Friday, June 03, 2005

Sweep!

It was probably only me, but from about the sixth inning, I was hanging on every pitch like it was a game 7.

Here are some numbers that you might already know, but bear repeating:

• The Royals had gone 78 series without a sweep, which was the longest streak in the majors since the Phillies 79-series streak in 1997-1998.

• The Royals swept the Yankees at home for the first time since July of 1990.

• The last time the Royals won three straight games was almost a year ago. And I’m not sure that even counts since they sandwiched that streak around the All-Star break, July 11-16, 2004.

That all of this happened against the Yankees makes it all the better. The Royals are a lead pipe cinch to lose 100 games and might even threaten the ’62 Mets as the worst team ever, but for three nights at the start of the summer, they got over on the mightiest team in all of the land. If you are a fan of this team, it’s these kind small things that can keep you going.

And for all the glitz and glamour the Yankees bring when they come to town, the Royals outperformed them in every area of the game.

• What can you say about the pitching in this series? The starters kept the team in the ballgame and the bullpen completely shut the Yankees down. Every Royal reliever saw action and compiled a noteworthy line:

11 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 9 SO

Over the three games, the bullpen held the Yankees to a .205 batting average while posting a miniscule ERA of 0.82. That’s called closing out ballgames.

• The Royals were clearly the better team at the plate over the three games. A comparison:

Royals: .295/.324/.474
Yankees: .196/.297/.320

That’s domination.

The only area the Yankees outshone the Royals was in the walk department, edging KC by an 11-4 margin. This highlights a disturbing trend that the team is again falling victim to…the inability to work the count. Over the last six games, the Royals have drawn only 10 walks, and only one of them by noted walking machine Matt Stairs.

• Forget payroll. Any team is going to have trouble scoring runs when the top of the lineup can’t get on base. The Yankees leadoff hitter (Derek Jeter) and their number two batter (Tony Womack & Hideki Matsui) were a combined 4-24 with two walks and one run scored against the Royals.

• And the most important stat of all: Over the three games the Royals outscored the Yankees 13-6.

In the end this series wasn’t any watershed moment, or some magical turning point in the progress of the youth movement. It was just three games at the start of June.

But it was fun!

And by the way, don't these two back pages look similar?


3 Comments:

At 1:54 AM, Anonymous david said...

ya know.. I live in NY (but have been a royals fan for 30 years) and it makes me sick (but its understandable) that wfan when they talk about the past three games give very little credit to kansas city.. they think that the yanks beat themselves. I watched all three games and was quite impressed. and no it dosent ment this is a huge turnaround for kc, just three games that we will look back on as a highlight of the season.. but wouldn't it be nice to reel off a few more wins in a row right now? I have kept saying that the team just couldn't possiby be as bad as they were playing.. and now we KNOW that they have talent (somewhere)..

come on boys... its time to win a few!

 
At 2:18 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Well, not to douse the optimism with cold water, but unfortunately the Royals next opponent is Texas, not the A's or Devil Rays.

All I want is for them not to get swept and to stay competitive in each game. Then, it's off to play the ever-so slumping Giants -- there could be a couple of wins waiting for them there.

It figures that the year I start a blog on the Giants that Bonds gets hurt and they have a poor year -- perhaps if I start a Royals blog over the winter the Royals will win next year? Hm, reverse mojo...

 
At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Blackjack Online said...

As well as possible!

 

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