A Kansas City Royals Blog

Game 110 Open Thread- A's (62-47) at Royals (38-71)
By royalsreview
Posted on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 01:01:15 PM EST

Drifting into oblivion, the Royals turn to Jose Lima (4-9, 6.58 ERA) to stem the tide of an eight-game losing streak. In the hallowed Worst Team Standings the Royals are now 4 games behind the Devil Rays and 2 games behind the Rockies. Suffice to say, being 4 games behind the Devil Rays is never a good thing.

For Oakland, its Joe Blanton (6-9, 4.29 ERA), who's making his career debut against the feared Royals. On the road, Blanton's a lifetime 1-6, with a 4.50 ERA in 12 starts, including a complete game. Against Oakland, Jose Lima's 0-3, with a 11.93 ERA, his worst ERA against any individual team.

Clearly, this will be an awesome game, and under the leadership of Buddy Bell, the Royals will most certainly triumph. Regarding last night... of course we lost, but the individual Ws and Ls don't matter anymore. It was nice to see Greinke have a semi-decent outing, allowing just 3 ER in 7 IP, lowering his ERA to 6.02. It was less encouraging to watch Affeldt have his first meltdown of the year, but at least the Royals aren't in a pennat race or anything.

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Game 109 Open Thread- A's (61-47) at Royals (38-70)
By royalsreview
Posted on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 01:39:46 PM EST

Is this the perfect storm? A red-hot Oakland burning through the Midwest like a grass-fire against a fading Royals team led by the feeble remains of former pitching prospect Zack Greinke?

After a horrendous, yet wholly expected, three-game sweep in Boston, manager Buddy Bell had this bit of wisdom to impart to the media:

``Our inexperience really showed,'' Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. ``We were really pitching away from contact. You can't do that.''
Umm, ok. I'm not sure pitching to contact is exactly the answer, especially in front of an Angel Berroa-led defense. What, the old-fashioned "throwing strikes" isn't good enough? Its been painfully clear all season that the Royals have employed a kind of semi-destructive pitch-to-contact strategy, which has resulted in OK walk totals, paltry K-rates across the board, and lots and lots of runs allowed.

Tonight its the aforementioned Zach/k Gre/inke (3-13, 6.14 ERA) against journeyman Kirk Saarloos (7-6, 4.06 ERA), in a battle of subtly difficult to spell hurlers. I've been writing about Greinke for three years and can't ever remember how to spell either his first or last name. Actually, I'm a little better on "Greinke", but habitually misspell Zack/h. Needless to say, now that dude's sporting a season ERA above 6.00 in August, I'm less quick to make sure I'm spelling King Z's name correctly.

For the record, Greinke's 1-0 in 2 career starts against the A's, with a sparkling 2.25 ERA in 12 IP.

During this series, I invite all loyal Royals Review readers to swing over to my Sports Blogs comrade site Athletics Nation and talk lots of non-hateful smack about how the Royals rule and the A's drool.

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Game 108- Royals (38-69) at Red Sox (61-45)
By royalsreview
Posted on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 01:07:36 PM EST

Looking to stop a five-game losing streak, the listless Royals turn to D.J. Carrasco (5-5, 4.37 ERA) this afternoon against Matt Clement (10-3, 4.43 ERA) and the media-darling Boston Red Sox. Carrasco's coming off of a tough July, and has seen too many ground-balls turn into hits in the last few starts. Who knows what we'll get from Clement today, who's been a consistently good, rarely dominant, pitcher for the last three years, and is coming off of a much discussed line-drive to the head. Frankly, I don't know who's more super-human, Clement, or Curt "The Greatest American Hero" Schilling.

Last night, the Royals treated us to another loss, although we we're treated to a nice game from Mike Sweeney (HR) and Emil (HR, Triple). Plus, Angel Berroa turned in a God-awful performance, mixing in two errors with a 1-4 night. This is a building block?

The weird thing is, with each passing day the Red Sox lineup looks more and more human, and when you take out E-Rent and Man-Ram with one play, its almost like your playing an AL Central style lineup.

Finally, of course Snyder was horrible (9.24 ERA) and Camp went ahead and allowed two more runs to keep the game boring... Sigh. I'm sad that we scored enough runs to give Schill another cheap 3-run save...

