Monday, September 01, 2008

Game 136: Kansas City @ Detroit

Game Date: August 31, 2008
Tigers 4, Royals 2 / Box Score
WP: Glover (2-3), LP: Wells (0-1), SV: Rodney (7)
Royal Home Runs: Guillen (18)
Royals Record: 57-79

Gil Meche pitched well again (2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 7.0 IP), but it wasn't enough for the win. He left with the score tied 2-2. Kip Wells took over in the eighth inning and hit the first batter he faced, walked the next batter, got a force at third, and then walked Magglio Ordonez to load the bases. Hillman yanked Wells and handed the ball to Ramon Ramirez, who gave up a two-run double to Miguel Cabrera. It turned out to be the game-winning hit.

Miguel Olivo was in the lineup again, which Hillman says had nothing to do with Olivo making rather stupid statements like this to the KC Star in recent days:

“I think (Hillman) doesn’t like me sometimes. I don’t know. There’s no way. When I’m in there, I do my job. I try to do my best. Every time I go over there (to the coaches), I say something, but I think nobody listens to me. That’s what I think. But I know I’m a good player. Everybody knows. I can play anywhere.”

Why would you sign with a team knowing that they have an established catcher and then complain that you aren't getting enough playing time? He believed that he was competing for a starting position when he signed with the Royals and that's fair enough. But after his bat cooled down in June (during which he hit just .200), he lost some playing time. Then in July he hit just .194. Buck, on the other hand, hit .235 and .238, which obviously isn't much to brag about, but it's better than what Olivo did and Buck also hit five home runs in July.

August was certainly a different story. Olivo hit .302 compared to Buck's pitiful .118 average. So it's hard to argue against Olivo playing more as of late (Olivo has played in 71 games this year, Buck has played in 96), but wouldn't it be nice to have guys who cared more about the team than themselves? Instead of complaining about the manager not liking you, why not point out that if you combined his numbers with Buck's that they have 19 HR and 78 RBI with a 167 games played between them (some of the games including both guys in the lineup when Olivo was the DH early in the season). Those aren't horrible numbers.

But all of this is just another chapter in the 2008 season that has turned into a debacle.

Unfortunately, there was more bad news in this game other than the fact that we lost and and Olivo is upset. Mike Aviles was hit by a pitch on the hand and had to leave the game. Thankfully, X-rays were negative and he's listed as day-to-day.

The Royals are off today. They open a new series at home against the A's tomorrow night. Zack Greinke (9-9, 3.72) will go up against Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 7.25). Greinke is 2-0 against the A's in his career with a 2.75 ERA in 36.0 IP. Gonzalez has never faced the Royals.

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