Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jorge De La Rosa traded to Rockies

Jorge De La Rosa was traded today to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for a PTBNL, the Royals also sent cash. De La Rosa has a career record of 15-23 with a 5.85 ERA.

This is an odd move for several reasons. First it's been well known that the Rockies have wanted De La Rosa as the PTBNL in the Ramirez trade, and for some reason the Royals refused. Second the Royals still don't have a left-hander in the rotation and Bale has been anything but good, so I assumed at some point the Royals would take another look at De La Rosa as he has been real good in Omaha.

Moore could have his eye on a Rockies player that he likes or maybe he just decided De La Rosa needed a change of scenery. In any case this move has set up the odd scenario of the Rockies and the Royals each owing the other a player.

Royals at Rangers (game II)

In game two we see tough luck pitcher Brian Bannister (3-2, 2.48 ERA) going for the Royals and for the Rangers ace Kevin Millwood (1-2, 3.32 ERA). Kevin Millwood has been ok against the Royals in the past going 4-3 with a 4.66 ERA. Bannister has one start vs. the Rangers and pitched 7 shut out innings in earning the win.

Some players who have done well is Millwood and would be worth watching is Buck (5-10, 5 RBI), Grudz (11-35, 3 RBI), Teahen (7-20, 1 HR, 4 RBI), and Guillen (9-23, 1 HR, 7 RBI). Gload should sit, he is 1-10 career against Millwood.

Box Score

Brian Bannister had a rough night as he got rocked for 7 runs in just 3 innings, his shortest outing of the year. Bannister just couldn't keep the ball in the park on a windy night in Texas as he gave up a 2-run shot in the first to Bradley, a solo shot to Boggs in the 2nd, and to cap it off a grand slam to Hamilton-also in the 2nd. The bullpen, which has thrown a lot of innings lately, wasn't in top form as Peralta and Yabuta each gave up a couple of runs in their 5 innings of work.

Millwood held the Royals in check early, allowing only 1 run in his first 6 innings. The bats finally woke up in the 7th however, and scored 5 runs in knocking Millwood from the game. Batting third for the first time this year, DeJesus had another big RBI game driving in 3, including a 2-run shot in the 5th.

In the 9th with the Royals down 4 runs they put together a comeback bid. Butler doubled leading off, and Buck got him home with his 2nd home run of the year. Then Pena came to the plate with one out and quickly popped out, Gathright followed and bunted back to the pitcher for the final out.

I gotta wonder why Hillman didn't go to his bench to pinch hit for Pena and Gathright, but I guess that's why Hillman is the manager and I'm not.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Royals at Rangers (game I)

The Royals head to Arlington to face the Rangers in a three game set. Brett Tomko (1-3, 5.25 ERA) is coming off his worst start of the year when he allowed 6 ER's against the Indians. Going for the Rangers is Jason Jennings (0-4, 7.46 ERA).

Box Score

With Tomko Vs. Jennings, I don't think anyone expected a pitching duel, and we weren't disappointed as both teams scored early and often. Tomko lasted just 3.1 innings giving up 7 hits and 5 runs, perhaps more amazing he threw 89 pitches. Jennings was even worse leaving with an "injury" after just 2 innings; he allowed 8 hits and 5 runs.

The bullpens for both teams did well and held down the scoring. The Royals used Mahey, Gobble, Ramirez, and Soria as they combined for 5.2 scoreless innings. The Rangers used Feldman, Wright, Benoit, and Francisco as they allowed 4 runs in 7 innings.

The offense for the Royals was the story Tuesday night as they scored a season high 9 runs on 14 hits. Jose Guillen, for one night at least, was the player we thought we signed as he had 5 RBI and hit his 3rd home run. Grudzielanek, playing his first game in 6 days, was red hot as he went 4-6 with 3 doubles and 3 runs scored. Gordon, Teahen, and Butler each had 2 hits a piece.

Royals host Blue Jays (series I)

It's been a busy week and I've fallen a bit behind on the blogging, so I want to apologize to my readers (all seven of you). Ok, now with that behind me, let's take a look at the Royals last home stand, more specifically the Blue Jays series.

The Royals returned home a week ago after completing a rough road trip in which the Royals went 2-5 and dropped out of first place. They first faced Cleveland, who promptly handled the Royals in three straight games, and extended the Royals loosing streak to 7 games. It was a bad week, no doubt about it, we all saw the Royals go from first to worst, but could the rebound against the Jays?

Game 1: Zack Greinke continued his strong start to the season by throwing 7 innings and allowing 1 run. Nunez pitched the eighth and allowed three runs, his first of the year in blowing the save. Down 4-2 the offense finally got to work scoring an amazing six runs in route to an 8-4 win.

Player of the game: David DeJesus was 2-4 with a walk and 3 RBI

Game 2: Luke Hochevar got the first win of his career by pitching 6 strong innings and allowing only 1 run. Hochevar was pitching with runners on all game but he got outs when it counted. Mahey, Nunez, Ramirez pitched the 7th and 8th and Soria notched his 6th save in 6 chances. The offense did just enough and Guillen hit his 2nd home run of the season, and the Royals won 2-1.

Player of the game: Luke Hochevar went 6 innings allowing 6 hits and 1 run and scored his first win.

Game 3: Going for the sweep the Royals sent struggling ace, Gil Meche to the mound. Meche pitched well, allowing 3 runs in 6.2 innings. The offense again let the team down scoring only 2 runs, both on an RBI single by David DeJesus. The Royals dropped the finale 5-2.

Player of the game: David DeJesus, he didn't do much but he did have both RBI in going 1-4 on the day.

Look at the numbers:
  1. $11 million dollar man Gil Meche continues to struggle and is sporting an ugly 7.22 ERA.
  2. DeJesus had 5 RBI in the series, 41% of the runs scored.
  3. The Royals are now have 1 sweep in 5 chances.
  4. The Royals offense now ranks last in runs scored at 82, the MLB average is 117 runs.
  5. Speaking of lousy offense, how about 3.28 runs per game so far for the Royals.
  6. Royals are 19th in baseball in average (.253), 26th in OBP (.305), and 28th in SLG (.346)
  7. The Royals pitching fell from 14th to 20th in the league with a 4.42 ERA

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Royals host Blue Jays (game III)

Gil Meche (1-3, 8.00 ERA) looks to get right today and complete the three game sweep of the Jays. Jesse Litsch (2-1, 6.16 ERA) gets the starts for the Jays as they look to end a 6 game loosing streak.

Box Score

Gil Meche pitched fairly well going 6.2 innings while allowing 3 runs on 9 hits, he took the loss, mostly based on our wiffle ball offense. Peralta pitched 1.2 innings allowing 2 ER and raising his ERA to 6.00 since his recall from Omaha. Gobble recorded two outs to end the game keeping his ERA at 0.00.

