Winning Makes It Better
For one night let’s forget the mistake that was made on Tuesday. Tonight, we celebrate taking two in a row from the mightiest team in all the land.
• Over his career, Randy Johnson has pitched very well against the Royals posting a 12-6 record with a 3.16 ERA while striking out a little over 11 batters per nine innings. But on Wednesday, he just looked like a 41 year old pitcher who’s best days are in the rearview mirror. He pitched well, but let’s be honest. The Royals are a team Johnson should have dominated. But he didn’t, allowing nine hits while striking out seven and retiring the side in order only one time. The Royals were basically pests, refusing to be intimidated or to go quietly.
• Since Tony Pena quit on the team in mid-May, Angel Berroa has quietly been improving at the plate. Elevated to the leadoff spot by Bob Schaefer and kept in that spot by Buddy Bell, Berroa was instrumental in Wednesday’s victory by doubling twice and scoring both times. Since his move to the top of the lineup Berroa is batting a very respectable .284/.321/.405. He still swings at way too many pitches out of the zone, and his baserunning is an embarrassment, but until the Royals find a true leadoff hitter (and that could be at least two or three years away) Berroa might be their best option.
• What’s gotten into Emil Brown? In April, he was the poster child for why you take spring training stats with a grain of salt. In May, he was justifying his spot on the roster hitting .313/.389/.506 while seeing everyday duty. His hot hitting continued Wednesday going 2-4 with the big first inning home run to ensure Berroa’s leadoff double wasn’t wasted.
• Picking the Royals closer is about as tricky as handicapping a managerial race where Allard Baird is doing the hiring. In his first two games as Royals manager it looks like Mike MacDougal is Bell's choice to close games . MacDougal has looked great in these two outings, picking up saves in back to back appearances for the first time since early July 2003. When he’s on, like he has been the last two nights, he throws absolute filth.
• The best part of these last two games? MacDougal striking out Derek Jeter in the ninth inning both nights.
Winning is much more fun than losing, isn’t it?