Ask any member of the media, I'm tough, gritty, a gamer and the "heart and soul" of the Sawks. See my pretty "C" and my tough-guy facial hair? I could probably be a closer I'm so full of moxie and manliness.

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Game 107- Royals (38-68) at Red Sox (60-45)
By royalsreview
Posted on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 02:31:25 PM EST

38-68 sure is an ugly looking record, is it not? After blowing a 4-0 lead last night, our beloved Royals look to rebound against the Red Sox tonight at hallowed, holy and sacrosanct Fenway Park.

For KC, its another episode of the Kyle Snyder Show starring Kyle Snyder. Snyder's 0-2 with a sparkling 8.59 ERA. Obviously, facing a high powered Boston offense, at Fenway, should be no problem, and I fully expect the Royals to only need 2, maybe 3 runs tonight in order to secure victory. The Red Sox counter with Wade Miller (3-4, 4.57 ERA) who continues to be somewhat difficult to figure out, after years of injury and inconsistency. Still, he's probably got better "stuff" than anyone who's appeared in a Royals uniform since 1992...

Miller has made two starts against the Royals in his career, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.97 ERA. Hmm... sounds pretty mediocre to me.

Last night, as if on cue, Matt Stairs returned to form after a terrible July, pacing the Royals to an early 4-0 lead. Of course, it was a fait accompli that the lead wouldn't last, but it was nice to see a friendly scoreboard for awhile, and nice to make the Boston faithful sweat.

All in all, a ho-hum game. Not too many walks from the Royal bats, and few Ks from the Royals staff. Predictably, the greater team prevailed. More annoyingly, the supremely annoying Curt Schilling got to play the hero again with another save. Sigh. Count me as an A-rod supporter in the false war between Schill and Everyone else...

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Game 106- Royals (38-67) at Red Sox (59-45)
By royalsreview
Posted on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:50:20 PM EST

On the heels of a humiliating 4-game sweep in Tampa, the Royals head north to face the media-favorite, formerly cursed Boston Red Sox. The Royals send Runelvys Hernandez (8-9, 4.49 ERA) to the hill against Tim Wakefield (9-9, 4.19 ERA) in what promises to be one of the season's most exciting clashes.

Wakefield is 9-5 lifetime against the Royals, with a 3.47 ERA in 119 innings. Clearly, the hactastic ways of the Royals over the last 20 years has not been the best method against Wake's dancing knuckler.

I expect nothing short of greatness from this Royals team, as I am dead certain that Buddisimo Bell will correctly fill out the lineup card, and that, hopefully, Joe McEwing will be given the start at first-base.

OK, that was a little mean. Gotta stay positive... maybe we'll get lucky and get a win in this series.

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Goodbye July
By royalsreview
Posted on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:08:34 PM EST

The Royals posted a 12-16 record in July, which counts as surprisingly non-horrible in my book. In fact, the Royals were 12-12 for the month headed into this weekend's series against the Rays... and we know how that turned out.

Looking at the primary members of the pitching staff, July looks like a strange month. For one, MacDougal, Affeldt and Sisco were good, bordering on dominant, giving the Royals a 1-2-3 punch at the back end of the bullpen that was one of the American League's best. Importantly, all three continued to post solid, if unspectacular, strikeout numbers that belie continued success. Even Jimmy Gobble had a decent month, eating innings and posting a decent 4.50 ERA, despite allowing a .302 BA in July. 4.50 is nothing to write home (or blog about, as it were), but after 2004 I wasn't sure Gobble was capable of ever sustaining a sub-5.00 ERA ever again. He did it in July.

MacDougal: 12 games, 6 saves, 2.13 ERA in 12 IP

Affeldt: 11 games, 0.90 ERA in 10 IP

Sisco: 12 games, 1.59 ERA in 11.1 IP

Gobble: 9 games, 4.50 ERA in 14 IP

With regards to the pitching staff, its clear that Greinke and Carrasco, effectively sabotaged the team's month, turning in awful performances just when LimaTime was heating up and Runelvys was cruising to a second-straight solid month.

