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Royals Nightly
Monday, May 31, 2004
 
Game 47- Twins 8, Royals 3 (17-30)
No sweep after all.
Gobble's been occassionally good this year, but the complete inability to post a strikeout or two puts alot of pressure on his game. Yesterday was an episode of Bad Gobble, witha moribund Twins offense producing 6 runs. In the next 5.1 innings, the pen only allowed two more runs, which again, has been this team's pattern.

This is a good bullpen, I don't care what anyone says. Sullivan- 5 Ks in 2.1 innings... Wonderful.

Something needs to be said about Beltran, who's now down in the 260 range, and who was involved in two questionable baserunning plays yesterday.

Finally, the Royal's plate discipline has completely fallen off, and part of their inability to consistently post big innings is that they've got too many guys who make outs.

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Sunday, May 30, 2004
 
Hollywood Harvey
-Ken Harvey is batting .351, good for 4th in the AL and 8th overall.

Swingin' Ken also leads the ROyals in OPS, and his .915 tally is good for 37th best in baseball.

AL OPS Ranks by POsition (qualified batters only)

1B- K. Harvey 5th (.915)
M. Sweeney 10th (.823)

3B- J. Randa 10th (.739)

CF- C. Beltran 2nd (.874)
DH- K. Harvey 5th (.915)

Well, Harvey is posting an OPS over .900 with nearly 50 games played, so I should probably give him some credit. Yes, its basically all batting average, and its hard for anyone to bat .350, much less a moderately overweight guy. Still, he's doing it, and its good. He's not drawing too many walks, but the .350BA isn't totally empty, as he's managing to post an OBP in the .390s.

Sweeney's not really getting it done, but he has raised his OPS about 30 points in the last week, so at least he's getting better.

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Saturday, May 29, 2004
 
Game 46- Royals 5, Twins 2 (17-29)
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. How do you love that you evil Twins?!?!? As noted before, the Twins have to be one of the most hated teams in the heartland. All last season the Royals had to deal with their lack of respect, especially from the Minnesota press, which insisted that the ROyals weren't for real. (Never matter that they were essentially right.)
The Royals have now won 4 of 5 games against the Tigers and Twins. Minnesota- and especially their super-subs on offense- appears to enjoying a nice long regression to the mean, as they've really struggled in the past two weeks. Only scoring 3 runs in the first two days at the K should be a big fat red flag that something might be wrong with this team. Beyond the lack of runs, the Twins somehow struck out 11 times today against a ROyals pitching staff that has been dead last in the MLB in Ks since mid-April.

Repeat: the Royals struck out 11 Twins today.

que Penaism...

BELIEVE

I love seeing Stairs do well, and don't look now but the Royals pen has kept up its recent run towards adequacy.

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Wow
Two thrilling wins over the Twins. Winning occassionally turns out to not be all that bad. Wonderful. Plus I'm done with Memorial Day weekend driving. Yes!

3 Runs allowed in the last two days? Amazing.

BELIEVE

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004
 
Game 43- Royals 7, Tigers 3 (15-28)
There really is nothing like a series against the Tigers, even the new and improved edition. Looks like my non-bold prediction stood up, as a raucous band of 19,534 rabid Royals fans PACKED the K. BELIEVE

Toast D. May tonight, perhaps his finest outing of the season, going 7.2 and only allowing 3 runs. Thats consecutive Quality STarts boys and girls. Of course, there werent many Ks or BBs as usual, but you can't argue with the results, at least tonight's.

Don't look now, but Sweeney's on the upswing as is Stairs. Big Mike's creeping towards an .800 OPS.

Finally, call a Cards fan tomorrow and remind them that Esteban Yan is still alive and doing well. God Bless TLR and the 43 innings of 6ERA pitching that he coaxed out of Yan last season.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004
 
Game 42- Royals 4, Tigers 3 (14-28)
Ahh, the sweet taste of Tiger. With the help of umpire C.B Bucknor, the Royals held off the Tigers tonight at the K, as the 2nd Base Umpire made the correct call- interference- on the game ending double play.

Its a ballsy call to make in that situation, and of course if the Royals had been on the other side of the play I would be livid. Still, thats why the rule is there, and if anything JA deserved a break, after it appeared that an ever shoddy KC defense would again damn him. The Royals' 6 saves are now spread between 5 pitchers, and don't look now but Curtis Leskanic's ERA is under 10 for the first time since mid-April.

