Sunday, May 31, 2009

Defensive Woes Costly

Game Date: May 30, 2009
Chicago @ Kansas City
White Sox 5, Royals 3 / Box Score
WP: Linebrink (2-2), LP: Cruz (3-1), SV: Jenks (11)
KC Home Runs: Olivo (4)
Royals Record: 23-26 / Record in May 11-16

This team is turning out to be everything I feared it would be defensively. The combination of Billy Butler and Alberto Callaspo on the right side of the infield is a liability for the Royals and unfortunately, with Alex Gordon and Mike Aviles on the shelf, Hillman doesn’t have a lot of options because Teahen and Bloomquist are tied up elsewhere. And even when Gordon comes back, Mark Teahen will probably move back over to second base—a position he isn’t all that familiar with.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a first baseman forget that the second baseman covers the bag on a bunt up the first base line, but apparently that’s what happened to Billy Butler in the eighth inning when he intercepted a throw from John Bale to Callaspo, who was indeed covering the bag. The throw might not have been in time, but mistakes like this simply should not happen at the Major League level. Visions of Ken Harvey being hit in the back by a relay throw danced through my head when I saw this.

On the positive side, Gil Meche looked good. His breaking pitches had a lot of bite to them and they were down. Before the game Bob McClure said that he believed that Meche’s back problems were a thing of the past. I hope he’s right because this team could really use a healthy Gil Meche right now.

Tomorrow is Zack Greinke Day. Oh how we need a ZGD. Greinke (8-1, 0.84) will go up against John Danks (4-3, 4.59). Greinke is 5-8 against the White Sox in his career with a 4.23 ERA in 104.1 IP. Danks is 1-0 against the Royals with a 2.64 ERA in 30.2 IP.

I’ll be making my third trip to the K this season. It’ll be the first time this season I’ve had a chance to see Greinke pitch in person.

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