Friday, April 25, 2008

Game 22

Game Date: April 24, 2008
Indians 2, Royals 0 / Box Score
WP: Lee (4-0), LP: Bannister (3-2),  
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 9-13

Brian Bannister was good, but Cliff Lee was better.

In Bannister's mind, everything changed for him and the Royals in the sixth inning when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Kelly Shoppach. Bannister found the ball and threw Shoppach out and he got the next two guys as well. But in the seventh inning, David Dellucci led off with a home run, and that's all the Indians needed.

Here's what Bannister said after the game: "I'm not saying this sarcastically, but Cliff Lee is the hottest pitcher on the planet right now. He's putting up Nintendo numbers, and I was stride for stride with him, It was a fun game and they beat me because they hit me literally. My shin is killing me."

Lee went on to pitch a complete game, three-hit shutout. Jose Guillen was the only guy who saw Lee well. He was 2-for-3. David DeJesus was the only other Royal to get a hit. Lee struck out nine and didn't walk anybody.

And now the losing streak stands at seven and it feels like nothing has changed from season past. The Royals are still struggling to score runs. Their defense still isn't as good as it needs to be (partially because we have too many guys playing out of position). And two starters (Bannister and Greinke) are trying to carry the weight for the other three.

This photo of Esteban German seems to capture the way most of us are feeling right now.

The Royals begin a new series at home tonight against the Blue Jays. Zack Greinke (3-0, 1.24) will go up against A.J. Burnett (2-1, 6.85). Greinke is 1-2 against the Blue Jays in his career with a 5.03 ERA. Burnett is 2-1 against the Royals with a 3.67 ERA.

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