Chalk up Gobble with a Quality Start, as he held down a fairly strong Detroit lineup over 6.2, somehow surrendering only 3hits.

The Royals drew one walk from the Tiger staff, and continue to play their anamolous brand of BB and K free baseball, from both sides of the plate. Swingin' Ken's homer in the bottom of the 8th was gigantic and the Royals effectively squeezed 4 runs out of 3 extra-base hits, some sac flies and a bunch of singles.

On the momentum of this exciting win, I have no doubt that the Royals will play tomorrow's game in front of AT LEAST 15,000 fans.

BELIEVE

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Trades
According to Allard in today's Star trade waters are heating up. This is both a good thing (in a horrible way) and a very very scary thing. We shall see.

I guess the question is- is this a bit early to start tearing things down? If the overhaul is major, this team might lose 110 games, draw almost no one to the K and set revenues and on-field progress back severely.

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Sunday, May 23, 2004
 
Game 41- A's 3, Royals 2 (13-28)
Ho-hum, A's steal another win from the hapless Royals, sweeping our boys for the second time in 10 days. What else is new? You can add Reyes's outing to the team's small list of "quality starts" this season, and you can also pencil-in today's game as a small bump-in-the-road in the continuing development of Nate Field.

The Royals only drew one walk this afternoon, capping off a lost weekend in Oakland plate-discipline wise, garnering only 3 walks in 3 games. I don't want to sound like another schill for OBP, but perhaps when you score 6 runs in 3 games theres sufficient cause for alarm. Especially when 3 extra innings were played. Alas, what does it matter now? Perhaps AB's best off-season as a GM will only fill him with disapointment and bitterness, and in 2 years all the progress that this organ-i-za-tion (Canuck style) has made, on the field and philosophically, will be lost in the hazy enthusiasms of the next big plan.

It could happen.

Well, at least Sweeney's showing a little power, and the 2 errors committed today didn't cost anyone any runs. Ohh, and Beltran's slumping... just wanted to let everyone know.

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Game 40- A's 5, Royals 4 (13-27)
What do you say really? I feel really bad for Affeldt, who seems to be one of those guys who just can't get a break.

Personally, I don't quite see the value in making him a closer/reliever- since even if he becomes Eric Gagne 2.0, the Royals could really use 200 or so OK innings than 70 dominant ones. Nevertheless, there are certain health and baseball reasons for trying it with JA, and yesterday was just an eeirely-bad start for the project.

Nate Field's ERA is 1.65 by the way.

And apparently Brandon Berger wasn't dead.

3 errors? Ouch.

13 wins, 14 games under .500... and this from a team considered a viable division winner pick. Terrible.

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Saturday, May 22, 2004
 
Chavez Homers- 4-4
Wow. Terrible. Awful.

Out. Error. Out. Homer.

Feel like I've just been punched.

Thats 2004 for this team in a shell.
Devastation.


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Quality Starts through 5/21
"Quality Start"= Pitcher goes 6IP or more, allowing 3 runs or less.

-There is a stat called "blown quality starts", and I'm not totally sure if that refers to the reliver, or the starter who blows the chance.

-Also, as you will see below, there were a few games in which a Royals starter had a QS through 6IP, then lost it later in the game. To be honest, I have no idea if these count or not.

-I did this "by hand" so to speak, since I couldn't find a site that listed them, so I may have missed 1 or 2, but I doubt it.

- 4-9 Gobble v. CLE (W)
- 4-22 Affeldt v. CLE (L)
- 4-27 Affeldt v. TEX (L)
- 5-2 Affeldt v. NYY *( lost QS with 2 Rs in 7th) (L)
- 5-3 Gobble v. TOR (W)
- 5-7 Affeldt v. BOS *(lost QS in 8th)(L)
- 5-9 May v. BOS (W)
- 5-15 May v. OAK (L)
- 5-16 Anderson v. OAK * (lost in 7th)(L)
- 5-19 Gobble v. TEX (W)

Royals Record in these games: 4-6

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Game 39- A's 7, Royals 0 (13-29)
Royals shutout?? No! This can only hurt the already godawful May team batting line. Two game losing streak, and D-Rays on our tail for non-worst team in the AL. More tomorrow, on quality starts and other stuff. Two beaten down right now. Die Scutaro die!