Carrasco: 5 games, 2-2 record, 6.75 ERA in 26.2 IP

Greinke: 6 games, 2-4 record, 6.75 ERA in 32 IP

Lima: 6 games, 3-3 record, 3.79 ERA in 35.2 IP

Runelvys: 5 games, 3-1 record, 3.99 ERA in 29.1 IP

Of course, the staff also featured the J.P. Howell/Kyle Snyder combo getting torched in the 5-slot, which should temper one's enthusiasm a tad. As with all bad teams, the good performances never quite add up, or coincide at the right time. Take Carrasco's first two months, Greinke's first two seasons and the last month of LimaTime and Run', and you've got one of the League's best rotations, 1 through 4. Instead, as it stands now, the team's still below average, and probably will be throughout the rest of the season.

Offensively, the carnage continued, as the Royals scored only 122 runs in the month, good for 11th in the American League. Collectively, the team hit .268/.327/.411, revealing an offense that is short on power and big on outs.

Sorted by OBP, the numbers look like this:

Chip Ambres: .348/.464/.522 (27 plate appearances)

Alberto Castillo: .227/.393/.273 (28 plate appearances)

David DeJesus: .330/.386/.527

Mike Sweeney: .337/.381/.629 (Welcome back Mike.)

Donnie Murphy: .250/.364/.429 (33 plate appearances)

T-Long: .314/.351/.429

Angel Berroa: .287/.324/.406

Mark Teahen: .233/.320/.384 (Yikes.)

Emil Brown: .265/.302/.357 (Yikes, again.)

John Buck: .227/.301/.333

Matt Stairs: .241/.273/.386 (Yikes, again, again.)

Super Joe McEwing: .219/.219/.344 (All Hail Super Joe for a walk-free month!)

Ruben Gotay: .169/.211/.197

Shane Costa: .133/.188/.167

As you can see here, the Royals' offense in July was basically Mike Sweeney and a mix of assorted uselessness. Gotay, Costa, McEwing and Teahen all turned in months that raise serious doubts about the ability to play Major League baseball, and Buck and Brown weren't much better. Even Royals Review favorite Matt Stairs isn't blameless here, posting a line worthy of late-career Pete O'Brien or Scott Fletcher. On the other hand, Ambres, Castillo and Murphy all turned in fluky good performances, which helped to soften the blow delivered by the bottom of the lineup. At this point, I'm sufficiently beyond making a snarky comment regarding T-Long, especially considering his semi-adequacy in the face of, apparently, the alternatives. Just as quickly as Emil Brown flirted with an .800 OPS he's back to being a journeyman level player, and well, at least Angel Berroa hit .287 for a month.

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Swept Aside in Tampa?
By royalsreview
Posted on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 04:59:19 PM EST

Watching the series flitter away in Tampa, as the Royals' semi-rally in the 8th ends with a bizarre Mike Sweeney Catcher Intereference Ruling... Of course, maybe the larger insanity is the fact that the Devil Rays have so easily beaten up on our boys, despite the Royals playing .450 ball under Buddy. Well, beggars can't be choosers, as typified in the continued play given to Joe McEwing, although he is batting 9th today...

Echoes of Tony LaRussa giving Marlon Anderson the DH spot during the World Series and batting him 9th... If your first-baseman is hitting 9th and you still can't see the problem, then maybe all is hopeless.

Well, theres always the faint possibility of a 4-run 9th to tie the game.

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Game 104 Open Thread- Royals (38-65) at Tampa Bay (38-66)
By royalsreview
Posted on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:52:40 AM EST

Wow. Its on now. Both teams sit square with 38 precious wins, and after today's game, one team will be the worst in the American League, and one won't. After getting shelled by the Devil Rays twice, the Royals turn to the Once and Future Ace, Zach/k Greinke for a heroic victory, but who knows if its in the cards. Greinke's 2005 struggles, (3-12, 6.05 ERA) have been one of this lost season's most dissprirting occurances, but theres always hope that, at any moment, our hero can rebound. For the Devil Rays, its soft-tossing Doug Waecther (3-6, 5.30 ERA) who has to have one of the strangest names in baseball... at least from a spelling standpoint.

Clearly, this should be one of the best games of the season, and both Florida and most of the Midwest will be tuning into the game as they conduct their Saturday activities.

