Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Finally, Some Relief!

Maybe someday, maybe just once this season, the Royals will play a good, solid game for nine whole innings. The first week of the season it was the starting pitching (outside of Lima-Time) that was keeping the team in games. Couple that with some hot and cold bats and you had a surprising .500 record when they returned to K.C. for the home opener.

That first week at home, pretty much everything went to crap…Starting pitching, relief pitching, hitting, defense, baserunning…Zack Greinke even forgot to wear his lucky necklace. Yep, that’s pretty much everything.

So the burning question was which part of the Royals would awaken from this slumber first. Would the starters regain the form they briefly flashed so early? Would the hitters start to work the count and try to get on base by any means? Would this team remain in a persistent vegetative state and challenge the ’62 Mets for futility?

The answer to the last question remains for the most part, unknown. What we do know is that the Royals bullpen is the appendage of this sleeping team that has chosen to awaken first. The last three games, while Royal starters have been getting boxed around like a cast-member of Jackass, the bullpen has quietly stepped forward.

Since Sunday afternoon, the relief corps have pitched beyond well, posting a 0.79 ERA in 11 1/3 innings. Without these guys, the bleeding would have been much, much worse. Quite a turnaround from the first week of the season.

Among those who have impressed include Rule V draftee (and favorite of Warning Track Power) Andy Sisco. For some reason the Cubs soured on him and thank god for that. Having seen him pitch in person on Sunday, I will predict big things. Yes, he is going to hit a rough patch or two during the season, but so far when he has looked good, he has looked goooooooooood.

I know there are a ton of frustrated fans out there. Count me among them. I just want this team to put together a consistent stretch of ball. That’s all I ask. Let’s try to get all the cylinders firing at the same time and run off a modest winning streak. Maybe sweep a series. That would be exciting.


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