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Friday, May 21, 2004
 
No Offense, But This is Bad
The Royals have scored 42! fewer runs than the Indians, and have the worst offense in the worst division in baseball.

Cleveland: 218
ChiSox: 215
Detroit 215
Minn: 199
KC: 176


The Royals have scored the fewest runs in the AL this May, at 60, and as a team are posting a .232/.292/.362 line for the month. Think about that. That .362 slugging percentage is just utterly amazing... there are almost no regulars in the big leagues with a SLUG that low. This is a lineup full of Luis Matos-es right now.

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Thursday, May 20, 2004
 
Game 38- Rangers 6, Royals 3 (13-25)
Its a sad example of the ole "damning with faint praise" scenario, but did anyone else feel like this was kind of a good outing by May? In essence, he did what he's done all year, fanned 2 or 3 guys, given up the critical hits/homers at the wrong times and pitched the Royals to a loss. At the same time, all the trouble came in one inning, and he was the victim of a Randa error. And, I guess, at this point only allowing 6Rs (3ER) constitutes something approaching "giving his team a chance to win".

But on the flip side May only lasted 4 innings, and the Royals used 5 relivers to preserve a 3 run deficit that would not go away. Sullivan is quickly becoming a tradeble asset, especially with his ability to pitch every day. Leskanic continues his irrelevant run at post-meltdown improvement, and Nate Field lowered his ERA to 1.76.

This is, sorta, a good bullpen.

Offensively the Royals pounded out 11 hits, but had only one go for extra bases (Beltran 2B) and drew only 1 walk. With that in mind, its a bit lucky they even scored 4 runs.

Sigh, no sweep, no winning streak.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004
 
Game 37- Royals 5, Rangers 3 (13-24)
Is it OK to get a little excited?? Two wins in a row, ON THE ROAD, for this team is a pretty big deal. Plus, just as soon as I had ripped Swingin' Ken, he homers. Ditto for Juan Gone, and ditto-lite for Angel. The Royals continued their magical no strikeouts or walks routine, with the entire crew combining for 2Ks and one BB. Amazing.

Huisman has pitched 6.1 innings in the big leagues, and has allowed 2 hits and no runs. Throw together a pen with him, Camp, Field, Cerda and Mac and I think theres something of value and even perhaps promise there. Of course, the starting rotation would still be terrible. But it would be a start.

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Some Stats
OPSs of Note:

C. Beltran 1.003
M. Stairs .832
K. Harvey .794 (batting .316 will do that)
M. Sweeney .791
J. Randa .781
J. Gonzalez .760
A. Berroa .523 (also known as "Derek Jeter Territory")


Well, thats simply not good enough for a lineup core. Maybe if Beltran was pulling a Barry Bonds and was closer to 1.300 than 1.000 it might be OK. As noted below, considering that Stairs was picked up cheaply, I'll take the .832. Harvey will be below .700 by August, just my own little pessimistic prediction. Clearly, the real problem spots are Berroa and Sweeney, although a .760 from Juan Gone sucks as well, especially when we are eating his "defense" and (cough cough) whatever ill effects his bad attitude has.

Pitches per PLate Appearance

Mendy 4.4 (uhh, ok)
C. Beltran 4.2
A. Guiel 4.1 (well, at least he was making the pitchers work)
J. Randa 4.0 (but he's still swingin on 3-1 and 3-2)
K. Harvey 3.7
M. Sweeney 3.4

Sweeney's seeing the fewest pitches of any regular not named Benito, he still squeezing some OBP out of his appearances, but he's still well behind even Randa in that category. I do give some credence to the idea that certain members of the lineup need to be a bit more free swinging, because said members can actually hit, but Sweeney's never been a monster power guy, and his value decreases dramatically when he's not getting on base 40% of the time.

Now for the really fun stuff...

K/9IP- Starting Rotation

D. May 6.97 (seriously, doesnt this seem a bit high??)
J. Affeldt 4.08
B. Anderson 3.48
J. Gobble 2.16

2.16!! And he's probably been the most occasionally effective one!! I think this is a stat that has a bit more value in evaluating starters than relievers, mainly because theres a higher innings sample, but also because of the nature of the roles. Leskanic and Mac have been wholly ineffective, but have proven capable of striking a guy out per inning. For what its worth.


