the Tigers this season.
Luke Hochevar took the mound today, and tried to extend the 2 game winning streak that the Royals are on, starting with that win against the Orioles on Sunday to avoid a sweep. Now they are looking at a sweep of their own against the Tigers, as Hochevar pitched 6 innings of shutout ball, and sealed another win for the Royals over the Detroit Tigers, extending that winning streak to 5.
The shutout that Hochevar started was continued by the bullpen nicely, and the pitching staff would get the gold star today. The runner up goes to Joey Gathright, who hit a two run single in the 2nd inning, for the games only runs.
What else can you say but the Royal seem to own the Tigers this year. These winning ways can be traced back a couple of seasons for the Royals, as they have played the spoiler to the Tigers many times, including 2006 when they knocked the Tigers out of 1st place in the division, at the bitter end of the season, sending them into the wild card position. For some reason the Royals seem to always get the job done against this team. It would be nice to see this kind of dominance against other teams, but for now it is a much needed win, and a great re-start to a still fairly young season. Hopefully, this can spark a long term win streak, and jump them right into contention for the lead in the Central.
Their record is still 18-21, and there is a lot of room for improvement. But for now, Trey Hillman and his team will take a win any way they can get it. Tomorrow is another chance for the Royals to sweep the Tigers, this time at home.
As if it were scripted in a book, Zack Greinke took the mound against the multi-talented Detroit Tigers, and gave up nine hits, but only two base runners crossed the plate. This was the first win in this 3 game series, but four straight against these Tigers, dating back to the beginning of the season when they swept the Tigers in Detroit to start the season. It seems that the same reasons the Royals can’t beat the Orioles is the same reasons the Tigers can’t beat Kansas City. That reason is…who knows.
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead, scoring one run in each of the first two innings, but that was when Greinke settled in, and pitched a whale of a game. He found himself in trouble a couple times, but worked out of it nicely.
The game was tied going into the 8th inning, when an error by Detroit was responsible for a run, and that was all it took for Kansas City to seal their fate, making it 3-2, Royals. Soria came on in the 9th inning, and continued his scoreless streak, getting save #9.
That win against the Orioles to close out that series seemed to have it’s effect on the club, as they came out today with a no lose attitude. They never really gave up on Greinke, and were rewarded by that error in the 8th inning, and produced the game winning run. This puts Kansas City only 3 games out in the Central, and puts Detroit back in the basement.
Brian Bannister, in the face of baseball adversity, pitched one of the better games in his career. Facing a 14 game losing streak to the Orioles, and a three game losing skid, it seemed almost impossible for the Royals to beat this Baltimore team. But all Brian Bannister did today was pitch, and pitch well.
He went 8 rock solid innings, only giving up 2 hits, and allowing NO runs. It was a thing of beauty. He walked 2 batters, and struck out 5. He was really hot today. It was just what the Royals needed, a chance.
The offense, again had a very productive day, with 11 hits, and 4 runs. The 11 hits is good, that means they are seeing the ball well, but the run production from those 11 hits is still lower than the coaching staff would like to see.
Let’s not concentrate on that today, as we won a much needed game, and there was plenty of positives to talk about instead. The RBI’s (4) came from a place that has been silent for qiute some time now…the heart of the lineup. Teahen, Guillen, Gordon, and Butler all drove a run home today.
This snaps a 3 game losing streak, and jump starts this offense for the next series against Detroit, who they had had great success with so far this season. Is another sweep in the future for this club? It would be just what the doctor ordered.
It seems almost surreal. The Royals can beat teams like the Tigers and the Indians, but cannot seem to beat the Orioles. That is not to say that the Orioles are a bad team, but come on. This marks the 13th straight lose to Baltimore, no matter what seems to happen.
Ironically, today was a “free gift” day at Kaufmann Stadium. The item; an authentic Kansas City Royals umbrella. As if the club willed rain with that gift. The game saw a 1 hour and 52 minute delay…rain. But that still did not quiet down the bats of the Orioles. They struck first with a 3 run homer by Millar, with 2 outs, in the 1st.
Just like last game, they had plenty of offensive force, just not enough to drive home the runs. They accumulated 13 hits, to Baltimore’s 11, but still fell one run short. The offensive production was spread out well among the lineup too. Just couldn’t finish, leaving 9 runners on base (5 of them in scoring position, with 2 outs. Not like the Kansas City team that started the season so hot.
This is the third straight lose for the team against these Orioles, and they are dropping fast, with a record of 15-21, six games under .500. Although, this only drops them to 3.5 games out of the lead, now shared by Minnesota and Chicago, it places them in a dead tie for last in the division with Detroit.
The only thing that the Royals can hope for now is a win tomorrow to avoid the sweep. Brian Bannister is scheduled to pitch, and the series sweep waits in the balance. With the way he has been pitching, and his capable arm, this might be just what the doctor ordered to get them started fresh, hosting Detroit in the next series here in Kansas City. It would be nice to start that series with at least a win tomorrow, to remind the club what is is like to win.
Gil Meche did not have his regular “good stuff” today as he gave up some costly runs to lose the lead (for good) in the 5th inning. Trey Hillman decided to intentionally walk Markakis and pitch to Aubrey Huff. That decision turned out to be the wrong one. With one man on and two outs, in a 2-2 tie, that decision has every right to be questioned. Huff blew one out of the park, for a 3-run shot, and took this game to a 2-5 deficit for the Royals.
There was some offense today, unlike the previous game, as the they were able to push 4 runners home. But that was not enough. They started out strong, and took the lead early with a Gordon homer in the 1st, with 1 man on and 1 out. Then late in the game they rattled a couple more runs off the bullpen, to get to 4 runs. But the damage was already done.
