Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Game 7

Game Date: April 8, 2008
Royals 5, Yankees 2 / Box Score
WP: Bannister (2-0), LP: Hughes (0-1), SV: Soria (4)
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 5-2

Nothing beats a victory over the evil Yankees on the home opener. Well, that's not true, but it's right up there near the top.

We got to see Bobby Abreu lollygagging after a single that Mark Teahen turned into a double, and Johnny Damon making a throw to home plate that would have embarrassed a five-year old girl, and Jason Giambi trotting down the first base line so slow that Johnny Damon could have thrown him out from left field, and A-Rod striking out four times. What more could a Royals fan want?

The funny thing about the Royals fast start is, they aren't scoring many runs. They are tied for last in the American League with three home runs. Their slugging percentage (.363) is slightly higher than an 0-7 Detroit team (.358). Their on-base percentage isn't even good (.309--good for 11th in the AL). And for all the talk about Trey Hillman wanting the Royals to draw more walks, they have just eight, which is by far the worst in the AL.

So, what are the Royals doing well? They are stealing bases. They are currently tied for third in the AL with nine. They are moving runners. They are getting key two-out hits to keep innings alive, and then key two-out hits to drive in runs. They are pitching extremely well. Their 2.57 team ERA currently leads the AL. To this point, teams are hitting just .232 against them. And the good news is, Gil Meche isn't pitching all that well right now. Imagine if he was.

Speaking of struggling, Brian Bannister really struggled this afternoon. He gave up two earned runs on five hits and four walks and it could have been much worse. He threw 97 pitches in just five innings, but to be fair, the strike zone was about as big as a quarter--just look at the number of pitches that Hughes threw (87 in just three innings). But Bannister found a way to get through it and when he left the game, the Royals were already up 5-2. The combination of Ron Mahay, Ramon Ramirez, and Leo Nunez shut down the evil Yankees from there.

At the plate, Joey Gathright was 2-for-4 with 3 SB. Mark Grudzielanek was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Mark Teahen was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Billy Butler was 2-for-4. So was Alex Gordon. And Ross Gload was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and a walk (and multiple nice plays at first base).

Tomorrow night, Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.29) will go up against Ian Kennedy (0-1, 23.14). Greinke is 1-2 in his career against the evil Yankees with an 8.22 ERA. Kennedy is 0-0 against the Royals with a 3.60 ERA.


Anonymous said...

Yesterday was a good day for walks. The had 5, bringing them to 13 for the season. Of course, they also gave up 5, due to Banny's uncharacteristic wildness

Lee Warren said...

It was a good day, but I tend to think it had more to do with the tiny strikezone than anything else.

Clicky Web Analytics