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Game 36- Royals 7, Rangers 6 (12-24)
Historic Night? Scott Sullivan stormed into the team lead in wins, with a blazing 3. Nate Field secured his first save, which I guess is good. Its horrible, but I'm actually afraid at what will happen next--- Pena starts saving Field for the 9th inning, with a lead between 1-3 runs, and the team blows 2 leads in the 7th per week. I dunno, at this point is it even worth worrying about? Should we just have Field grab 10 saves at the All-Star break and trade him to the Phillies (hello Ed Wade) for peanuts and a little cash?

-The Royals are 4-14 on the road. Ugly.
-The Royals offense has been more mediocre than good, but considering what they've gotten out of Matt Stairs, at least one Allard move looks good, as he's posted a .278/.365/.467 line this season.

Looking backwards, in Feb/March what exactly was the plan for the pitching staff? Was the idea that the all-lefty thing was really gonna mean that much? Or that the defense would convert the barrage of balls in play into outs, thanks to the newly spacious K, and that May and BA would win 12-15 games each, and Affeldt and Appier would combine for 20? In hindsight of course, it all looks absurd... The problem is not so much the horrible play- that happens. The problem is that it looks like the Royals aren't really suffering from bad luck as much as they are displaying a lack of quality talent evaluation/forecasting and a potential to wishcast. Throwing out MacDougal's (I guess) injury-related ills, other than Leskanic, there is really no one on the pitching staff thats shockingly underperformed. They've been bad, but they've also been bad within their established performance mean and now everyone's walking around shocked.

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Monday, May 17, 2004
 
Royals of New York
Even when I'm in NY, the ROyals lose. Terrible. Nothing more to say, and at 10 dollars per 15 minutes, I can't even afford to bitch about this team right now. I couldn't believe BA was dealing hand for hand with Zito yesterday... and somewhere between leaving Yankee stadium and checking espn 8 hours later, the improbable turned into the probable and the boyz from the border fell 6-2.

Terrible.

More coming when I can find a cheaper place.

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Friday, May 14, 2004
 
Game 33- A's 6, Royals 2 (11-22)
Winning streaks, for the Royals, and Jimmy Gobble come to an end. Gobble's final line was 5.2 IP, 6ER, 9H, 2BB & 0K. Yes, zero Ks. The As lineup is filled with guys that strikeout-- and walk-- alot, and Gobble's line is again indicative of the general trend. Namely, hittable strikes being thrown by Royals pitchers. Of the 9 hits Jimmy allowed, 6 were for extra bases- so its not like he lost on bloops and seeing eye singles.

A good 35K crowd was wasted, and I can only think of the early games last year in front of big excited crowds, including the game against Detroit that ended on Swingin' Ken's walkoff homer.

Sad sad sad.

On the positive side- the bullpen produced 3.1 innings of shutout ball, and presumably, in theory or something, the pen might be suring up its holes in time for the starting rotation to have an adequate flanker when they turn things around. Or not.

Sullivan's helping his case as trade-bait at least.

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MayDay
Happy News Royals Fans!! Our own D. May is tied for 31st in the AL with 26ks!! He is a big fat 1st on the Royals in Ks though!

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Thursday, May 13, 2004
 
Off-Topic
Insane conclusion to the Lakers-Spurs game.

And with "Frasier" ending I was already riding an emotional rollercoaster.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004
 
Game 32- Royals 4, Jays 3 (11-21)
Damn that feels nice.
1) Royals have a win streak for the first time in eons.
2) Royals win a series.
3) Royals get a comeback win.
4) Royals get a win, powered by key contributions from Berroa, Beltran and Sweeney.
5) How about Jeremy Affeldt??? JA finally picked the team up instead of letting the team down. Only one K in 5 innings, but he spread the 10 baserunners well enough around to allow only 2 runs. Allowing 2 runs is very nice. Allowing 2 runs when you are a Royals' starting pitcher= amazing.
6) Good Grimsley. HOw often does Good Grimmy appear in a Royals victory? Sure it happened constantly in April-May of 2003, but not very much since.
7) Field of Dreams. 2 innings, 3 Ks, one gigantic strikeout of Carlos Delgado with the bases loaded. Field and Camp saved this series. Makes me feel good for jumping on their bandwagon 2 weeks ago.

