Friday, September 15, 2006

Shealy, German to the Rescue

Game Date: September 14, 2006
Game Score: Royals 10, Mariners 8 / Box Score
WP: Perez (2–3), LP: Washburn (8–14)
Royal Home Runs: Shealy 2 (6)
Royals Record: 57-90

Odalis Perez didn’t pitch well last night. In fact, his performance was awful. He gave up five earned runs, ten hits, and a home run in five innings. But he still won the game. Partially because the bullpen did a good job after he left the game, partially because Ryan Shealy blasted two home runs, and partially because the top of the line up (consisting of DeJesus, German, and Grudzielanek) was 10-for-15 with three RBI. German’s two-run triple in the eighth inning was especially important because it gave the Royals a 10–6 lead. Joe Nelson gave up two runs in the top of the ninth, but we had enough insurance that it didn’t matter.

The Royals have won ten of their last fifteen games. And they just surpassed their win total for last season. The magic number is now six. If the Royals can win just six of their remaining fifteen games, they’ll avoid another 100–loss season. That sounds quite pathetic. But I don’t think anybody believes that this current roster is anything close to the roster we started the season with. And Dayton Moore is not Allard Baird. I love the way Moore is keeping our good you talent together in the minor leagues—letting them gel together as teammates.

This was victory number 100 for Buddy Bell since he took over after Tony Pena quit (thankfully) last season. He’s handled the job better than I would have expected. Especially during the days when guys were forgetting sunglasses, and then losing the ball in the sun. Or when we went on monumental losing streaks and were being compared to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders or the 1960 New York Mets. Bell shook his head, said he’d never seen anything like it, but then said our guys would learn and get better. Frankly, I’m not so sure it would’ve happened if Baird had remained the GM, but with Moore’s philosophy firmly in place, you can see it starting to take place.

We still need a better pitching staff. Winning 10–8 isn’t going to be a common occurrence. But hopefully help will be on the way in 2007 via free agency and our minor league system.

The Royals play the second of a four game series tonight against the Mariners. Luke Hudson (7–5, 5.25 ERA) goes against Francisco Cruceta (0–0, 6.75).

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