Friday, June 23, 2006

Royals Sweep the Pirates

The Royals didn’t exactly put on a baseball clinic at Kauffman Stadium yesterday en route to their 15-7 win, but the name of the game is winning, right? They completed a three game sweep of the Pirates (who have to be feeling lower than lower right now) and in the process, won their fourth game in a row for the first time this season.

Scott Elarton picked up the win while finally getting his ERA under 5.00 (4.87). Wellemeyer and Peralta stumbled in relief, but Jimmy Gobble threw two more shutout innings and saw his ERA drop to 3.99. You hate to see a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds pitching in middle relief, but Gobble does seem to excel there and we definitely need somebody like him in that position since our starters never seem to make it six innings.

Esteban German finally got a little playing time and he took advantage of it—going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and 1 BB. Reggie Sanders was 1-for-4 with 2 BB and he scored four times. Emil Brown was 2-for-5 with 3 RBI. Tony Graffanino was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI. And John Buck was 2-for-2 with an RBI, a walk, 2 HBP, and a home run. All of those rather college “baseball” like numbers came against some horrendous pitching, but it’s nice to see that we can hit bad pitching when given the opportunity.

With two outs in the Pittsburgh half of the sixth inning, and with the Royals leading 7-3, Angel Berroa dropped a pop up and two runs scored to make it 7-5 Royals. Fans booed him incessantly after the play and then twice more when he came up to bat in later plate appearances. He later said that he lost the ball in the sun. In the Star this morning, David Boyce said “the treatment might have been a bit harsh considering all the blunders committed by both teams.”

That might be true if we weren’t talking about Angel Berroa, but we’re talking about a guy with tremendous athletic ability who doesn’t seem to have a clue how to play the game and he doesn’t seem all that interested in learning. We’re talking about a guy who routinely makes baserunning blunders that most little leaguers don’t make. And we’re talking about a guy who has never seen a pitch that he hasn’t considered swinging at. If I had to guess, fans are simply tired of seeing Angel Berroa as our starting shortstop and they want somebody else. His error gave them another chance to voice their opinion.

The Royals begin a new series tonight at home against the Brewers. Bobby Keppel (0-3, 3.64) goes against Dave Bush (4-6, 4.81). Milwaukee has won six of their last ten games and they are 5-4 in interleague play.

Berroa Walk Watch (the quest for double digits): 5 walks in 67 games.

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