Another One For The Good Guys
The bats weren’t as hot, but Royal Express keeps on rollin’ with a good win over the Dodgers on Tuesday.
Key for the Royals was a quality start from Runelvys Hernandez, a pair of home runs and a solid effort from the bullpen.
Let’s break some things down, shall we?
• It just so happens that Hernandez is becoming a starter who is usually good for about 6 IP, 8-10 baserunners and hopefully under 3 runs. Seriously, look at his last five starts:
Throw out his start in Anaheim and he’s become the poster child for consistency.
The problem is, he’s still allowing too many runners on base, which is forcing him to throw too many pitches. That’s why he’s not pitching later into games. So far, he’s been able to make adjustments, but eventually allowing this high volume of baserunners will catch up to him.
• The WTP Offensive Star of the Game award goes to Shane Costa who went 3-3 with the home run in the fifth inning that was the difference in the ballgame. Costa’s homer, which just barely scraped over the fence in right, came one pitch after a push bunt attempt for a base hit rolled foul before it could hit the third base bag. Whoever said baseball is a game of inches wasn’t kidding.
• The bullpen did its job again. Damn, if there aren’t some live arms out there. Jeremy Affeldt pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning and showcased a large curveball against Hee Seop Choi that’s going to give me nightmares. He was followed by Ambiorix Burgos who had his splitter dancing out of the zone, but that was alright because he was setting it up with 98 mph gas that no one could touch. He worked around a couple of baserunners to strike out the side.
• Why is it when Mike MacDougal enters the game, my blood pressure skyrockets? I’m seriously considering putting my physician on speed dial for this reason. But the good news is I’m still alive, and MacDougal secured the victory for his fifth save since Bell was hired.
• Speaking of saves, can someone explain to me how the Royals are 10 for 20 in save opportunities, but have an 18-1 record when entering the ninth inning with a lead? Wait, I know the answer. Saves are a meaningless stat.
• Grip-Cam (the freeze frame close-up of the ball in the pitcher’s hand just before release) is the coolest thing on the Royals telecasts. Nothing better than a super slo-mo of Burgos releasing a splitter.
• Another note on Royals TV broadcasts: Bob Davis needs to be replaced. It pains me to write that since Davis is the voice of my beloved Jayhawks and is one of the better radio talents in the business. His calls on basketball are not to be missed.
But this season, I’ve read some criticism of Davis’ baseball work from several bloggers, so I’ll have to add my two cents. Davis is horribly miscast as a baseball announcer. He has little to no feel for the game and often misses opportunities to provide insight to bring up some inane point. Tuesday night, every time Shane Costa got a base hit, Davis brought up how big the moment was since Shane is from Southern California and he was getting hits against his home town team. Hey Bob, we get it!
OK, rant over.
So, for those of you inclined to keep track, the Royals are now 9-4 under Buddy Bell.
When things are going good for a team, like they are for the Royals, they show up to the park every night expecting to win. That’s where the Royals are right now and it's a good place to be.