Friday, July 20, 2007

Royals Trounce Tigers

Game Date: July 20, 2007
Royals 10, Tigers, 2 / Box Score
WP: Meche (7-6), LP: Rogers (3-2)
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 42-53

With the win tonight, the Royals improved their record to 23-18 since June 1. Billy Butler hasn't been here for that entire time, but ever since he came back from Omaha on June 19, he's been right in the middle of the Royals offensive attack. He was 4-for-5 tonight with 4 RBI and he's driven in 19 runs since his return. His success seems to be contagious.

Mark Grudzielanek was hitting .361 going into tonight for the month of July and he picked up four more hits. Esteban German was hitting .452 in July before the game started. He was 2-for-5 in the win tonight.

Before the season started, the buzz was about Alex Gordon, but Billy Butler has stolen the show. That's not to say that Gordon hasn't improved and contributed because he has. But Butler didn't need any time of adjustment to major league pitching. He did only hit .243 in May when he was in Kansas City, if you want to call that an adjustment period, but he's all over the ball right now.

Gil Meche made some adjustments in between starts in an attempt to increase his stamina. He threw seven strong innings tonight, giving up two earned runs on five hits and he picked up his fourth win in his last seven starts. As great as our bullpen has been, it's nice to see them get a break tonight.

Unfortunately, the rest of our rotation is having some problems--so much so that Scott Elarton is going to start on Tuesday in Kansas City against the Yankees. Elarton was shelled for six earned runs in 5.2 innings in Omaha on Wednesday, but he convinced Bell that he felt "as good as he has in a long time" so he got the nod. John Thompson and Brandon Duckworth remain on the DL. Luke Hudson is done for the year.

So, we really only have four starters right now: Gil Meche, Jorge De La Rosa, Odalis Perez, and Brian Bannister. Both De La Rosa and Perez have struggled. Toss in a struggling Elarton and I'm not all that comfortable with a rotation in which three of the five guys aren't pitching well. Let's hope that at least one of them gets things going soon.

Tomorrow night, Jorge De La Rosa (7-10, 5.25) goes up against Justin Verlander (11-3, 3.26). De La Rosa is 1-0 in his career against the Tigers with a 3.46 ERA. Verlander has dominated the Royals in his career with a 5-0 record and a 1.58 ERA.

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