Sunday, May 18, 2008

Game 42: Kansas City @ Florida

Game Date: May 17, 2008
Marlins 7, Royals 3 / Box Score
WP: Kensing (3-0), LP: Bannister (4-5) 
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 20-22

Kansas City lost the game last night, but not all was lost. Joakim Soria signed a three-year contract with a three-year club option, which could keep him in Kansas City through 2014. The first three years is worth $8.75 million. And if the Royals pick up the options for 2012-2014, the contract will be worth about $32.75 million. Soria could make the fourth year a guarantee if he has a certain number of appearances. It also contains clauses that would pay him more money if he pitches a certain number of innings--which is probably built in because of the possibility of him becoming a starter at some point.

And now to the game...

Brian Bannister took a 3-2 lead into the seventh inning, but he wasn't able to keep it. "I went out there and kind of was pitching on fumes but thought I could get it done," he said after the game. "But my pitch quality was kind of deteriorating, and I wasn't hitting spots. It was a frustrating way to ruin a quality start and a win for this team."

His final line wasn't pretty: 6 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 6.1 IP. You might be able to fault Hillman for letting Banny go back out there for the seventh since he was so tired, but at the same time, I like Hillman's way of allowing starters to go as long as possible before giving way to the bullpen. Apparently, he just let Banny go one inning too long last night.

Mark Grudzielanek had three more hits last night to raise his average to .325. I know this guy is nearing the end of his career, or maybe the end of his career in Kansas City, but I'm going to be sorry to see him go. I love the way he plays the game. Jose Guillen had two more RBI. Billy Butler had the only other RBI for the Royals.

And so, just like that, the winning streak is over. Now let's hope they can start a new one. Zack Greinke (4-1, 1.93) will go up against Burke Badenhop (1-2, 5.97) this afternoon. Greinke is 0-0 in his career against the Marlins with a 0.00 ERA in 2.0 IP. Badenhop has never faced the Royals.

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