Let the positive Pena-isms begin!! Lets roll off 5 or 6 more in a row andserve notice that this team isn't dead.

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3-2
Down 1 going into the 9th, at home, facing a mediocre Jays pen... This is a game that decent teams win. Brilliant work by Field this afternoon.

Lets do this.

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Game 31- Royals 5, Jays 1 (10-21)
10 wins... Awesome. Quite glad that Pena stuck with Camp for the final 3 innings, rather than handing it over to gasoline alley and crossing his fingers. How do you lose to Hentgen and then cruise by Halladay??

Ohh those zany ROyals.

(As I write this Field strikes out Delgado with the bases loaded)

Camp+Field.. the new bullpen heroes.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004
 
OBP
Bradford Doolittle discussed the Royals' offensive woes in today's Star, and notes that the team is right around the league average in batting average, hitting with RISP and % of baserunners reaching home. The problem is that the Royals are the second worst team in the American League in terms of getting people on base.

I didn't think it was that bad.

By the way, did you ever notice how easy the Devil Rays have it from the media? Watch a Rays game sometime, the announcers usually talk about their lineup like its the '82 Cardinals. Or rather, their sepia-toned memories of what the '82 Cardinals weren't really like- which was an speed based offensive machine. The Devil Rays suck, they don't put any "pressure" on the opposing team by having Carl Crawford steal 55 bases a year. You put pressure on the opponent by scoring runs, beating them, and taking their groupies. Not with steals.

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Game 30- Jays 9, Royals 3- (9-21)
Ahh... the wonderful "earned run" rule. Good work Brian Anderson. I don't know if this is good or bad, but Anderson isn't quitting:

``I've been in the league now for 10 years and have never -- never -- experienced a stretch like this,'' Anderson said. ``But I'm not about to let it beat me. If I'm going to go, I'm going to go down kicking and screaming and I'm going to go down fighting.''

For the second time this season, the Royals have been easily beaten by Pat Hentgen, who according to the players-- after the first loss-- was throwing "AAA stuff" at them. I hope ole Pat read that quote and laughed all game...

Adding insult to ineptitude, Leskanic managed a scoreless inning, just in time for it not to matter. Thank you for your low-leverage situation success!!!

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Monday, May 10, 2004
 
Niiiice
6-0, "Jays" in the first over your KC Royals.
Of course, its all Randa's fault for that error as the 4 singles and the homer would have not happened had BA had a clean start to the game.

Yes, I'm joking.

Terrible.

You know, at this rate, the game's final score will be 54-0.

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Predictions?
In the Season Preview I predicted that the Royals would go 85-77 and win the division. Through 29 games, the team is 9-20, and enjoys the benefits that a .310 winning percentage brings.

So, if that 85-77 team still exists, and they played like it (.5246 ball) the rest of the way, where would the Royals end up? In the 133 games remaining, that 85 win team would go somewhere around 70-63 (hardly sparkling by the way) to finish 79-83.

To be honest, that doesn't look too bad, and doesn't look too far from what many had the ROyals pegged as. Of course, this may not be a .5246 team, and may certainly not be one if players start getting traded. Everything being equal luck and reasonable expectation wise- predicting 85 wins was about as optimisitic as I could go... and now 1) that looks insane and 2) even if they resume that pace, they are still not gonna win 80 games.

I really want a .500 team... This organization must plow its way back to what was lost in 2002- the all-time winning record... which a decade of ineptitude ruined.



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Sunday, May 09, 2004
 
Terrible Luck
I really love that now Blogger has added all the shiny new features to its generic templates... a month after I setup the site.
Where were you on opening day?

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Game 29- Royals 8, Red Socks 4 (9-20)
Darrell May is a winner for the first time in 2004. May pitched his best game of the season, allowing just 2 runs in 5.2 innings and striking out 5 Red Sox- which is somewhat astounding. (he's now the team leader with an amazing 26!!!) Tony P left the game in the hands of the relivers who have approached being effective this season- Cerda, Sullivan and Reyes, and the lead held up this time.

