Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Game 64: Kansas City @ New York

Game Date: June 9, 2008
Royals 3, Yankees 2 / Box Score
WP: Yabuta (1-0), LP: Rivera (2-2), SV: Soria (14)
Royal Home Runs: Olivo (8), Guillen (11)
Royals Record: 25-39

There's almost no finer sight in all of baseball than seeing a grimace on the face of Mariano Rivera after giving up a game winning home run to a Royal. We got to see just that when Jose Guillen hit yet another home run against the evil Yankees yesterday. Guillen ended up being 9-for-16 with 4 HR and 11 RBI in the four-game series.

And what about Luke Hochevar's performance? He gave up just two earned runs on four hits and no walks in six innings. That type of outing in Yankee Stadium will surely be a real confidence booster for Hochevar. He has his ERA under 5.00 now, which isn't much to brag about, but I'll take a 4-point something ERA from Hochevar.

All eyes seemed to be on Joakim Soria in the ninth, given that he had his first blown save just the day before. But John Buck said that he could tell that Soria was already over it.

"I still felt, talking to him out on the mound, that he still had that attitude--'OK, let's go.' That same old attitude," Buck said. "The way he was carrying himself and the way he looked, I don't think that was even on his mind. He was focused on what he had to do."

Things sure weren't easy for Soria, but he got the job done. He gave up an infield single to A-Rod. He walked Jason Giambi. Then he hit a guy with a pitch to load the bases before getting a ground out to end the threat and the game.

Mike Aviles had a nice series and is off to a good start. He's hitting .294 with a .333 OBP. He's also had 21 chances at shortstop and hasn't committed an error yet.

So, the Royals got a split in New York, which is about the best that you can hope for, and now they come home for a quick three game homestand against Texas before going back on the road. Unfortunately, they are still 14 games under .500, but it's hard to be anything but when you have an atrocious 12-game losing streak. Let's hope those days are behind us.

Tonight, Gil Meche (3-8, 5.54) will go up against Kevin Millwood (4-3, 4.65). Meche is 4-8 in his career against the Rangers with a 6.68 ERA in 66.0 IP. Millwood is 5-3 in his career against the Royals with a 4.96 ERA in 52.2 IP.

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