The Royals bats, like most nights, made an average pitcher like Litsch look like Cy Young himself. The Royals only managed to score 2 runs on 6 hits despite 3 errors from the Blue Jays. David DeJesus had both RBI's as he hit a single in the 3rd scoring Ross Gload and Tony Pena. That was it for the offense as the Royals lost 5-2.

Royals host Blue Jays (game II)

The Royals take on the Blue Jays with a chance to win their first series since taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees on their last homestand. Luke Hochevar (0-1, 11.57 ERA) gets his second start of the season, Hochevar is still looking for his first career win. Going for the Blue Jays is Kansas City native Shaun Marcum (2-1, 3.42 ERA).

Box Score

Luke Hochevar was in and out of trouble all night but picked up his first career win tonight by beating the Jays 2-1. Hochevar allowed 6 hits in 6 innings of work while cutting his ERA in half...more importantly the Royals won their first series since April 10th-12th when they took the series from the Yankees.

Mahey took over for Hochever in the 7th pitching a scoreless inning before Nunez took over in the 8th. Nunez walked Rios to lead off the inning and was replaced by Ramirez with runners on first and second-Ramirez got out of the jam. Soria pitched the 9th and recorded his 6th save in 6 chances.

The offense as normal barely showed up. Teahen lead off the 5th with a double and Gload drove him in with a one out single. The Royals took the lead for good with a 6th inning home run from Guillen, his second of the year.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Royals host Blue Jays (game I)

The Royals, after suffering their second consecutive sweep, look to Zack Greinke (3-0, 1.24 ERA) to stop the bleeding. Getting the ball for Toronto is right hander A.J. Burnett (2-1, 6.58 ERA) as he tries to end the Jays 4 game slide.

Box Score

It's finally over, the seven game losing streak came to an end as Greinke pitched 7 innings of 1 run ball. The thing is the Royal's bats, again struggled early, and the Royals were clinging to a 1 run lead when Greinke exited. Leo Nunez started the 8th and the Jays wasted little time in tying the game, eventually overtook, and extended their lead 4-1.

Then it happened, the bats finally stepped up and won a game. The Royals batted around and some, scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the eighth; the 6 runs were the most the Royals had scored in any game thus far. Soria came in to finish the game and pitched a perfect 9th as the Royals won 8-4.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Royals host Indians (game II & III)

Let's play two. The Royals and Indians are looking to squeeze two games in today as heavy rain forced the cancellation of last night's contest. The pitching match-ups will be carried over so in game one Brett Tomko (1-2, 3.60 ERA) vs. Fausto Carmona (2-1, 1.96 ERA) in a 5:10 start. The second game will feature Brian Bannister (3-1, 2.42 ERA) against Cliff Lee (3-0, .040 ERA)

Game 1 Box Score

Brett Tomko was hit around hard in his 4 innings, allowing 6 earned runs on 11 hits. Yabuta relieved Tomko and, as usual, gave up 2 runs in his 2.2 innings of work; Ramirez finished the game out by pitching 2.1 scoreless innings.

The Royals bats came up short, but made some positives strides after their week-long slumber scoring 6 runs on 14 hits. DeJesus hit his first home run of the year and is now hitting .429. Olivo, starting for Buck, was 3-4 with his 3rd home run.

Just for the record that is now 6 loses in a row, yet if the Royals can manage a win in game 2 we will still be tied for second in the division.

Game 2 Box Score

Brian Bannister deserved better as he pitched 6.2 innings allowing only 2 runs, the thing is Cliff Lee pitched a complete game 3-hitter, and Bannister picked up his second loss of the season. That about sums it up. The Royals got pretty solid pitching, but again the bats were silent as the Royals picked up their 7th straight loss and are now in last place in the division.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Minor League Report

Omaha Royals (AAA)

Record: 11-7
Streak: W 1
Standings: 1st in the North

Who's Hot:

Shane Costa: .329/.375/.589 with 3 HR and 10 RBI
Mike Aviles: .329/.358/.579 with 2 HR and 16 RBI
Angel Berroa: .317/.328/.508 with 2 HR and 6 RBI
Kyle Davies: 2-1, 0.90 ERA allowed 13 hits in 20 IP. 14/8 K/BB
Jorge De La Rosa: 2-0 1.15 ERA allowed 11 hits in 15.2 IP. 15/5

Who's Cold:

Chris Lubanski: .233/.288/.417 with 3 HR and 10 RBI
Ryan Shealy: .169/.239/.400 with 4 HR and 8 RBI
Brandon Duckworth: 1-1, 5.28 ERA allowed 15 hits in 15.1 IP. 15/9

NW Arkansas Naturals (AA)

Streak: L 1
Standings: Last in the North

Who's Hot:

Carlos Rosa: 1-2, 2.25 ERA allowed 16 hits in 20 IP. 16/3
Julio Pimental: 0-2, 3.60 ERA allowed 20 hits in 20 IP. 18/8
Daniel Cortes: 0-1, 1.35 ERA allowed 9 hits in 13.1 IP. 9/8

Who's Cold:

The Naturals offense (like last report): .204/.277/.287
Rowdy Hardy: 0-2 6.30 ERA allowed 37 hits in 20 IP 9/2

Wilmington Blue Rocks (A Advanced)

Record: 6-12
Streak: L 4
Standings: Last in the North

Who's Hot:

Jeffrey Howell: .359/.405/.564 with 1 HR and 9 RBI
Joseph Dickerson: .333/.431/.533 with 1 HR and 7 RBI
Everett Teaford: 1-0, 1.04 ERA allowed 11 hits in 17.1 IP. 12/5
Aaron Hartsock: 1-2, 2.50 ERA allowed 13 hits in 18 IP. 12/4
Matthew Kniginyzky: 0-1, 2.20 ERA allowed 10 hits in 16.1 IP. 15/7

Who's Cold:

Derrick Robinson: .222/.310/.254 with 3 RBI
Jeff Bianchi: .136/.208/.182 with 1 RBI
Blake Wood: 0-1, 5.29 ERA allowed 17 hits in 17 IP. 20/6

Burlington Bees (A)

Record: 8-9
Streak: W 1
Standings: 4th in Mid-Western

Who's Hot:

Adrian Ortiz: .324/.355/.380 with 4 RBI
Clint Robinson: .291/.381/.727 with 5 HR and 9 RBI
Daniel Gutierrez: 1-1, 2.37 ERA allowed 12 hits in 19 IP. 25/9
Alexander Caldera: 1-1, 1.04 ERA allowed 12 hits in 17.1 IP. 13/4
Edward Cegarra: 1-0, 1.13 ERA allowed 11 hits in 16 IP. 14/0
Anthony Bradley: 1-1, 0.66 ERA allowed 9 hits in 13.2 IP. 10/4

Who's Cold:

Alwin Perez: .157/.218/.176 with 1 RBI
Wilson Tucker: .135/.195/.270 with 1 HR and 3 RBI
Zack Peterson: 1-0, 7.50 ERA allowed 15 hits 12 IP. 9/2

