Monday, May 12, 2008

Game 37: Baltimore @ Kansas City

Game Date: May 11, 2008
Royals 4, Orioles 0 / Box Score
WP: Bannister (4-4), LP: Burres (3-4)
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 16-21

I was out of town this weekend, which explains the lack of posts, but I was able to follow both games the Royals played, and after losing 12 straight to the Orioles, the Royals finally ripped the monkey off their back yesterday--thanks largely to Brian Bannister.

Bannister had all of his pitches working and he shut out the O's for eight innings, giving up just two hits and two walks. He said he was motivated for a couple of reasons:

"Regardless if you were here all 12 of those losses, I think we needed to take it on ourselves to end this thing. As a starting pitcher, a shutout is the best medicine to end a losing streak. To beat this streak and to beat my own personal losing streak, there were a lot of factors going into it, so I was pretty motivated to pitch a great game."

The Royals scored their first run in the second inning. Jose Guillen singled to lead off the inning. Billy Butler followed him with a single. And Mark Teahen drove in Guillen with a single of his own. The Royals scored another run in the third when Guillen singled in Alex Gordon with out one. And the Royals picked up two more runs in the seventh--one from a fielder's choice with bases loaded and no outs and the other on a two-out single from Butler.

Joakim Soria came in to finish off the game and he sat the Orioles down in order in the ninth. Amazingly, he still hasn't given up a run yet this season. He's appeared in 15 games and he's thrown 14.1 innings. To put that into perspective, if he were to give up an earned run the next time he pitches an inning, his ERA would still be only 0.58. As deserving as he is, I wouldn't expect the national press to even notice him since he plays in Kansas City. I did find this blurb about him though on the USA Today fantasy baseball page that is just a little dated:

"Soria is a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities and has yet to allow a run in 13 innings this season. With a 15/1 K/BB ratio so far in 2008 and an excellent rookie season in 2007, he's looking like a good bet to establish himself as one of the American League's elite relievers."

The Royals are off today. They won't be off again until June 2. Tomorrow night they will begin a new series at home against the Tigers. Zack Greinke (4-1, 1.80) will go up against Justin Verlander (1-6, 6.43). Greinke is 7-3 against the Tigers in his career with a 3.15 ERA. Verlander is 6-0 against the Royals with a 2.65 ERA.

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