Saturday, May 31, 2008

Game 55: Cleveland @ Kansas City

Game Date: May 30, 2008
Indians 5, Royals 4 / Box Score
WP: Lee (8-1), LP: Tomko (2-7), SV: Borowski (4) 
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 21-34

The losing streak has reached 12. And even the Kansas City Star is starting to pile on. After the meltdown a couple of games ago, the Star began running a pole on their website that asks, "How will the Royals lose tonight?" In my opinion, it's tacky and it goes beyond the bounds of good journalistic practices, but hey, they are free to do what they want to do.

Going up against Cliff Lee, Gil Meche knew he was going to have to pitch well for the Royals to even have a chance of winning. They pretty much pitched to a draw (Lee gave up four earned runs in six innings and Meche gave up three earned runs in five innings). But Brett Tomko, in his new bullpen role, came in and gave up a two-run home run to Casey Blake in the top of the sixth inning and it turned out to be the deciding factor.

But it wasn't the only factor. The Royals actually committed two base running blunders in one play. In the bottom half of the sixth, the Royals had Joey Gathright on second and David DeJesus on first with two outs. Esteban German hit a single to right field and Gathright looked like he was going to score. But DeJesus rounded second and Ben Francisco, the right fielder, threw behind him and tagged him out before Gathright reached home. Meanwhile, Gathright was watching Francisco, which slowed him down just enough to get himself thrown out at home. Here's what Gathright said afterward:

"It was just kind of a mental error on both of us. I was running hard, but when I saw [Francisco] wasn't coming home, I slowed down a little bit. So that gave them time to tag David, and I couldn't score. It's just a mental error."

If there is any good news to be found, it can be found in Mark Teahen who is finally starting to drive the ball again. He singled to center and tripled down the right field line. It'd be nice to see him get on a hot streak and plug a few gaps along the way.

Things won't get any easier for the Royals tonight. Kyle Davies, fresh up from Omaha, will get his first start of the season. He'll go up against C.C. Sabathia. Davies is 0-3 in his career against the Indians in his career with a 12.27 ERA in 11.0 IP. Sabathia is 14-9 against the Royals with a 3.35 ERA in 196.0 IP.

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