Top 10 Prospects:
  1. Mike Moustakas: .204/.271/.204 with 1 RBI
  2. Daniel Cortes: 0-1, 1.35 ERA; 2 ER in 13.1 IP
  3. Luke Hochevar: 0-1, 11.57 with Royals
  4. Blake Wood: 0-1, 5.29 ERA; 10 ER in 17 IP
  5. Danny Duffy: Season hasn't started
  6. Carlos Rosa: 1-2, 2.25 ERA; 5 ER in 20 IP
  7. Julio Pimental: 0-2, 3.60 ERA; 8 ER in 20 IP
  8. Matt Mitchell: 0-1, 1.50 ERA; 2 ER in 12 IP
  9. Yasuhiko Yabuta: 0-0, 9.82 ERA with Royals
  10. Derrick Robinson: .222/.310/.254 with 3 RBI and 5 SB

Royals host Indians (game II)

The Royals are looking to stop the bleeding tonight by sending Brett Tomko (1-3, 3.60 ERA) to the mound. Tomko has pitched fairly well so far this year and we desperately need him to step up. For the Royals sad offense it doesn't get any easier as Cleveland sends Fausto Carmono (2-1, 1.96 ERA) to the hill.

Update: The game was postponed due to rain. A double header is scheduled for tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Royals host Indians (game I)

The Royals are back home and are looking to put behind them a road trip that saw them go 2-5 and fall to second in the division. Gil Meche (1-2, 6.08 ERA) looks to build on his first win and end the Royals 4 game slide against a struggling Cleveland team. C.C. Sabathia (0-3, 13.50 ERA) gets the start for the tribe and has struggled badly this season; some even wonder about arm trouble for the reigning Cy Young winner.

Box Score

Is there a team you would rather face if you were a struggling starting pitcher? C.C. Sabathia doesn't think so, as he got right tonight throwing 6 scoreless innings while striking out 11. Gil Meche, now 2-7 with a 6.10 ERA in his career against the Indians, struggled early and often allowing 8 runs on 9 hits in 3.1 innings. The bullpen, so good early, is getting hit around as well-5.2 innings allowing 5 runs.

The Royals offense continues to be an embarrassment to Kansas City as they managed only 1 run on 6 hits while managing 13 strike-outs. Teahen, who had 3 of those K's managed an RBI single in the 8th to break the shut out. The Indians on the other hand had no problems scoring, they failed to score in only the 1st, 6th and 9th innings. Taking a look at their box score and you would think it was a spring training game as 13 players got to take batting practice against the Royals.

Personally, I think the Royals pitching is trying to be to perfect to overcome the dead weight of the offense, and they are starting to get hit around because of it. The offense needs to step it up, they need to get some extra base hits and they need to stop making outs on the base paths. The defense has been no help as of late either as Teahen mis-played another ball in left and Gordon had an error.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Royals at A's (series I) Recap

The Royals wrapped up their road trip in dismal fashion as they suffered a sweep at the hands of the swingin' A's. The Royals finish the road trip at 9-10 and are under .500 for the first time this season, the A's are now at 12-8.

Game 1: Brian Bannister pitched well early and clinged to a 2-1 lead going into the 6th, and then the wheels fell off as 4 runs scored, all earned and all belonging to Bannister. Mahey and Peralta pitched 2 innings of scoreless ball before Yabuta and Nomo got hammered for 8 runs in an inning. The offense only managed 2 runs on 4 hits as the Royals suffered their worst loss of the season 13-2.

Player of the game: I never thought it would be so hard to announce a player of the game, but here goes...Billy Butler he had an RBI and went 1-4 on the night.

Game 2: Zack Greinke looked to break the Royals 2 game loosing streak and things were looking good early as the Royals spotted Greinke a 4-0 lead. Guillen hit his first homer of the year, a 3-run shot and Olivo added his second homer in the 2nd. Oaklands offense got it going in the 5th scoring 3 runs, in part due to an error by Pena, and from there it just got worse as the A's scored in the next 2 innings to earn a 6-5 win.

Player of the game: Jose Guillen, he finally hit his first home run going 2-4 with a double and 3 RBI

Game 3: Luke Hochevar making his first start of the year followed in Bannister and Greinke's foot steps by pitching well early before getting hit in the middle innings. The Royals were up 1-0 in the 4th before Oakland's offense got it in gear scoring 4 runs...more than enough to handle the Royals and their helpless offense. Final score: 7-1

Player of the game: Ack, this is harder then game 1...I'll go with Leo Nunez. Nunez pitched a scoreless 8th striking out 2 and keeping his ERA at 0.00 for the year.

Look at the numbers:
  • Bannister allowed 5 runs Friday after allowing only 3 his previous 3 starts combined.
  • Greinke allowed 2 earned runs Saturday, that matches his total from his previous 3 starts.
  • Guillen had 7 hits on the road trip, 5 were for extra bases.
  • Guillen and Gordon are tied with 9 RBI, tops on the team.
  • The Royals were out hit 42-15.
  • The Royals were out scored 26-8.
  • The Royals now have 8 blown leads on the season compared to 3 come backs.
  • The Royals have allowed 38 runs in innings 4-6 and 39 through the other 6 innings.
  • The Royals are now 28th in the league in runs scored, 24th in OBP, and 27th in SLG
  • The Royals pitching is now 14th in the league

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Royals at A's (game III)

The Royals look to avoid the sweep today against the A's as Luke Hochevar (0-0, 0.00 ERA) gets his first start of the season; taking the ball for the A's is Dana Eveland (1-1, 2.00 ERA). This is the second time this season the Royals have faced a three game sweep, last time Brett Tomko stepped up against the Twins, and the Royals avoided the sweep in Minnesota.

Box Score

Luke Hochevar looked sharp...for his first 3 innings and the Royals were out to a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the 4th, the suddenly red hot Oakland offense, scored 5 runs with 2 outs. Hochevar tried coming back for the 5th but allowed another run in 2/3 of an inning and was replaced with Mahey. Hochevars line for the game was 4.2 IP, 6 runs on 9 hits with 3 BB and 5 SO's.

The Royals offense was, well, terrible. The Royals had a season low 3 hits and only scored the 1 run in the 3rd inning. Not much else to say about it really, was pretty boring.

The Royals finished the road-trip 2-5 and are now 2.5 games back from the White Sox.

Royals Notes: Hochevar called up

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that Hochever was called up from AAA Omaha to make the start in place of injured left-hander John Bale. Hochevar who nearly won a spot with the club out of spring training was having a good spring so far posting a 1-1 record and a 2.60 ERA.

The club has yet to make room on the 25 man roster but there is really only a couple of options; one would be to designate Hideo Nomo for assignment or option Joel Peralta back to Omaha.