One of the bright spots was the reliever, Yasuhiko Yabuta, who entered the game in the 8th inning, and pitched 2 innings off shutout baseball. He allowed only 2 hits, striking out 2 in his service. Nice job.
This is the second lose for the squad in as many days. Things are really going to go south fast if they have problems developing in the rotation. Again, tomorrow is a new day, and this series still has two games left. The best the Royals can hope for, now, is a split.
The Royals ran into another hot pitcher today, that pitched another complete game, 3 hit, 1 run event here in Kansas City. This has to be getting on the short nerves of the club, and management, as this is the second time in less than a week that the Royals have fallen to a complete game low hit outing from the opposition.
Hochevar pitched a good game, all things considered, but still gave up to many runs in order to pick a win. It was the 3rd inning that did him in. He gave up a 3-run shot to Markakis, that would end up being the difference.
As it was the last time the club met a hot pitcher, it was the bottom of the lineup that did what little damage that could be done against Cabrera. That is another reason for concern. The power and OBP for this team is lacking. When the bats are there, or patience is shown at the plate, the Royals do very well at moving guys around the bases, but without base runners there is not a whole lot that can be done.
This division is looking a little weak, and wouldn’t take but a 3 or 4 game win streak to bring this team right in the mix for the lead in the Central. However, their record falls to another game behind .500 at 15-19. This is a long 4 game series, and taking the rest would help their cause tremendously.
Backed by good pitching from Zack Greinke, the Royals exploded past the Angels of LA Anaheim today, and avoided a three game sweep. The offense was the hero today, as they belted a total of 14 hits throughout the game, and put it out of reach early (barring a miracle late inning rally). By the time the LA Angels had settled into this one, it was already 5-1 at the end of the 2nd inning. They tacked on 4 more runs in the next 2 innings, giving them a lead of 9-1 going into the 5th inning.
The offense came from some recently quiet bats, and proved that it may have been missing, but not lost. In the 2nd inning DeJesus hit a long shot, with 1 out, and 2 men on, for a 3 run round tripper, adding three of the four runs they would score in that inning. In the 4th inning Gordon hit another blast with 1 man on and 1 out, for a 2-run homer, making it out of reach for the Angels today.
The Royals win a good today by the score of 9-4, and lets the club enjoy a win before hosting Baltimore out of the East, next, in Kansas City. This was the third game of the this 10 game home stand, with a record now of 1-2, and an overall record of 15-18. They are still only 2.5 games behind AL Central leading Minnesota, but find themselves in 4th place of 5 positions, ahead of only the Detroit Tigers.
The Angels showed again today why they are the leaders in the American League West (a game in front of Oakland), by beating the Royals again today by a score of 5-3. Not even Brian Bannister, on a full nights sleep in his own bed could stop the bats of the Angels.
The Royals amounted three runs in the first 3 innings, but that would be all they would get, as Bannister continued to get hit around. Hit around for a total of 13 hits, 5 earned runs, and only striking out 3. This was not what we have become used to seeing from him this season. It was a bit out of sorts for him. I hope that this is the one game that every pitcher has every year that they wish they could get back, that way it would be in the past and out of his system.
The Royals had the lead in this one early in the game, and ended up knocking out the Angels starter, Adenhart, with two outs left in the 5th inning. Everything seemed to be going well, and the Royals way, until the bullpen entered. The Angels bullpen proceeded to pitch a shut out the rest of the game, and leaving the Royals with those 3 early runs to deal with, period. The relievers for LA only gave up 2 hits after that.
For whatever reason, the LA offense came alive after that pitching change, scoring 5 runs before this one was over, and getting the victory here in Kansas City. This drops the club to 4 games shy of .500 (14-18), and leaves only tomorrow for the Royals to try to save the series, and get at least one win.
The Royals met the still undefeatedErvin Santana, and found out quick why. He has complete command of the strike zone, and more often than not, found it. Santana pitched a complete game, 4 hit, shut out today against these hungry Royals, winning it 0-4. There isn’t a lot you can do if you run into a pitcher like this. Praying usually gets you no where, and just going to bat at the plate, swinging or not, usually gets you out.
Tomko pitched as well (if not a little better) through 7 innings of play, giving up only 2 hits, striking out 7. However, that was not enough, and the bullpen entered and gave up 4 runs before the end of this one.
This was not the way the club wanted to start this 10 game home stand. Not even seeing their families, and having some home cooking could do anything today. Maybe a good nights sleep in their own beds will give them some rest, and turn this around, again.
Their record slips to 14-17, and they are 2.5 games behind division leading Minnesota Twins. This puts them in a tie for third with the Cleveland Indians. One game ahead of the Detroit Tigers, and the basement.
Gil Meche brought his 2-7 record against the tribe to the mound today, and pitched a gem. Everything that could have been right for him today happened. He had four different pitches hitting their mark, and the Indians could do nothing about it. If there was one thing this club needed it was a performance like that. Nothing seems to turn things around like a nice, solid, dominating win from their pitching staff.
This is not to say that the Royals were not also in front of a buzz saw at the plate either. This was a good pitching dual that most baseball purists enjoy. Both starting pitchers only gave up 4 hits a piece over 7 innings of work. The Royals stole one run in the 5th inning, on an error, giving them the lead 1-0. Another run came from Olivo (DH), in the 9th inning, as he smashed a home run in the 9th inning, for insurance.
The Royals bullpen needed no help today as they continued the shut out, and pitched two more innings of shut out ball. This added another “hold” for Nunez, making that 5 for the season. And Soria came in to end it in the 9th inning, giving him his 8th save of the year, in as many attempts.
This was a real good win for the club today, sweeping the rain-shortened series with the Indians. Nothing seems to help a club more than a solid “W.”
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