Monday, June 15, 2009

Royals make a comeback?

So it took something great from the Boys in Blue to get a brand new post.

3 game sweep of the Cincinnati Red-in-the-faces. Due mostly to some hot bats, some poor opposition, some great starting pitching and a Giant Blue Surfboard, 3 in a row has put some life back in the team that was 18-11 in May with a 3 game lead in the division.

A quick breakdown of the stats from the last three games to give some encouragement to you the fans:

Luke Hocheaver: 9 IP (complete game), 3 hits, 1 ER, 1BB, 1 K, 80 pitches. He got a complete game with only 80 pitches!!! Are you kidding me?!?!? That's less than 9 pitches an inning. Thats less than 3 pitches a batter if you only face the minimum 27 hitters! If you want some good perspective on it read this article by Joe Posnanski (probably my favorite all around sports writer, Bill Simmons is hilarious, but needs to broaden his repitoure to reach JoePa). Just a quick glance of the article:
"First, let’s talk about rarity: Only five pitchers this decade have thrown a complete game in 80 pitches or less. It hasn’t happened in the American League since 2005. Pitch-count numbers are sketchy and unreliable, but it does appear that the complete-game-in-80-pitches-or-less trick has been pulled only five times in the American league the last 20 years."

If this somehow catapults "Hoch" into the Grienke/Meche catagory, the Royals will definitely make a run at the Central. But its too early to tell that.

Hitting: It doesn't really matter with a gem like that, but 4 runs off 6 hits. 2 RBI from Callaspo and 2 HR in the game.

Kyle Davies: 5 IP, 2 hits, 3 ER, 5BB, 1 K
This is important because he had lost a career high 5 in a row, despite a complete game which he gave up 4 against the Blue Jays in his last outing. He lost because the Royals couldn't hit anything against the Cy Young favorite (it really hurts to say that with Zac getting no support) Roy Halladay.
Roman Colon (I dont really know who he is either): 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 ER, and the most important stat for me Inherited runners 1, Inherited runners scored 0. The Royals pen has been terrible at allowing inherited runners. See John Bale's (I can't stand it when he comes in the game. After the Royals released H. Ramirez, he has taken the cake for the pitcher I never ever ever want to see enter the game) stat line from Thursday.

Grienke, pitches a gem, but has a high pitch count after 7 and 1/3. Bale comes in, gets a ground ball, to force a double play. Great, except he falls over at first base commits an error, allows 1 run to score (counts against Grienke) and extends the inning. So, 1/3 IP because he got an out amazingly, 1 Error (credited to TJ, but it was Bale I dont care who you are he fell down!!!!!!), Inherited runners 2, Inherited runners scored 1. Some how he got the Hold because the lead was not relinquished, only got to a tie. And we eventually lost the game. Bad story, but I am so infuriated at how poorly the situation was handled that I can hardly contain myself.

Hitting: 7 runs off 14 hits (quite an output). Every starter had a hit. Our 6-7-8-9 hitters scored 5 of the 7 runs, meaning the Royals are getting runs from everywhere in the lineup, like they should.

Brian Bannister: 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 4 KO's
Juan Cruz: 1IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1K (good because he has been off just like everyone else in Blue)

Hitting: 7 runs off 9 hits. This was accomplished without a leadoff hitter (Crisp), the best hitter power hitter on the team (Guillen) and Alex Gordon.

The Royals scored 1 in the first (with 2 out) 4 in the 3rd (3 with 2 out) and 2 in the 8th (with 1 out). The two responsible for the most damage were Miguel Olivo and Alberto Callaspo. They have been the life blood of a terrible hitting team.

Just another quip from Joe Posnanski's blog because it is too good. He wrote an article about how amazing a pitcher Kyle Farnsworth is.
- Just so you know my thoughts on Kyle Farnsworth. He has single handedly LOST 4 games for the Royals. I know they are not a great team, but he has not single handedly won any games for the Royals this year. In fact, the only game he has a W in this year is when the Royals scored 4 runs off Kerry Wood in the 9th!
Anyway, the highlight of the article is JoePa doing Chuck Norris type facts in reverse:
- Every dog has his day … except Kyle Farnsworth.
– When Kyle Farnsworth gets 21, it’s not blackjack.
– A rolling stone gathers no moss … it’s all on Kyle Farnsworth.
– A broken clock is right twice a day … which is more than Kyle Farnsworth.
– When Kyle Farnsworth lands on Free Parking in Monopoly, he has to pay.
– Two wrongs don’t make a right. They make a Kyle Farnsworth inning.
– There’s no crying in baseball, except when Kyle Farnsworth comes in.

What's next for the Royals is a series against the DiamondBacks @ home. Grienke is pitching, but it is at home so he can not hit a home run. Grienke used tape of himself hitting a home run to inspire Alex Gordon early in his career when he was in a slump. A very winnable series at home with some give away nights so there should be decent crowds.

Now on to some other Baseball thoughts (America's Pastime and the most newsworthy):
- The Rockies have now won 11 straight games to get out of the cellar in the NL West. And are still below .500. They are now 31-32, but are getting the city excited again under a new Manager. I think the way they are winning is great. They have a young nucleus of lovable players like Troy Tulowitzki, part of the 20 game streak that led the Rox to the World Series 2 years ago, and Dexter Fowler who is a rookie playing center field and has wheels (5 SB in a game in April).

- The Rox are winning without Brian Fuentes, the closer now for the Angels. He has 16 saves in 19 chances. Do you know the MLB leader?

Heath Bell.

He plays for San Diego. He has 18 saves in 19 chances, a 2-1 record and a 1.32 ERA out of the Pen for a fairly average team. Wild.

- Juan Pierre (Manny Ramirez's replacement) is batting .343 and is 5th in the Majors.

- Raul Ibanez is tied for the league lead in HR and is second to Jason Bay in RBI.

- Jason Bay is leading the league in RBI and the player the BoSox lost for him (Manny) is serving a 50 game suspension. Great move by the Sox.

Other sports thoughts:

The US is playing the in Confederations Cup in South Africa starting today and are playing Italy, Egypt and Brazil in group play. If they make it past group play they will have accomplished something. If not, they will be the same old US of A in Soccer.

Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won the Stanley Cup, by winning Game 7 on the road in Hockey Town USA.

The Lakers won against an overmatched team in the Orlando Magic. The Finals were so un-exciting I highlighted baseball, soccer and hockey before it. Kobe is good, but how quickly we as the American people are to forgive a star athlete for crimes they have committed because of success.

Hope this gave y'all a fill for a few days. Peace.