Saturday, June 16, 2007

Royals Keep on Rollin'

Game Date: June 15, 2007
Royals 6, Marlins 2 / Box Score
WP: Meche (4-6), LP: Mitre (2-3), SV: Dotel (4)
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 27-41

This is how baseball is supposed to look when you have your ace on the mound. Meche threw 114 pitches in eight innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits. He was laboring in the eighth, but he dug down and found a way to get through it.

And finally, the Royals found a way to give him some run support, as well as supporting him defensively. Tony Pena made a number of great plays--including one over the shoulder catch in center field. I'm not sure I've ever seen a shortstop make a play like that before. Alex Gordon made a couple of nice plays at third as well. Esteban German struggled a bit in the field, as did Mark Teahen, but overall, you had to be happy with the team's effort. 

With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Emil Brown rocketed a ball down the left field line to score two runs to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. Meche came out and hung a zero on the board in the seventh. In the bottom of the inning, the Royals got something going. Pena singled to lead off the inning. David DeJesus reached on an infield single. After a sacrifice by German, the Marlins elected to intentionally walk Mark Teahen to get to Mike Sweeney with just one out.

On paper, it made sense. Teahen has the hotter bat. And the Marlins wanted to set up the double play, but Mike Sweeney took it personally. Those were the words he used after the game. He said he was looking for a sinker from Mitre and he got one. He smashed the ball down the left field line and cleared the bases to give the Royals a 6-1 lead. I loved the look on Sweeney's face as he stood on second. He had a furrowed brow that told you he really did feel like he'd been challenged.

Typically, after putting up such huge offensive numbers like the Royals did against the Cardinals on Thursday, the Royals follow up the next game with an offensive dud. It didn't happen this time...and they were facing a starting pitcher who had a 1.59 ERA coming into the game.

The Royals have won six of their last nine games and are finally playing well at home. Let's hope they can win one of the next two against the Marlins to take their third straight series at home.

Tonight, Jorge De La Rosa (4-6, 4.73) goes against Rick Vanden Hurk (1-2, 8.61). De La Rosa is 0-1 in his career against the Marlins with a 7.71 ERA. Vanden Hurk has never faced the Royals.

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