Monday, June 06, 2005

Weekend Roundup

That four game winning streak was really, really nice. Especially considering the fact that the Royals hadn’t won that many in a row since 2003.

Problem is, as long as Lima in starting every fifth day, a four game winning streak is the best the Royals can do.

Some other thoughts from the weekend:

• It was kind of nice to see some fire out in the Royals dugout on Sunday. When Shane Costa was hit by a pitch in the ninth, Buddy Bell was angered that Ranger pitcher Francisco Cordero wasn’t warned. Eventually, Bell came out of the dugout to make his point to home plate umpire Gary Cedarstrom. After the game, Buddy was still angry, claiming that it was “blatant” that Cordero was throwing at Costa.

Kudos to Bell for stepping up for his players. After spending the last two afternoons getting ripped by the Rangers, I’m sure he was boiling, and Costa getting hit was his breaking point. But I’m inclined to believe Cordero wasn’t throwing at anyone. He was all over the place with his pitches, walking Emil Brown to start the inning and missing the zone badly in the previous three offerings to Costa. But it doesn’t matter whether the plunking was real or imagined, Bell chose that moment to take a stand. That’s something we didn’t see often enough under the previous management and I’m sure the players appreciated Bell’s actions Sunday afternoon.

• The rest of Sunday’s fireworks came at the end of the game, when Cordero celebrated by taking a couple of steps toward the Royals’ dugout and grabbing his crotch. Nice. Always a good idea to cap off the Build-A-Bear teddy bear giveaway day at the stadium with a crotch grab.

• What in the name of Jose Lima is wrong with Zack Greinke? He hasn’t been himself his last four starts, failing to pitch longer than five innings in any of them. Sunday was his worst outing of the last four, but check out these numbers from his last four starts:

19.1 IP, 28 H, 20 ER, 7 BB, 12 K

That’s a 9.31 ERA. I’m not sure what’s going on with Greinke, but this should be cause for concern within the organization. Time for Guy Hansen to earn his money.

• It’s was discouraging, but not altogether unexpected, to see Lima blow a four run lead on Saturday. As noted before, the Royals have been staking Lima to leads all season long, only to see him give them right back. After the game Bell said Lima would remain in the rotation. I actually don’t have a problem with that. Bell is the new guy and he’s going to give everyone a chance to show him what they can do. Lima will pitch himself out of the rotation before the All-Star break. Now, we just need to come up with a decent drinking game for the next time Lima blows a lead.

• Head-scratcher of a move on Saturday when the Royals optioned starting pitcher Ryan Jensen to the minors to make room for Jeremy Affeldt coming off the DL. Strange because this leaves the Royals short a starter. Stranger because Jensen must clear waivers for the Royals to keep him. And even stranger still when you figure Affeldt could have easily taken Steve Stemle’s spot in the pen. It’s not like Jensen is the second coming of Cy Young, but he’s pitched alright in two of his three starts and has some major league experience. The Royals will now have to make another move to find a starter for next Saturday’s game at Arizona. Weird.

Interleague play returns this week when the Royals travel to San Francisco and Arizona, but the big news will be the draft on Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed.


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