Friday, May 23, 2008

Game 47: Kansas City @ Boston

Game Date: May 21, 2008
Red Sox 11, Royals 8 / Box Score
WP: Matsuzaka (8-0), LP: Bannister (4-6), SV: Papelbon (14) 
Royal Home Runs: Guillen (6), Olivo (6)
Royals Record: 21-26

This series was everything I was afraid it might be; a sweep with very little to show for it. We struggled to score runs for the first three games and then scored eight during the finale and it still wasn't enough. Before the series started, I had high hopes that our starters would figure out a way to keep us in games, but they gave up 18 earned runs in 22.2 IP (good for a 7.14 ERA). And the Royals are now in fourth place--5.5 games out of first in the AL Central in a year in which playing .500 ball would have them in second place.

The Royals gave up two grand slams yesterday. Banny gave up one to J.D. Drew in the second inning. And Jimmy Gobble gave up one to Mike Lowell in the sixth. But, if there is a positive in all of this, the Royals found a way to battle back even though they were down 11-3 after Lowell's blast. Jose Guillen hit a solo shot in the seventh. And Miguel Olivo doubled in Mark Teahen during the same inning to make it 11-5, Boston. Then, in the next inning Olivo hit a two-run home run to make it 11-8, Boston. And in the ninth the Royals actually had the tying run at the plate in Alex Gordon, but Papelbon got him to fly out to end the game.

I'm thinking that Hillman needs to find a way to keep Olivo's bat in the lineup. He's only played in 26 of the 47 games the Royals have played, but he is still tied for the team lead in home runs (6), and he's third on the team in RBI (19). I'm not crazy about putting Olivo in the DH spot when Buck is catching because we could lose our DH for a game if Buck got hurt, and Buck isn't having a terrible season, but at this point, maybe Olivo should be our starting catcher. He doesn't know the pitchers as well, and that's a minus, but it might be worth the trade off.

Well, thankfully that series is over and the Royals are off to Toronto. Zack Greinke (5-1, 2.18) will go up against Roy Halladay (4-5, 3.38). Greinke is 1-2 in his career against the Blue Jays with a 4.05 ERA in 26.2 IP. Halladay is 7-3 against the Royals with a 3.11 ERA in 84.0 IP.

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