Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Greinke Strong Again; Gordon Goes Deep

Game Date: April 10, 2007
Royals 6, Blue Jays 3 / Box Score
WP: Greinke (1-1) LP: Towers (0-1) SV: Soria (1)
Royal Home Runs: Gordon (1)
Royals Record: 3-5

That's two straight good starts for Zack Greinke. Something tells me that we're going to see many more this summer. I think I said this about his first start, but he really seems to have an idea about how to pitch now, rather than simply throwing pitches.

How many guys have you seen in recent years move Frank Thomas back in the box? After Greinke struck him out twice with inside fastballs, Thomas finally moved back, but in his final at bat against Greinke, Zack still got him to ground out to short. Greinke gave up one run on six hits and no walks. He had pinpoint control with his fastball. He missed a few times with his change up, but usually he missed in, and he even got a few outs that way.

Josh Towers looked like a number five guy against the Royals. The Royals scored a run in the first against him on a sacrifice fly by Mike Sweeney, his 800th career RBI. The Royals scored another run in the third after David DeJesus tripled and Mark Grudzielanek drove him in with a single.

The big blow in the game came in the sixth inning when Alex Gordon hit first career home run on a 1-0 fastball right down main street. Towers tried to get it inside and he failed. It was nice to see Gordon smile a little. Sweeney was on base (after reaching on an error) and he was all smiles for Alex as well.

This past weekend I popped into the Royals clubhouse several times. I was in Kansas City to write several stories for a publication I work for. Most of my work was done in the Tigers clubhouse, but I also interviewed a couple of Royals. The Royals clubhouse is newly remodeled and most of the players' lockers aren't where they used to be, so it took me a while to find the guys I needed to talk to. I was happy to see that Alex Gordon's locker is right next to Mike Sweeney's.

I know fans are on Mike Sweeney right now, and frankly I don't understand why. Yes he's making a ton of money and yes he's been hurt a lot in the last five seasons. But he could have bailed on this club when he was healthy and they were horrible. And it's not like he isn't putting forth 100%, so it'd be nice to see Royals' fans stick by him now.

He wants to finish his career in Kansas City. He's creeping up many of the Royals' all-time top ten lists and if you look at what the guy has done with RISP over his career (.330, 399 H, 62 HR, 614 RBI coming into the 2006 season), then you have to tip your cap to him. And everybody knows what kind of guy Mike is off the field.

It'll be interesting to hear what Alex Gordon says five or six years from now about his first season when he lockered next to Mike Sweeney.

Well, enough about all that. Back to the game. Joel Peralta faltered a bit in the seventh inning, giving up a two-run home run to Gregg Zaun. But he settled down to get the final two outs of the inning, and Joakim Soria shut down the Blue Jays for the final two innings to pick up his first major league save.

Tomorrow night, Jorge De La Rosa (1-0, 1.29) goes against Gustavo Chacin (0-0, 4.50). De La Rosa is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two innings of work in his career against the Blue Jays. Chacin is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA against the Royals in 7.2 innings.


Anonymous said...

I was so glad to see Gordon go deep tonight. I feel that Sweeney will be a great mentor to Alex. That is interesting that Sweeney has essentially taken Gordon under his wing. Good insight! Thanks!

Casey said...

Greinke...the baby faced dragon is tuff. Has continually pitched out of tuff spots.
I'm not sure who I like behind the plate...the pitcher shouldn't have to call the ump for an opinion on a full swing. Was Larue sleeping?

Gordon went deep and now perhaps we can all give a collective sigh of relief.

Dejesus is gettin' it done. What a pleasant surprise! Maybe ought to think about moving him up in the line up.

Pena was a steal..I believe he will be allstar material before too long in his career.

I would like to see a little more aggression on the base paths. I still fill a little uncomfortable watching runners trying to get their lead on first. It almost looks like a pick-off waiting to happen. Is this the 1st base coaches responsibility?

Would love to see KC take the series in Toronto. Overall...not a bad start for the season. FSN is broadcasting several Royal games this year...and I believe the Royals play better when I'm watching them!! ha!
Keep posting the recaps...They're great!

Max said...

I'm not sure I get the visceral hatred some Royals fans have for Sweeney. It isn't like the guy wants to be hurt or is behaving recklessly.

Lee Warren said...

I totally agree with you Max. That was my point. You boo guys who don't hustle or who don't care. Sweeney falls into neither camp.

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