Saturday, August 16, 2008

Game 122: Kansas City @ New York

Game Date: August 15, 2008
Royals 4, Yankees 3 / Box Score
WP: Nunez (4-1), LP: Rivera (4-5), SV: Soria (33)
Royal Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 55-67

Does anything in baseball compare to a win against the evil Yankees? Not in my opinion. Especially when the win comes in such heartbreaking fashion.

In the ninth inning, with the scored tied 3-3, Esteban German plugged the gap with a one-out double and Mitch Maier reached first on an infield single, moving German to third. That's when Mariano Rivera buried a wild pitch that allowed German to race home for what turned out to be the winning run.

Things got a little dicey for Joakim Soria in the bottom half of the inning though. He gave up an infield single, and then picked off the pinch runner at first, followed by a ground out, another single, and a walk, and another infield single, before getting Giambi to fly out to end the game.

Mitch Maier played a huge part in the win. In the fifth inning with the Royals up 1-0 and guys on first and second base, Maier put down a beautiful sacrifice bunt that advanced both runners and set the stage for more runs. Andy Pettitte intentionally walked Mike Aviles to set up the double play, but Mark Teahen followed him with a ground rule double to left center, driving in two runs and giving the Royals a 3-0 lead.

Esteban German looks like he's finally coming out of his season-long slump. He was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, and a walk. He's certainly going to get plenty of playing time for the rest of the season with Mark Grudzielanek on the shelf, so this may be his last opportunity to prove that he can be the everyday second baseman. He plays hard, so I'm rooting for him.

How about Gil Meche? He looked downright nasty at times--especially with his change up and curve ball--both of which he kept down. He didn't spot his fastball all that well, but he set up the fastball with his breaking stuff and it was effective enough to keep the Royals in the game. He gave up just one earned run on six hits and two walks, striking out eight, and lowering his ERA to 4.13. Too bad he didn't get the decision.

This afternoon, the Royals look to win the final series they'll ever play at Yankee Stadium when Zack Greinke (9-8, 4.09) goes up against Sidney Ponson (7-3, 4.27). Greinke is 2-3 against the evil Yankees in his career with a 6.25 ERA in 36.0 IP. Ponson is 10-7 against the Royals with a 4.38 ERA in 127.1 IP.

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