Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Game 77: Colorado @ Kansas City

Game Date: June 23, 2008 
Royals 8, Rockies 4 / Box Score
WP: Bannister (7-6), LP: Francis (3-7)
Royal Home Runs: Teahen (8), Guillen (13), Gload (1)
Royals Record: 34-43

Brian Bannister struggled with his command yesterday, but he battled through it, even taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning before the Rockies finally broke through against him. Banny walked six guys, but he didn't give up any earned runs (Esteban German dropped a ball in left field--more about him in a minute) in seven innings and you can't ask more from a guy who doesn't have his best stuff.

The Royals struck early. Mike Aviles doubled in David DeJesus in the first inning. The big blow came when Mark Teahen hit another opposite field home run, this time it was a three-run shot. And the Royals were up 4-0 at the end of the first inning. Jose Guillen hit a solo shot in the third. The Rockies finally broke through in the fifth for three runs, but the Royals struck right back for two more in the bottom half of the inning on two RBI doubles; one by Guillen and the other by Miguel Olivo. And you know it is your night when Ross Gload hits a home run--a feat he pulled off in the eighth.

Horacio Ramirez made his debut for the Royals in the eighth and he struggled. He gave up two hits and a run. Ramon Ramirez came in for the ninth and got the Rockies on just 11 pitches.

I really only had one question about this game: What is Esteban German doing play left field? I know that Guillen is hurt and is pretty much our full time DH right now, but come on. Maybe Gathright needed a night off (he replaced German late in the game). But we simply have too many reserve middle infielders on this team to carry an extra legitimate outfielder. We've got Alberto Callaspo, German, and Tony Pena. In my opinion, at least one of these guys needs to be replaced at the big league level. I'm in favor of hanging onto Callaspo if he's going to replace Mark Grudzielanek at second base.

Omaha is full of left handed hitting outfielders (Costa, Lubanski, Maier). So is Kansas City. Maybe that's the dilemma. But two of those guys in Omaha are hitting lefties pretty well right now. Shane Costa is hitting .254 against lefties (and he has 10 home runs--three of which are against lefties); and Mitch Maier is hitting .281 against lefties (with four home runs against lefties and two against righties); Chris Lubanski is hitting just .111 against lefties. Seems to me that either Costa or Maier needs to be in Kansas City right now.

The Royals have won eight of their last nine games and are getting close to making their record look respectable, in spite of their 12-game losing streak earlier this season. They look to extend their winning ways tonight when Zack Greinke (6-4, 3.33) goes up against former Royal, Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 6.52). Greinke is 0-0 against the Rockies in his career with a 0.00 ERA in 1.1 IP. De La Rosa has never faced the Royals.

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