The move signals a win now attitude for the Royals as Hochevar needed only 3 more weeks in the minors to extend his option years by one. It's still possible the Royals will only allow him to start a couple of games and then send him back to Omaha. As for who has to go? It's painfully obvious that Nomo just doesn't have what it takes anymore and the Royals need to cut their loses.

Update: Nomo was indeed designated for assignment and now has 10 days to either be traded or put on waivers, the Royals will not offer him an assignment in Omaha. Nomo finished his come back with the Royals posting an ugly 18.69 ERA in 4.1 innings.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Royals at A's (game II)

The Royals play the middle game of the series today in a 3:05 start as Zack Greinke (3-0, 0.75 ERA) looks to end the Royals 2-game losing streak. Rookie Greg Smith (1-0, 2.08 ERA) will take the mound for the swingin' A's.

Box Score

Zack Greinke and the Royals were off to a quick start running out to a 4-0 lead after 4 innings, then the wheels feel off. In the bottom of the 5th Greinke got into trouble giving up a lead off double to Barton followed by a walk, followed by a 1 out RBI single by former Royal Emil Brown. Ryan Sweeney then hit a double play ball to Pena at short; Pena quickly booted the ball and all parties were safe.

Ramirez took over in the 6th and surrendered the tying run in his inning of work. Peralta followed and allowed 2 runs in .1 of an inning and was rescued by Gobble. Yabuta pitched a perfect 9th.

There were some positives on offense as Guillen homered for the first time all season, a three run shot in the 1st, and Olivo connected on his second of the year in the 2nd. Then, as usual, the offense went into a prolonged slump at the plate not scoring again until the 9th.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Royals at A's (game I)

The Royals conclude their 7 game road trip in Oakland where they will be reunited with former Royals Mike Sweeney, Emil Brown and Donnie Murhpy. Brian Bannister(3-0, .086 ERA) will be taking the mound for the Royals and looking for his 4th straight win. Chad Gaudin(0-1, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second start of the year for Oakland, he was knocked around in his last start against Toronto.

Box Score

It had to happen eventually, Brian Bannister finally had a bad outing. Bannister was cruising through 5 innings giving up only 1 run, but something was missing, and that was Bannisters control. While he only walked 1 batter he was all over the place, usually in the middle of the plate, and that caught up to him in the 6th as he allowed 4 runs and recorded no outs.

Mahey and Peralta came in and stopped the bleeding pitching 2 innings allowing no earned runs...Then it happened, the two headed Japanese monster known as Yabunomo came in and suddenly the swinging A's were back in business. Yabuta started the 8th but allowed 5 runs to score on only 1 hit, then Nomo came in to clean up and get the final out except that he allowed 3 runs to score first. Just in case you were wondering Yabuta's ERA is 10.13 and Nomo's is 18.69.

The Royals offense was just as terrible as Yabunomo. The only managed to score 2 runs on 4 hits and nobody had more than 1 hit. Billy Butler ended what could have been a promising inning by running into yet another out at second base in the third.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Nomo just doesn't have it and I would guess by Sunday Nomo is no longer on the Royals roster and we see one of Hochevar, Davies, or De La Rosa.

Royals at Angels (series I) Recap

Continueing their West Coast trip the Royals took on the Angels for a quick two game set. The Royals coming into the series were at 8-6 and the Angels stood at 9-6.

Game 1: Meche earned that elusive first victory by pitching 6 innings and gave up 2 runs. The bullpen was great...again, in pitching 3 scoreless innings. The offense did just enough to beat the Angels 3-2 as the top of the order was 8-14.

Player of the game: Joey Gathright, he sat the table all game going 3-5 with a run scored and a stolen base.

Game 2: Tomko pitched fairly well in a 5-3 loss as the Angels avoided the sweep. Tomko went 7 innings giving up 3 runs in the 3rd and 2 more in the 5th. The Royals offense didn't bother to show up and I'm beginning to wonder if this team has any pop in its bats.

Player of the game: Alex Gordon, 2-3 with a run scored and a walk.

Look at the numbers:

  • .275 team batting average good for 5th in MLB
  • .325 team on base percentage good for 19th in MLB
  • .370 team slugging percentage good for 23rd in MLB
  • 3.17 team earned run average good for 3rd in MLB
  • .995 team fielding percentage good for 1st in MLB
  • The Royals are scoring in only 25% of the innings played (36/143)
  • The Royals were outscored 7-5 but outhit the Angels 24-16
  • Meche ERA after 4 starts: 6.08
  • Tony Pena Jr. BAVG. .114
  • The Royals have taken 6 of 7 from the Angels dating to last year

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Royals Notes: Bale put on 15 day DL

Dick Kaegel of reports that John Bale will be put on the 15 day disabled list with a "dead arm". The Royals are calling up Joel Peralta to take his spot on the roster.

Replacing a starter with a reliever? Something has to give, as the Royals now currently don't have a starter for Sundays game against Oakland. Odds are Peralta or perhaps even Nomo are sent back to Omaha and we see Hochaver or De La Rosa for Sunday.

Good Trade: Bad Trade

In this new feature I'm going to look back at the trades Royals GM Dayton Moore has made since he took the reins from Allard Barid and pronounce a team the winner of said trade.

06-20-2006: Dayton Moore after only three weeks on the job pulled the trigger on his first trade sending lefty J.P. Howell to the Devil Rays for outfielder Joey Gathright and infielder Fernando Cortez.

J.P. Howell was taken by the Royals with the 31st overall pick in the 2004 draft and was pitching for the Royals by June of 2005. Howell picked up a win in his first Major League start allowing 1 run on on 4 hits in 5 innings, he also struck out 8 in an 8-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Howell made 14 more starts that year finishing with a 3-5 record and 6.19 ERA.

Howell started 2006 in AAA Omaha going 3-2 in 8 starts and on June 20th was traded the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in exchange for a speedy yet underachieving outfielder named Joey Gathright and a light hitting infielder named Fernando Cortez.

Joey Gathright was drafted in the 32nd round (949th overall) of the 2001 draft by the Rays. Gathright moved through the Rays minor leagues fairly well and by 2004 had gotten his first taste of big league action hitting .250 in 52 AB's.Gathright had a successful 2005 season splitting time between AAA Durham and Tampa Bay hitting .276 and 20 SB's for the parent club and had earned the starting center fielder job going into 2006. Fate wasn't kind to Gathright however, and by June 6th the outfielder was hitting .201 and was optioned back to Durham the next day.

Fernando Cortez was drafted in the 9th round (259th overall) of the 2001 draft by the Rays. Cortez moved rather slowly through the system until 2005 when he started the year in AA and by the end of the year he was with Tampa where he hit .077 in only 13 AB's. Cortez opened 2006 in AAA Durham before being included in the trade.

