Sunday, April 24, 2005

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

When your team is going to lose between 90 and 100 games, at least they have the courtesy to make the losses interesting:

• If you have tickets to a game where Zach Greinke is going to start, make sure you get there on time. In his previous start against Detroit, the first two batters of the game reached via errors. Saturday, Greinke gave up a single to the leadoff batter, Scott Posednik. A catcher interference call, a balk and a ground out later, the Royals were down 1-0.

• Greinke wasn’t particularly sharp, but he kept the Royals in the game. He retired the side in order only twice, but apart from the first inning hiccup was never really in any trouble. After seven strong innings and 110 pitches, he turned the game over to the bullpen. I think the pitch count was about right. I figure most nights he will be able to throw anywhere from 90-110 pitches. But Zach still needs to learn to be more efficient with his pitches so he can stay in games longer.

• Andy Sisco. Nails. Let’s do it. He is now officially dubbed the favorite of Warning Track Power. We’ll get the documents drawn up. But really, what can you say other than he’s been one of the few bright spots this month. It looks like Tony Pena has complete faith in him. The original plan was to baby him along, bring him in games that were already decided. I guess if you’re now bringing him into a 2-1 game in the eighth, it’s safe to say the plan has changed. Sisco’s line: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K.

• Ambroix Burgos made his major league debut and looked every bit as good as advertised working a strong ninth.

• The offense which looked like it was showing signs of waking up in Minnesota, has fallen back into it’s coma-like state. After the David DeJesus home run and walk to Ruben Gotay to start the game for the Royals, Jose Contreras retired 10 Royals in a row. The streak ended when Matt Stairs was hit by a pitch in the home half of the fourth. Stairs was the first batter after Contreras tweaked his hamstring covering first on a groundout, otherwise who knows how many in a row he would have set down. After that, Contreras couldn’t continue and had to leave the game.

• I’m nearing the end of my patience with the manager. First inning…A leadoff home run, followed by a walk. You’re number three hitter and currently the best hitter on the team (Mike Sweeney) is stepping to the plate. And he SACRIFICE BUNTS!!! My blood is boiling just typing that sentence.

• The Royals had their chance in the ninth when they loaded the bases with one out. But Matt Diaz tried to score on a wild pitch and was out at the plate, end of threat. Diaz shouldn’t have gone, but I’ll take a mistake like that where he was trying to make something happen. Pena was probably thinking bunt anyway.

Mike MacDougal, fresh off of blowing a save in Minnesota, takes the loss. He’s never gotten his confidence back after a strong first half of 2003. I’d like to see Tony continue to give the ball to Burgos and Sisco in tight spots and protect MacDougal. At the rate he’s going, he’ll be on the interstate to Omaha soon.

Hopefully they can avoid the sweep Sunday. Sigh.

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