Monday, September 07, 2009

Thinking about the future

Game Date: September 6, 2009
Los Angeles @ Kansas City
Angels 7, Royals 2 / Box Score
WP: Saunders (12-7), LP: Hochevar (6-9)
KC Home Runs: Olivo (18)
Royals Record: 51-85 / Record in September 1-4

I guess we can forget about a repeat of last September. The Royals have lost four in a row. In three of those games they scored two runs or less. I hate to point this out, but the Royals are now on pace to go 61-101 and that’s giving them the benefit of the doubt by rounding up (they are actually on pace to win 60.75 games, but I’m not sure how you win .75 games—unless you count taking a lead into the late innings and your bullpen blows the game, but that’s still a loss, not a partial win).

Sam Mellinger reports that with Miguel Olivo’s 18th home run yesterday he is within two of the franchise record for catchers, currently shared by Mike Macfarlane and Darrell Porter. Not that I’m rooting against Olivo, but Macfarlane did it in 1993—George Brett’s last season, before the Royals were terrible. They Royals won 84 games that year. Porter did it in 1979 for a team that won 85 games. To see Olivo break tie or break their record while playing for the 2009 Royals just doesn’t seem right. But that’s the old man in me speaking.

Luke Hochevar was hit hard again for the second straight time. He’s leaving so many pitches up right now that it’s no wonder he’s getting knocked all over the yard. His ERA climbed to 6.10 after his drubbing yesterday. I could be wrong, but he really seems to be favoring his four seam fastball over his sinker right now. For a stretch, he was leaving his sinker up in the zone too, which is probably why he got away from it. Whatever the case, he needs to figure out how to get the ball down and closer to the corners.

How about the debut of Dusty Hughes? He went 4.1 innings, giving up no runs on one hit. And Victor Marte threw a scoreless inning as well. Sort of makes you wonder what Dayton Moore was waiting for when our bullpen was imploding months ago, doesn’t it? Marte probably needed the time in Omaha, but Hughes could have come up at any time. Lenny DiNardo could have too. I guess it doesn’t matter now.

Congrats to the NW Arkansas Naturals for securing a spot in the Texas League playoffs and the Wilmington Blue Rocks for securing a spot in the Carolina League playoffs. Let’s hope that some of the talent creeps up to Omaha next season and then to Kansas City in 2011.

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