Reaction then: I had mixed feelings about the trade from the beginning, and it wasn't because I thought J.P. Howell had Ace written all over him, but because the Royals pitching was so terrible (5.65 ERA in 2006). In addition the Royals outfield seemed pretty crowded at the time; DeJesus was proving to be very solid, Brown was cheap and putting up good numbers and Teahen was expected to move to the outfield.

Gathright in turn had been bad in 2006 and despite all his speed he still had to get on base (which he wasn't doing). Cortez for his part couldn't hit a lick and wasn't to hot with the glove either.

Reaction now: J.P. Howell struggled as a starter last year going 1-6 with a 7.59 ERA in 10 starts and couldn't seem to get it together. The Rays moved him to the bullpen this year were he has performed much better (3.52 ERA). Looking at the Royals staff as it is now there seems to be no chance he would be on the 25 man roster and would still be struggling in Omaha.

Gathright struggled initially in 2006 but last year lead the Royals with a .307 AVG and .371 OBP in limited AB's. This year Gathright is off to a solid start hitting .269 with 7 stolen bases. From the Rays perspective their outfield seems to be pretty solid with Crawford and Upton.

Cortez saw brief action in 2007 with the Royals hitting .286 in 14 AB's and is now in the White Sox organization.

Winner: I think the nod has to be slightly in the Royals corner as Gathright has been more productive to date than Howell. That said, Howell is still 2 years younger and if his early success in the bullpen holds up he could still be valuable.

Forbes: Business of Baseball

Today Forbes released it's annual "Business of Baseball" report and to nobodies surprise the #1 franchise is the game (in terms of worth) is the Yankees at 1.306 billion dollars; the Florida Marlins rank #30th at 256 million dollars. So where do the Royals stand?

The Royals come in at #27 in league with an estimated worth of 301 million dollars, that's a 7% increase from last year when they were worth an estimated 282 million. Not a bad investment for David Glass who paid 96 million for the team in 2000. A breakdown of a few other numbers:

Revenue- 131 million (123 million in '07)
Operating Income- 7.4 million (8.4 million in '07)
Player Expense- 74 million (66 million in '07)
Gate Receipts- 24 million (19 million)

Royals at Angels (game II)

The Royals conclude their quick two game set against the the Angels tonight in a 9:05 start. Brett Tomko (1-1, 2.08 ERA) looks to continue his early success this season by facing Jon Garland (1-2, 5.50 ERA). Garland has been especially tough in his career against the Royals compiling a 16-6 record with a 3.54 ERA.

Update: David DeJesus left the game in the fourth with a stubbed toe. Apparently he injured the toe by crashing into the wall during pre-game batting practice.

Box Score

Well Jon Garland did what he does best and beat the Royals 5-3 to improve to 17-6 all time against the Royals. Brett Tomko did a decent job throwing 7 innings but giving up 5 runs on only 6 hits. Garret Anderson did most of the damage with a bases loaded double scoring 3 runs.

The Royals offense was again...well...the Royals offense. It "mashed" 11 hits but could only score 3 runs-about average for our boys. It really is a shame to waste all this good pitching we are getting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Royals at Angels (game I)

The Royals continue their West coast trip in Anaheim as they face the Angles in a 9:05 start. Gil Meche (0-2, 7.13 ERA) looks to get on track for the Royals and Jared Weaver (1-2, 3.79 ERA) gets the start for the Angels.

Box Score

Gil Meche finally earns his first win of the year with a 3-2 victory over the Angels. Meche didn't pitch especially well, but much like last year he fought through some rough innings and kept the team in the game; he also lowered his ERA to 6.08. The bullpen pitched amazing again throwing three scoreless innings in preserving the win.

The offense-what can I say? It's nice winning so it's hard to complain but boy they sure can't score many runs can they? They racked up 13 hits but only 2 extra base hits and only managed to score in the first and second innings. Gathright had 3 hits but was picked off first and thrown out at third on a steal attempt. Teahen broke his mini slump getting three hits as each regular got at least 1 hit, well except Gload and Pena.

Royals at Seattle (series I) Recap

The Royals began their second road trip of the season by heading to the great northwest and taking on the Seattle Mariners. The Royals heading into the series were 7-5 and the Mariners were 6-7.

Game 1: Zack Greinke improved his record to 3-0 on the season by pitching a complete game and allowing only 1 run- his ERA actually went up to .75. The offense got off to a quick start in the 2nd with home runs from Butler and Olivo and never looked back.

Player of the game: Zack Grienke, was dominate all night earning his third straight victory.

Game 2: What a difference a day makes. John Bale got rocked by giving up 5 runs in 3 innings and the bullpen for the first time this season got hit as well; mostly thanks to one Hideo Nomo (1 inning 4 ER). The Offense scored a season high 6 runs in a losing effort.

Look at the numbers:
  • Billy Butler had his hitting streak halted at 13 games.
  • John Bale has now allowed 28 base runners in 15.1 innings
  • David DeJesus went 3-7 in his first action since game 1
  • Royals were 1-3 in stolen base attempts
  • Teahen was 2-10 with 9 LOB
  • Tony Pena had 4 hits in 8 AB's after going 0-26

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Royals at Mariners (game II)

The Royals wrap up their brief two game set against the Mariners today in an unusual 5:40 start. John Bale (0-2, 5.84 ERA) gets the ball for the Royals and ex-Royal Miguel Batista (0-2, 6.00 ERA) will start for Seattle.

Today is the 61st anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, always an important event. Trey Hillman, Jose Guillen, and Joey Gathright will be sporting the retired number 42 in honor of Robinson.

Box Score

The Royals are now 1 for 3 in closing out sweeps as the Mariners were all over John Bale scoring 5 runs in his 3 innings of work; Bales ERA now stands at 7.63 after three starts. The bullpen, who had 2 days of rest got a work out, Nomo, Mahey, Yabuta, Gobble, and Soria pitched 6 innings allowing 6 runs (4 by Nomo, 1 a piece for Mahey and Yabuta.

The Royals offense scored a season high 6 runs but the pitching also gave up a season high 11 runs-tough luck for the boys with bats. DeJesus and Pena had 2 hits and Grudz picked up 3 on the night. Billy Butlers hitting streak ended at 13 games.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Royals at Mariners (game I)

The Royals begin their second road trip of the year by heading out west to face the Seattle Mariners in a 9:10 start. Zack Greinke (2-0, .060 ERA) looks to continue his hot start as he faces off against Jared Washburn (1-1, 3.00 ERA).

Update: DeJesus, out since game 1 against Detroit makes his return to the line-up tonight.

Box Score

Zack Greinke pitched another gem of a game, this time a complete game in which he allowed only 1 run on 5 hits. Greinke needed 107 pitches to mow down a Seattle team that has been struggling offensively, the only run scored on a Ichiro fielders choice. Washburn on the other hand struggled against the right handed bats of the Royals in allowing 3 runs in 6 innings.