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Game 103 Open Thread- Royals (38-64) at Devil Rays (37-66)
By royalsreview
Posted on Fri Jul 29, 2005 at 10:51:12 AM EST

In a game with far-reaching implications in the race for the worst record, the Royals send ace D.J. Carrasco (5-4, 4.24 ERA) to the mound against Casey Fossum (5-8, 3.94 ERA) at the Trop.

The Royals look to improve upon their 15-35 record on the road, and hopefully they can block out the rowdy fans and the pressure of this series and just play solid baseball.

I promise to correctly fill out the lineup card tonight.

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Game 102- Devil Rays 10, Royals 5 (38-62)
By royalsreview
Posted on Thu Jul 28, 2005 at 11:04:47 PM EST

The Devil Rays showed the Royals that they mean business in the Worst Team Race Thursday night by storming back from a 5-0 whole to take a 10-5 win. Which raises the question: whats worse, allowing 10 runs to the Devil Rays, or being shut down by the Rays for the game's final 7 innings? I'll go with the latter, as the Devil offense has shown signs of life this season, while the pitching staff has been characteristically terrible.

Kyle Snyder, handed an early lead, did nothing but be terrible, allowing endless hits 12, while displaying a singular inability to put hitters away, posting just one strikeout... Albeit against an admittedly hacktastic Rays offense. The good thing is that no one really thinks anything of Kyle Snyder, so I guess it wasn't like this was the bi-weekly Greinke shelling that we've all grown so fond of.

In other, better news, Chip Ambres is now hitting .471, with a nice shiny homer on his stat line. Plus, sitting in the 2-slot, Ambres even drew two walks, which was very encouraging to see.

Once again, Super Joe played first base for some reason, over Matt Stairs, Calvin Pickering, Ken Harvey... Against lefties, Stairs is hitting .207/.314/.414 so maybe I shouldn't complain too much, although Super Joe McEwing isn't slugging .414 anytime soon, and I'm not sure Stairs' platoon split isn't being effected by his never seeing lefties either.

Tomorrow, the Rays go for their 38th victory, which would tie with our Royals. It will be a stupendously exciting game no doubt.

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Game 101- Royals 6, White Sox 5 (38-63)
By royalsreview
Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 07:58:04 PM EST

So what happens when Chicago's protest gets upheld and the Buddy-man notches career lineup card snafu #3 under his belt? Will we continue to look the other way and believe for some unknown reason that Buddy is the right man for the job?

There's actually no reason to believe that the game result will be overturned, something that simply doesn't happen anymore, although Bell could be handed down some kind of strange quasi-punitive fine for just being a fool. Regardless, its a strange endnote to an otherwise thrilling series, in which our Royals stormed back to take two of three from the Luck Sox and play, if ever so briefly, something resembling a "spoiler".

You know what I really like about this game? The fact that every Royal pitcher completed an entire inning and that each recorded a strikeout. Considering the staff and the game circumstances, thats pretty dang neat. In fact, the bullpen continues to be a real, live, legitimate asset to this team, as evidenced again today by a combined performance of 7.0IP, 3Hs, 2BBs, 6Ks and 0 runs. What makes the possible Shawn Camp controversy so delectable however, is the fact that, the kid did end up closing the game, in the 13th, when its possible that the Ozzero could have been considering some managerial machinations based on who he thought the Royals had left to pitch.

Still, the larger response is, and probably should be, "scoreboard", and the White Sox have no one to blame but themselves for what amounts to a disastrous 3 games in Kansas City.

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Game 101 Open Thread- White Sox (64-34) at Royals (37-63)
By royalsreview
Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 02:15:56 PM EST

Live from Oxford Mississippi...

On the heels of an improbable first victory of the season against the White Sox, the Royals look to soar even higher with an even more unlikely series victory over the Sox this afternoon at the K. The Royals send the currently suspended, currently appealing Runelvys Hernandez (8-9, 4.34 ERA) to the mound against Jon Garland (15-4, 3.19 ERA) in front of what promises to be a dismally small crowd.

Of course, last night saw the Royals cruise to a surprising 7-1 victory as LimaTime bested Mark Buerle in what was just an overall very strange game, highlighted by the White Sox giving the Royals two errors in the key 6 run 6th.

For what its worth, Jose Lima is now 4-2, with a 4.01 ERA in July.

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