Tonight, Drinks Are On The House
"If I win tomorrow, I'm going to get drunk."
-Lima on KCSP-AM (6/14/05)
I never thought I'd see it.
Even now, a couple hours after the game, I'm still in a state of disbelief.
The guy who hadn’t won a regular season game since September 14, 2004.
The guy who hadn’t won for the Royals in 15 consecutive starts.
The guy whose ERA entering the game was 8.16.
Yes, Lima won.
He did it the old-fashioned way…Throwing strikes, working ahead in the count and keeping the ball down. His velocity was up as well. He’d been throwing flat fastballs around 82-86 mph, but on Wednesday he was consistently hitting 90 mph on the gun. But most important of all, he held the lead and he avoided the big inning.
Lima’s line for the night:
8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
Consider it a stay of execution. He's going to need to run off four or five quality starts before we will be convinced.
But I will say it...
For one magical night at the K it was Lima-Time all over again.
Other notes from Wednesday:
• After going almost two years without a four game winning streak, the Royals have now posted four wins in a row twice in the month of June.
• Mike Sweeney’s return from injury lasted about a game and a half. Preliminary diagnosis is a sprained left wrist and elbow after Jayson Werth collided with him on a play at first. Werth, attempting to beat out a drag bunt, was clearly at fault on the play. Running down the first base line, he was in fair territory when he collided with Sweeney, which means he should have been called out for interference. That call belongs to Bill Miller, the home plate umpire, but he chose not to make it.
I want to be angry at someone. I want to be angry at Werth, but I don’t think he ran into Sweeney on purpose. (I’m more angry at the fact that he ran inside the baseline a second time later in the game.) I want to be angry at the home plate umpire, but his blown call didn’t effect the outcome of the game. I’ll just have to be angry at the fact that Sweeney, once again, is injured.
That play at first led to two things:
1) The only run of the game for the Dodgers, which prevented Lima from going for his second career shutout. How difficult would it have been for Buddy Bell to pull Lima if he had been carrying a shutout into the ninth?
2) A defensive shift on the part of the Royals, moving Tony Graffanino from second to first base and bringing Ruben Gotay into the game at second. Gotay made the defensive play of the game in the seventh inning, ranging to his left to rob Hee Seop Choi of a basehit. A truly spectacular play. If Graffanino was at second, there’s no way he reaches that ball. That Gotay's play was rated only the fifth-best Web Gem on ESPN is just another case of the man keeping the Royals down. Play of the day, by far.
• Emil Brown, RBI Machine. Brown picked up two more RBI’s with a pair of clutch two-out base hits. He now has 12 RBI in June, 27 RBI since May 11th and for the season is batting .357/.453/.690 with runners in scoring position.
As far as the RBI, that is the first time in the history of Warning Track Power that this statistic has ever been mentioned. And with good reason. Without baserunners, there’s little chance for a hitter to drive in a run. So with that in mind, we mention the key role Matt Stairs had in prolonging both innings ahead of Brown by drawing a walk in the first and a single in the fifth. Stairs is so key to the success of this team.
The Royals go for the sweep on Thursday. Let’s see if Zack Greinke can channel the spirit of Good Lima and get back on track.