The offense got off to a strong start in the second when Billy Butler extended his hitting streak to 13 by connecting for his first home run of the season, that was followed by a double from Guillen and an eventual Olivo home-run, also his first. The Royals added single runs in the 7th and 8th.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Royals host Twins (series II) Recap

The Twinkies came to Kansas City with the Royals and their fans high on life after taking 2 of three from the Yankees. The good feelings were not going to last as the bats didn't show up and the Royals lost the first 2 games, they salvaged the last game of the series and finished the first home stand 3-3.

Game 1: Gil Meche's early struggles continued as he gave up 5 runs in 6 innings and he lost his second match with Hernandez and the Twins 5-0. Meche was followed by Yabuta and Ramirez as they pitched 3 innings of shutout relief. The offense obviously didn't show and Guillen in particular was terrible going 0 for 4 with 2 k's and 5 LOB.

Player of the game: Alex Gordon, 2-4 raising his average to .317.

Game 2: Brett Tomko was the stopper last week ending a 2-game losing streak, this time he wasn't so successful as the Royals got shut out again 2-0. Tomko however, pitched well allowing just 2 runs in 6 innings. Ramirez, Mahey and Nunez followed with 3 scoreless innings.

Player of the game: Brett Tomko, who expected a a 2.08 record in 2 starts?

Game 3: Brian Bannister got the start in the finale and he was fantastic throwing a complete game allowing only an un-earned run to score. The bullpen got a much needed day off and the offense finally re-appeared scoring (gasp) 5 runs.

Player of the game: Brian Bannister, he pitched the Royals first complete game and halted the losing at 3 games.

Look at the numbers:
  • Meche is now sporting an ugly 7.13 ERA
  • Meche has allowed 29 base-runners in 17.2 innings
  • 18 scorless innings Twins pitchers tossed at the Royals (26 overall)
  • 12 consecutive games Billy Butler has hit in so far
  • Alex Gordon didn't hit his third home run last year until May 23rd
  • The Royals were outscored 8-5 in the series yet out hit the Twins 21-20
  • 1/2, the number of games out of 1st place the Royals are.

Royals host Twins (game VI)

So for the second Time in two meetings the Twins are going for the sweep of the Royals. The first time around Tomko stepped up and the Royals salvaged the series, this time Brian Bannister (2-0, 1.50 ERA) looks to step up. Making his first start since 2006 is Francisco Lirano (0-0, 0.00 ERA); The Twins are expecting big things from Lirano but he will no doubt be on a pitch count today.

Box Score

Brian Bannister continues his amazing start throwing the Royals first complete game of the season giving up 0 ER on 3 hits. Lirano for the Twins was a little wild as expected allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and had 5 Walks.

The Royals on offense finally broke the 26 inning scoreless streak in the first when Gathright beat out an infield single, later in the inning Butler got him home on a 2-out single extending his hitting streak to 12. Gordon had a good game hitting his 3rd home run, he also added a double and a walk

Hillman, looking to break the hitting slump put out his third different line-up in the last three days, this time inserting Olivo at DH, Butler at 1st and giving Grudz the day off while German started at 2nd.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Royals Host Twins (game V)

The Royals face the Twins tonight on Butler powder blue jersey night. On the mound for the Royals is Brett Tomko (1-0, 1.29 ERA), and pitching for the Twins is Boof Bonser (0-2, 4.15 ERA). The Royals offense has been pretty terrible the last couple of days, can they snap out of it?

Box Score

Brett Tomko did his best and took an undeserved loss on the return of the powder blue jerseys; he pitched 6 innings and only allowed 2 ER on a very cold and miserable night. The bullpen did it's normal thing pitching 3 scoreless innings.

Now to the Royals offense...I wish I had the words. I posted in an earlier blog how I feared that the Royals were going to hit a rough(er) patch offensively because it seemed that through out the first 9 games or so they were completely dependent on the clutch 2-out hit, well it happened as the Royals extended their scoreless streak to 26 innings.

This was the first game I got to attend and boy was it hectic as the first 20,000 received Billy Butler powder blue jerseys. The gates opened at 4 pm and I got there 20 till and the lines were past arrowhead stadium, it was a mad house. As far as the new jerseys on the players, I just have to wonder...why not powder blue pants?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Royals host Yankees (series I) Recap

The Royals got a tough draw to start their home opener as the Yankees came for their only visit to the K. Coming off a 4-2 road trip that featured a sweep of the Tigers and then losing 2 of 3 to the Twins this was a good test for the Royals.

Game 1: Brian Bannister got off to a rough start but battled back and pitched 5 innings allowing 2 runs and the Royals offense scored a season high 5 runs, capped by a 2 run single by Gload in the 5th.

Player of the game: Brian Bannister, he battled through an un-even strike zone and gave the Royals a chance to win.

Game 2: With rain falling most of the game Zack Greinke pitched a fantastic game throwing 8 shutout innings. Girardi fearing rain scratched starter Ian Kennedy and went to the bullpen to start the game with mixed results. John Buck hit a monster home run in the 5th as the Royals win 4-0.

Player of the game: Zack Greinke, was absurd in 8 innings of work allowing 6 hits and 2 walks and 0 runs.

Game 3: Going for the sweep the Royals send left-hander John Bale to the mound against Royal killer Andy Pettitte, and Pettitte did what he does best and that is hold the Royals offense in check. The Yankees avoided the sweep and beat the Royals 6-1.

Player of the game: Mark Teahen (3-4 with a run scored)

Look at the numbers:
  • Royals outscored the Yankees 10-8.
  • For the first time this year the bullpen allowed more than 1 ER in a series.
  • Zack Greinke's ERA after 2 starts: 0.60.
  • 6, the number of runs the Yankees scored Thursday, the most allowed by the Royals to date.
  • The Royals collected 10 walks, this after 0 in their last series.
  • The Royals offense is averaging 3.55 runs a game.

Royals host Twins (game IV)

Another 7:10 start tonight as Gil Meche (0-1, 6.94 ERA) gets his second crack at the Twins. His last start vs. these twins he was rocked to the tune of 6 runs in 5.2 innings. Taking the mound for the Twins is Livan Hernandez (2-0, 3.86 ERA); his last start against the Royals he went 7 innings allowing 4 runs in a winning effort.

The Royals offense needs to get off to a good start after being held in check last night by Pettitte and it would be nice to see Meche get his stuff together and put together a couple good starts.

Box Score

Gil Meche had another rough outing getting blasted for 5 runs in 6 innings, he was assisted by some mis-played balls in the field. I really hope Meche gets things figured out because we can't depend on Bannister and Greinke to carry the full load of a winning season.

