Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Game 158: Kansas City @ Detroit

Game Date: September 23, 2008
Royals 5, Tigers 0 / Box Score
WP: Greinke (13-10), LP: Garcia (1-1)
Royal Home Runs: Aviles (9), Shealy (7), Gordon (16)
Royals Record: 72-86

The Royals continue to win and with the victory last night, they slipped past the Tigers into fourth place. Who knows if they'll be able to stay there, but seeing the Royals play good baseball down the stretch has been a rare treat for Royals fans.

Zack Greinke was lights out--giving up just four hits and no runs in seven innings. His performance prompted Jim Leyland to say this after the game:

"When you throw 97-98 [mph] with a good hook and a changeup and locate the ball pretty good, he probably would've shut a lot of teams out tonight, no matter what lineup we had in there," Leyland said. "I thought he pitched very, very well."

When you look at what Greinke and Gil Meche have done this year, and then throw in Kyle Davies, the Royals look to have a solid 1-2-3 punch in their starting rotation for 2009. Throw in a Brian Bannister and a Luke Hochevar--hopefully both of whom will get back on track--and we have the potential to have a legitimate rotation.

Mike Aviles and Ryan Shealy went deep again in this game. And Alex Gordon hit a home run too.

Gordon's overall numbers are still not as good as I was hoping for (in fact, they are comparable to last season with the exception of his OBP was has climbed from .314 to .351 this season), but he's still just 24. I'd like to think he'll improve over the next couple of seasons.

Alberto Callaspo was noticeably absent from the lineup last night. Turns out that he hurt his left thigh a couple of nights ago sliding into home, so he needed a day off. He may be back in the lineup tonight. Whenever he comes back, he'll bring a 16-game hitting streak with him, which is currently tied for the longest streak of the year for the Royals. David DeJesus had one earlier this season.

Leo Nunez was outstanding out of the pen again. He didn't allow any hits or runs over the final two innings.

Tonight, Brian Bannister (8-16, 5.96) will go up against Nate Robertson (7-10, 6.15). Bannister is 3-2 in his career against the Tigers with a 2.48 ERA in 32.2 IP. Robertson is 4-5 against the Royals with a 5.70 ERA in 66.1 IP.

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