Sunday, May 18, 2008

Game 43: Kansas City @ Florida

Game Date: May 18, 2008
Royals 9, Marlins 3 / Box Score
WP: Greinke (5-1), LP: Badenhop (1-3) 
Royal Home Runs: Teahen (2), Guillen (5)
Royals Record: 21-22

So, what's going on with the Royals offense? They've scored 27 runs in the last four games. Of course, three of those games were against Florida, and the Marlins' defense is close to pitiful. But still.

Jose Guillen finally caught fire and he's driving the ball. In fact, he had four RBI in this game, two of which came off a monster shot he hit over the left field wall in the seventh inning. All of a sudden, he's seventh in the AL with 30 RBI. Of course, Emil Brown is fourth, so let's not make too much out of it yet.

Zack Greinke wasn't lights out like he's been most of the season, but even so, he ended up with a quality start, going six innings and giving up three earned runs on nine hits, one walk, and five strike outs. His ERA rose to 2.18, but I'm guessing that nobody in Kansas City is complaining.

Trey Hillman decided to use Jimmy Gobble to eat a couple of innings, which we haven't seen for a couple of seasons. And Yasuhiko Yabuta pitched the ninth in yet another mop up role. At least he's put together back to back outings without giving up a run.

Mark Grudzielanek picked up two more hits and he finds himself leading the AL in hitting with a .331 average. Ryan Lefebvre reported during the game that Grud was supposed to sit today to get a little rest, but he felt good enough to play, so he sent a text message to Trey Hillman and told him he wanted to play. Hillman relented and and it turned out well.

Mark Teahen finally hit his second home run of the season--an opposite field shot in the third inning. But we're already a fourth of the way into the season and he's on pace to hit just eight home runs. Gone are the traces of the 2006 Mark Teahen and in his place, we have a somewhat light hitting corner outfielder who isn't afraid to take a walk once in a while. He has a great attitude and is willing to play wherever management wants him to, and he has a great throwing arm, but is that enough?

There were all sorts of tidbits of info to pass along from this game:

Lefebvre reported that Tony Pena Jr was begging Mark Grudzielanek in the dugout yesterday to show him how he gets so many hits--mostly little flares in front of outfielders. One of the obvious answers would be for Pena to stop swinging out of his shoes. Another would be to attempt to work the count in his favor. Pena has four walks for the entire season, which is second from the bottom on the team, and if my memory serves me correctly, he's been intentionally walked twice.

Zack Greinke had two hits in the game today--a double and an infield single. The last Royals pitcher to get two hits in one game was Steve Busby back in 1972.

Did you see the throw that Jose Guillen made in the sixth inning to get Dan Uggla at home? Good stuff.

Matt Tupman got his first Major League at bat during the game and he singled to right field. Way to go Matt. He'll be headed for Omaha as John Buck rejoins the team in Boston.

Cookie Rojas, the former Royals second baseman before Frank White, is now a radio broadcaster for the Marlins. Did you get a chance to see him on television? FSN Kansas City showed him briefly during their broadcast. I'm so old that I can actually remember seeing Rojas play, and he retired way back in 1977.

Finally, Lefebvre told a great story on the air today about Miguel Olivo and his wife Gloria. They have six children. Two of their children aren't theirs naturally. They took in two neighborhood children who needed a loving home and the state of California (the Olivo's official state of residence) signed off on it. How cool is that?

Well, the Royals got this road trip off on the right foot, winning two of the first three games. Now they move on to Boston for four games. Luke Hochevar (3-2, 3.94) will go up against Jon Lester (2-2, 3.95). Hochevar has never faced the Red Sox. Lester is 1-1 against the Royals in his career with a 2.77 ERA in 13.0 IP.


RickMcKc said...

It was a great game - I'm afraid to be too optimistic, but it looks like our team is starting to gel.

On another note, did you get your interviews while here for the Angels series? And if so, will they be appearing anywhere on line?

Lee Warren said...

I did get several interviews and I'll be writing profiles for Baptist Press Sports. I'll post links when the articles are available.

Mark said...

I don't expect much from the Royals in Boston, I have to admit, but I will be in Toronto over the Memorial Day weekend. I hope to catch a game while I'm up there, and I hope the Royals will produce a win for me.

Lee Warren said...

Yeah, Boston is playing well right now. They've won three in a row and they are 17-5 at home this season. Let's hope that we can throw some good pitching at them.

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