The Royals offense offense didn't show up as they have now gone 17 scoreless innings. Gordon had a 2-hit game and Butler added a hit and his hitting streak is now at10 games. Tony Pena Jr. was given the night off to see if he can get his head on right, we just can't have a starter hitting well under .100, it's just not right.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Royals host Yankees (game III)

The Royals go for the sweep of the Yankees tonight at 7:10. John Bale (0-1, 5.68 ERA) makes his second of the year and pitching for the Yankees is veteran Andy Pettitte (0-1, 5.40 ERA). The Royals last swept the Yankees in a series at the K back in May-31 thru June 2nd. That was the first series for Buddy Bell as he took over for Tony Pena, ah, good times.

Update: The game is currently in a rain-delay in the bottom of the 4th with the Yanks up 2-1.

Box Score

Not much to say here, Andy Pettitte handled the Royals line-up pretty well last night allowing 1 run in 6.2 innings. Teahen had 3 hits and Butler moved his hitting streak to 9 games.

John Bale seems to be consistent in his mediocrity throwing 6 innings and allowing 4 runs. The Royals defense was shaky on several occasions throughout the game. Lets hope it's not a new trend.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Royals host Yankees (game II)

At 7:10 the Royals and Yankees kick off game 2 of a 3 game set with the Royals leading 1 game to none. Taking the Mound today for the Royals is Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.29 ERA) and Ian Kennedy (0-1, 23.14 ERA) gets the start for the Yankees.

Guillen's suspension was again pushed back as MLB tries to figure out to do.

Update: It looks like Ian Kennedy was a last minute scratch in favor of Brian Bruney. No word as of yet why Kennedy isn't making his start.

Update II: Looks like Girardi was holding Kennedy out in case the game was postponed, which of course it wasn't. Kennedy came into the game in the 6th and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits.

Box Score

The rain couldn't slow down the Royals as Greinke pitched a fantastic game throwing 8 inning of shut out ball. The bullpen closed out the game in the 9th, first Yabuta and then Gobble to complete the shut out.

The offense like usually didn't get much going until the middle innings when John Buck took Farnsworth deep to lead off the 5th. The Royals added another run in the 5th and 2 more in the 6th to complete the games scoring.

My thoughts on Greinke is if you are going to bring him back in for the 8th when he was already at 97 pitches then why not let him come back for the 9th at 107? Would have been nice to see Greinke get the complete game but I'm happy non the less.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Royals host Yankees (game I)

Finally, the home opener is upon us. Now we get the chance to see our boys in person and for many of us it will be our first look at the renovations taking place at Kauffman. Taking the mound for the Royals will be Brian Bannister (1-0, 0.00) vs. Phil Hughes (0-0, 3.00) and the Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 pm if weather permits.

Box Score

The Royals started the home stand off with a 5-2 win over the Yanks, and Brian Bannister improved to 2-0 working 5 innings and allowing 2 runs. Both Bannister and Hughes had to throw a lot of pitches as the home plate umpire really squeezed the strike zone. The bullpen put in another stellar performance pitching 4 innings of shut out ball.

The offense again did just enough to win scratching out single runs in the 1st, 2nd and 4th and putting up 2 runs in the 5th; Gload came through with the big hit, a 2 run single off Ohlendorf. Several Royals put up 2-hit games including Gathright, Grudzielanek, Teahen, Butler, Gordon and Gload.

The Running game was fantastic tonight with 5 steals, 3 of those from Gathright; DeJesus must be itching to get back into the line-up before Gathright steals his job.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Minor League Report

In this feature I'm going to take a quick look over the Royals minor league system. I'm going to dig up standings, who's hot, who's cold, and take a look at the Royals top prospects.

Omaha Royals (AAA):

Our boys in AAA are 2-2 to start the season, tied for 1st in the American North division.

Who's Hot:

Mike Aviles: .389/.421/.722 with 4 RBI
Chris Lubanski: .385/.429/.923 with 2 HR and 4 RBI
Ryan Shealy: .267/.389/.667 with 2 HR and 6 RBI
Roberto Giron: 1-1 6.23 ERA...not so good huh, well check it out 9K-0BB and a .188 BAA
Brad Salmon: 0-0 0.00 ERA, 0 hits allowed in 3 IP thus far

Who's Cold:

Shane Costa: .250/.333/.313
Kyle Davies: 0-0 3.00 ERA, 2 hits and 4 BB in 3 IP
Tyler Lumsden: 0-0 5.79 ERA, 6 hits, 3ER in 4.2 IP

NW Arkansas Naturals (AA):

First week hasn't been so kind as they are off to a 1-3 start, still tied for 1st in the North.

Who's Hot:

Dusty Hughes: 1-1 1.69 ERA, 1 ERA in 5.1 IP with a .75 WHIP
Daniel Cortes: 0-0 2.08 ERA, 1 ERA in 4.1 IP

Who's Cold:

The Naturals offense, they are hitting a combined .235/.278/.294
Julio Pimentel: 0-1 7.36 ERA, 7 hits, 3ER in 3.2 IP
Rowdy Hardy: 0-1 9.82 ERA, 9 hits 4ER in 3.2 IP

Wilmington Blue Rocks (A Advanced):

1-2, good for last in the North division.

Who's Hot:

Blake Wood: 0-0 0.00 ERA, 1 hit, 0 ER in 5.1 IP with 9K-0BB and a .19 WHIP
Greg Holland: 1-0 0.00 ERA, 4 hits, 0 ER in 5 IP with 7k-0BB and a .80 WHIP

Who's Cold:

The Blue Rocks bats hitting a combined .144/.265/206

Burlington Bees (A):

The Bees are off to a 2-2 start, good for 4th in the Mid Western division.

Who's Hot:

Adrian Ortiz: .438/.500/.500
Clint Robinson: .308/.438/.923 with 2 HR and 2 RBI
Edward Cegarra: 0-0 0.00 ERA, 3 hits, 0 ER in 6 IP
Daniel Gutierrez: 0-0 0.00 ERA, 2 hits, 0 ER in 5 IP with 8K-2BB

Who's Cold:

Alwin Perez: 0-11 to start the season
Jason Taylor: .091/.286/.091
Mike Moustakas: .176/.176/.176

Top 10 Prospects:
  1. Mike Moustakas: .176/.176/176; 1 RBI
  2. Daniel Cortes: 0-0 2.08 ERA; 1ER in 4.1 IP
  3. Luke Hochevar: 0-1 4.76 ERA; 5 hits and 3 ER in 5.2 IP
  4. Blake Wood: 0-0 0.00 ERA; 1 hit and 0 ER in 5.1 IP 9k-0BB
  5. Danny Duffy: -
  6. Carlos Rosa: 0-0 4.50 ERA; 6 hits and 2 ER in 4 IP 5k-0BB
  7. Julio Pimentel: 0-1 7.36 ERA; 7 hits, 3 ER in 3.2 IP 5k-0BB
  8. Matt Mitchell: 0-0 0.00 ERA; 2 hits 0 ER in 5 IP 4k-0BB
  9. Yasuhiko Yabuta: Royals Roster
  10. Derrick robinson: .167/.231/.167; 2 SB

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Royals at Twins (series I) recap

Coming off a sweep of the Tigers in Detroit the Royals came back to earth losing 2 of 3 to the Twins and will finally have their home opener Monday against the Yankees.

