Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Game 20

Game Date: April 22, 2008
Indians 15, Royals 1 / Box Score
WP: Sabathia (1-3), LP: Meche (1-3)
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 9-11

This one had a Tony Pena/Buddy Bell-era type of feel, didn't it? All of us desperately want to believe that sometimes you get blown out--even when your ace is on the mound--and that it's just one game. I'm right there with you. But how can we not be thinking about Aprils past when the Royals are usually buried so deep in the AL Central standings that it zaps the energy from the team and the fan base for the rest of the season?

Trey Hillman is quoted as saying this in the Star after the game: "You can’t have a knee-jerk reaction. The preparation is good. The work ethic is good. Sometimes there is too much want. But they want to perform for the right reason."

It all sounds too familiar.

It's hard to point to any one thing right now as the problem, but if you had to, pitching would probably be it. Last night, Gil Meche was hoping to turn his season around by winning his second straight game. He's been struggling to put guys away when he's ahead in the count, but he found a way to win his last time out in spite of that. But that certainly wasn't the case last night. The Indians hit fastballs and curve balls when they were down in the count, which surely has Meche scratching his head this morning.

Here's what he said after the game: "I wish I could pinpoint one thing that I'm doing. The body feels good. The arm feels fine. I'm just not making pitches when I have to. I'm not getting ground balls when I have to get a double play."

The pitching problems don't just lie with Meche though. Yasuhiko Yabuta gave up two more earned runs in an inning and his ERA is now 9.82. And the underused Jimmy Gobble finally saw some action in a mop up role and he gave up three earned runs in 0.2 innings.

But when you are last in the major leagues in runs scored, you have more problems than just the pitching staff. The Royals managed just six hits last night and just four off of C.C. Sabathia who looked a lot like the old Sabathia.

The nice thing about baseball though is, you always have tomorrow. And tomorrow is today. Brett Tomko (1-2, 3.60) will go up against Fausto Carmona (2-1, 1.96). Tomko is 1-1 in his career against the Indians with a 4.81 ERA. Carmona is 3-0 against the Royals with a 2.95 ERA.

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