Thursday, September 10, 2009

Royals win third straight

Game Date: September 9, 2009
Detroit @ Kansas City
Royals 5, Tigers 1 / Box Score
WP: Tejeda (2-1), LP: Verlander (16-8), SV: Soria (24)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 54-85 / Record in September 4-4

What must be going through the Tigers’ minds right now? First, Yasuhiko Yabuta picks up a win against them. Then Robinson Tejeda beats Justin Verlander. Baseball is a crazy game sometimes. I don’t think they are in any danger of losing the lead in the AL Central, but it’s fun to watch the Royals play at this level against them.

Billy Butler continued his hot streak—going 3-for-5 with 2 RBI. All three hits were doubles. The top four hitters in the lineup (consisting of DeJesus, Maier, Butler, and Jacobs) knocked in all five runs.

Tomorrow, we get to see Lenny DiNardo make his Royals debut and I’m excited about seeing how he does. I watched him pitch many times in Omaha this season and I was always impressed by his presence on the mound. He always seemed like he knew exactly what he needed to do. He had an outstanding strikeout to walk ratio (3.34 to 1). He got ahead of guys often by throwing his cutter and then he’d get them out with his change up. He doesn’t throw hard, but he doesn’t seem to need to.

Tony Pena made an appearance in the Royals’ clubhouse before the game. He was just in town to throw a bullpen before heading to the Dominican Republic and then back to the Instructional League. In case you missed it, he had an outstanding relief outing for Omaha on Sunday. I did a brief email interview with Omaha Royals’ radio broadcaster Mark Nasser (he called the game Pena appeared in) about Pena’s appearance and I wrote an article about it for Check it out if you get a chance, paying special attention to what Omaha catcher J. R. House said about Pena’s performance as a pitcher.

UPDATE 9/10 @ 3:35 PM: I was reading Dick Kaegel's article on the Royals website this afternoon, I ran across this quote from DiNardo about how he gets guys out: "My best pitch is probably a cut fastball, in to righties and away from lefties. Try to get them to fly open a little bit and then throw the changeup. Second time around in the order, use my curveball as kind of a first pitch to get me over. An 0-2 pitch in the dirt. That's basically the book on me, I suppose." Nice to know I had him pegged correctly—even if he did offer more insight. Maybe too much!

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