Game 1: John Bale started the series off pitching 6.1 innings and allowing 4 runs but Scott Baker was a run better as the Twins edged the Royals 4-3. Bale was followed by perfect appearances from Gobble and Ramirez.

Player of the game: Billy Butler; he was 2-4 with an RBI.

Game 2: Gil Meche was rocked for 6 runs in 5.2 innings as the Royals lost their second straight 6-4. Meche was followed by the first appearances of both Mahey and Yabuta.

Player of the game: Miguel Olivo; 1-4 with a 2-run double.

Game 3: Brett Tomko went 5 innings of 1 run ball in his first start of the season and the Royals offense did just enough to escape with a 3-1 win over the Twins. Mahey, Nunez, Gobble and Soria followed Tomko. Gordon provided the offense with a 2-run single in the 2nd.

Player of the game: Brett Tomko, the Royals needed a stop and Tomko did just that.

Unheralded player of the game: Jokaim Soria, he only got into one game, but he was dominate striking out the side for his 3rd save.

Look at the numbers:
  • The Royals didn't draw a walk all series, a span of 102 AB's
  • The Bullpen allowed 1 ER in 8 IP over the series
  • 6.94, Gil Meche's ERA after 2 starts
  • .167, Jose Guillens batting average
  • 1 the number of errors to date
  • The Royals didn't have a winning road trip until May 11th-20th of '07

Royals at Twins (game III)

The Royals look to avoid being apart of their second sweep of the season today, this time on the losing end, by sending...(sigh) Brett Tomko to the mound against Boof Bonzer in a 1:10 Start. This will be Tomko's second appearance, his first was on opening day where he pitched 2 innings allowing a game tying run in the eighth; by all accounts he threw the ball well except for the Guillen homer.

Box Score

The Royals salvaged the last game of the series and return to Kansas City with a winning road trip, pretty good way to start the season. Our un-likely hero today was Brett Tomko who pitched 5 innings of 1 run ball, he did throw a lot of pitches but I'll take that trade off in his first start. The bullpen did a fantastic job allowing only 1 run in 4 innings and Soria picked up his 3rd save of the season.

The offense continues it's slow start but did scratch out 3 runs, which today, was good enough. Gordon had the big hit, a 2-run single in the second. Callaspo and Gordon both had a 2-hit game while Butler contributed 3 hits.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Royals Notes: Olivo, Nomo

Nothing ground breaking here, Olivo returned to the 25 man roster after his 4-day suspension to start the season. With his return Matt Tupman was optioned to Omaha and Hideo Nomo's contract was purchased from Idaho Falls; Nomo will work mostly in long relief for the Royals.

Everyone pretty much expected Nomo to be called up once Olivo's suspension was over, and I don't have a big problem with it, it's a good story if it works. I just fail to see how Nomo can really make this bullpen better. He gave up a ton of hits in spring training, but to be fair he also had more K's than innings pitched. That said I guess I'll just wait and see what happens, I'm just not convinced.

Royals at Twins (game II)

Gil Meche working on his normal rest today will face Livan Hernadez and the Twins for the second game of a three game set. Meche went 6 innings in his first start allowing three runs and escaping with a no decision.

Box Score

Meche had another rough outing as he gave up 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings. Meche was cruising along through three innings before Morneau took a Meche pitch 420 ft. Mahey and Yabuta each made their first appearances of the spring, they combined for 2.1 innings of one hit ball.

The Royals offense continued its struggles today by again only scoring 4 runs, that's 20 for the season, and if you do the math that is 648 for the season. Hillman made several switches today to try and get the bats going. He switched Gordon and Teahen in the order and gave Buck the day off in favor of Olivo and Pena had a seat on the bench as Callaspo got his first start of the year. Those moves worked okay as the 4 went 5-16 with 3 RBI.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Royals at Twins (game I)

John Bale looks to keep the Royals winnings streak alive by taking on Scott Baker and the Minnesota Twins in a 7:10 start. The Royals are still without DeJesus as he is mending a sprain to his ankle, he isn't expected to make any starts during this series so we will see some more of Joey Gathright.

Box Score

The Royals 3 game winning streak came to a halt tonight as John Bale gave up 4 runs in 6 1/3 innings. Bale making his first start obviously wasn't as sharp as he was in spring training, he allowed 10 hits and only had 2 K's. Scott Baker, who nearly pitched a no-hitter against the Royals late last year, was nearly un-hittable after the 2nd inning.

The Royals offense is still in a slumber, collecting 8 hits but only three runs. The Twins scored the winning run when Mike Lamb doubled to lead off the fourth and then was bunted the third by Tolbert and the squeezed home by Everett...who would have thought, but then again small ball is exactly what the Twins do well.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Royals at Tigers (series one) recap

Who would have predicted that the Kansas City Royals would come out and sweep the overly-hyped Tigers to open the season? The Royals came out and played solid fundamental baseball and they out pitched, hit, and hustled the Tigers.

Game 1: Meche battled through 6 innings giving up three runs, he was followed by Tomko, Nunez and Soria. Gordon provided the early offense with a 2-run shot in the 6th. Royals hold on to win 5-4 in 11 innings.

Player of the game: Alex Gordon; his two run shot got the Royals on the board and rattled Verlander.

Game 2: Brian Bannister was the story of this game going 7 innings allowing 0 ER and only 2 hits, he was followed by Nunez and Soria. Grudzeilanek, Guillen, and Butler each had a double in the 6th accounting for the Royals first 2 runs. Royals win 4-0, in getting their first shut-out of the year.

Player of the game: Brian Bannister; he was amazing, enough said.

Game 3: Zach Greinke kept the good pitching performances going by throwing 7 strong innings allowing only 1 ER. Greinke was following by Ramirez, and Soria. The offense was again started by Gordon going yard in the 4th, a two run shot. The Royals scored single runs in the 6th (Teahens 1st HR) and 7th en route to a 4-1 win and completed the sweep.

Player of the game: Zack Greinke; he was solid, especially when runners were on base.

Unheralded player(s) of the series: Mark Grudzeilanek (6-12, 3 runs) and Joakim Soria. (3IP, 4K's, 2 saves)

Look at the numbers:

  • Royals are 3-0 for the first time since 2003
  • The Royals didn't win a series last year until April 20-22nd against the Twins
  • Royals allowed only 5 ER's in 29 Innings while striking out 24 K's/9 BB's
  • Royals outscored the Tigers 13-5
  • Royals out homered the Tigers 3-2
  • Royals out hit the Tigers 29-21
  • Royals don't play the Tigers again until May 13th
  • Royals were 3-4 in SB attempts

Notes: David DeJesus only played 3 innings due to re-injuring his ankle.