Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Soria with another two-inning save

Game Date: September 1, 2009
Kansas City @ Oakland
Royals 4, A’s 3 / Box Score
WP: Davies (6-9), LP: Marshall (0-2), SV: Soria (21)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 51-81 / Record in September 1-0

Kyle Davies looks to be back on track again. He says the adjustments he made to his delivery five or six starts ago have made the difference. And what a difference it’s been. He has a 2.82 ERA in his last five starts and three of his last four have been quality starts.

John Gibbons, the Royals interim manager while Trey Hillman is away from the team dealing with a death in the family, is managing like Ozzie Guillen or Tony La Russa. He used four relief pitchers in just the seventh inning. But then again, three of those guys (Colon, Bale, Farnsworth) have an ERA over 5.00 and three of them (Colon, Wright, Farnsworth) walked a total of four guys in the inning. So you can’t blame him.

One thing is for sure, he got the memo about doing whatever it takes to avoid another 100-loss season. He brought in Joakim Soria for yet another two-inning save. In half of Soria’s appearances dating back to Aug 2, he has been used for two innings. He’s getting the job done, but his ERA is taking a real hit. It was 7.45 in August, causing his overall ERA to nearly double from 1.52 at the end of July to 2.98 at the end of August.

It looked like the Royals might blow a golden opportunity in the sixth inning when the score was tied 1-1. They loaded the bases with no outs, but Mike Jacobs hit into a fielder’s choice to first and David DeJesus was out at home. Alberto Callaspo saved the day when he singled in Mitch Maier and Billy Butler. Mark Teahen followed him with a single that drove in Jacobs, giving the Royals a 4-1 lead. They needed every one of those runs because Gibbons was about to call on the bullpen. He pressed a lot of buttons and the Royals came out with the W.

I can’t believe the season has come down to this, but the Royals need to go 12-18 over the final 30 games to avoid 100 losses.

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