Monday, April 21, 2008

A Disappointing Series

Beyond the fact that the Royals were swept on Oakland this past weekend, the series was disappointing on so many other levels.

The Royals are under .500 for the first time this season. And I hate to ask the question, but I'll do it anyway...will the Royals see the .500 mark again this season? I hope so, but you have to wonder.

The Royals were outscored 26-8 by the A's. The Royals hit just .164 as a team. They drew nine walks but struck out 25 times. The Royals didn't steal any bases during the series. And unlike the first week of the season, the big hits with two-outs don't seem to be coming quite as often. The Royals are currently 28th in runs scored with just 63 in 19 games (a 3.31 RPG average).

Bannister was hit hard for the first time. That won't be the norm this season, but unfortunately it happened during a difficult stretch for the Royals who finished the road trip with a 2-5 record.

Luke Hochevar made his debut (this year) and gave up six earned runs in 4.2 IP. He pitched well for the first three innings, but in the fourth he seemed to be afraid to throw his fastball. He threw curves and change ups--especially when he was ahead in the count--and the A's were all over his breaking pitches. This should be an easily correctable problem though. 

The bullpen didn't perform well. They gave up 12 ER in just 9.1 IP (good for a 11.57 ERA). Thankfully Hideo Nomo, who gave up five earned runs in one of the games in just a third of an inning (and saw his ERA go to 18.69), has since been designated for assignment. Yasuhiko Yabuta was clobbered in one of the games (5 ER in 0.2 IP) and wiggled off the hook in another. He's been so wild (7 BB in 6.1 IP) that he hasn't given himself a chance to get hitters out. 

Emil Brown went nuts at the plate against the Royals. He was 6-for-15 with 4 RBI, 4 R, and a stolen base. He also missed the cut off man on one particular play in the first game of the series, so at least some things haven't changed.

And it was depressing to see Mike Sweeney wearing Oakland colors.

It's time to put all of that behind us as Cleveland and Toronto head in for six games. Tomorrow night, Gil Meche (1-2, 6.08) will go up against C.C. Sabathia (0-3, 13.50). Meche is 2-6 in his career against the Indians with a 5.32 ERA. Sabathia is 13-8 against the Royals with a 3.38 ERA.

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