Monday, July 16, 2007

Carmona Too Tough

Game Date: July 15, 2007
Indians 5, Royals 3 / Box Score
WP: Carmona (11-4), LP: De La Rosa (7-10), SV: Borowski (26)
Royal Home Runs: Smith (1)
Royals Record: 39-52

The Royals fell behind early in this one when Travis Hafner crushed a home run on an inside fastball from Jorge De La Rosa in the first inning with a man on to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. De La Rosa ended up giving up three earned runs on six walks, two hits, and two home runs before he left in the fourth with a bruise on his left thumb. No word how it got there or how long he'll be out, but for a rotation that is already in need of some help, this isn't good news.

Fausto Carmona wasn't dazzling, but when you look at his line score (7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), it's easy to see how he's won eleven games while keeping his ERA under 4.00. Wouldn't you like to see such a nice surprise appear one day in Royal blue? You might have to go back to Kevin Appier's early days to find such an example.

After falling behind early, the Royals attempted a comeback. Billy Butler doubled in Mark Teahen in the fifth inning to make it 3-1 Cleveland. Then Ross Gload singled in Butler to make it 3-2. But the Royals didn't score again until Jason Smith hit his first home run of the season. By then, the Indians had already score twice more. By the way, did you see the over-the-shoulder catch that Smith made at shortstop early in the game? He ran way out into left center to make the snag. Impressive range.

John Bale made his first appearance for the Royals this season after being signed to a $1.8 million contract in the off season. He was expected to be a big part of the Royals bullpen but he's been battling injuries all season. He pitched two scoreless innings and might give Bell more options from the left side if he needs a situational lefty. Jimmy Gobble has been the only lefty in the pen up until now.

Tonight, the Royals open a new series in Boston. Brian Bannister (5-5, 3.71) goes up against Kason Gabbard (2-0, 4.87). Bannister has never pitched against the Red Sox. Gabbard has never pitched against the Royals.

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