But remember, MacDougal and Leskanic are established "closers", and I'm terrified by the possibility that if the game had been tighter we would have seen a repeat of the Grimsley-Mac combo that proved so lame on Friday night.

Can double digit wins be far off?

In reaching base 5 times, mixing in a rare steal, and driving in a couple runs Sweeney had one of his better games of the year.

The Royals 4 game losing streak is over, and the next step is winning two games consecutively- which on the east coast they have started to fashionably call a "winning streak". Never heard of it myself.

The Royals need a quick 5 or 6 win explosion to maintain the appearance of competitveness... The Blue Jays are an opponent that leaves the possibility open, but could also sweep this team. That reputed run-depressing effect of the new fences at the K needs to jump into effect at some point.




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Game 28- Pokey Reese 2, Royals 1 (8-20)
Does it get any worse?
Two homers by the Poke? Granted, one was of the weird hop/fast guy/slightly misplayed variety, but still.
Too beaten down by a long day at work to even put up a fight on this one.
Hello worst team in baseball boys.

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Friday, May 07, 2004
 
Game 27- Red Sawks 7, Royals 6 (8-19)
The Royals predictably blew a 4 run lead tonight in Boston, doing what bad teams do best, blowing a late inning lead against a superior opponent on the road. One of Affeldt's better efforts of the season was wasted, and I believe that Pena's decision to send him out in the 8th was quite debatable. Nevertheless, after a rare road appearance by "Good Grimsley" the ROyals headed to the 9th up 2.

I wonder what the precise odds of them blowing the game where at 6-2? Because I certainly would have taken that bet.

Walk, Homer, Strikeout, Walk, Popup, Double, Game.

I was really heartened to see that Pena pulled the plug on MacDougal in favor of Sullivan. But thats small consolation.

Suddenly, the Royals are racing towards 100 loses. Ohh ye margin between contender in a terrible division and utter pretender, how small ye are!! The boys at Baseball Prospectus recently wrote that "theres not a dime of difference" between this year's dreadful spring Royals and last season's dyanmo... Not completely sure about that, the pitching is certainly worse, especially the back end of the pen.

If the ROyals go 54-81 (.400) from here out they will lose 100 games, they're playing at a below .300 clip right now.

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Collapse
Wow. That was really really lame. But also predictable.
And America's most myopic, narcissistic fans can rejoice at the Royals expense.
Horrible.

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Thursday, May 06, 2004
 
Game 26- Jays 10, Royals 3 (8-18)
Anderson- 4 Innings- 11 hits, 10 RA 6 of which are "earned". No walks.

Do you realize how docile your stuff has to be to give up 10 runs without walking anyone???

pretty docile...

batting practice stuff...

Aside from the continuing errors problem, its clear that the ROyals defense is not very good, and that they aren't great at converting the barrage of balls in play into outs. Then again, the staff is giving up balls in play like its going out of style, as there are no Ks, few BBs and not too many HRs.

Actually, i don't even know about the HR rate, need to recheck.

Blegh. Horrible loss. Let another losing streak begin.


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Tuesday, May 04, 2004
 
Game 25- Jays 5, Royals 4 (8-17)
On April 11th the Royals defeated Cleveland at home 5-3, winning the third game of the series after dropping the opener. Since that day, which is nearly a month buried into the past, the Royals have failed to win consecutive games. It didn't happen tonight, as Pat Hentgen was on hand for the Annual "Turn Back the Clock to 1996" night, reminding us of his 20-10 season as we marvelled at the memories of all the Tarantino knockoffs that were popular at that time. The Royals didn't have many baserunners, and only left 3 men on base, which is quite difficult to do in a major league game not pitched by late 80's Frank Viola.

May pitched fairly good, 5ER in 7IP isn't much to blog home about, but we've seen much worse this year, and if nothing else he ate innings.

Do we get an error from a SS every Royals game?

This was a winnable game, as the Jays didn't put things away and the Royals kept it interesting with a late rally. If this team can get to 15 wins before they reach 20 losses, I think they may have a shot. Right now, forget about the standings and how many games back the Royals are- they are 9 games under .500, and will likely need to be at least that many games over .500 to win the division.

That is still the ostensible point right?

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Monday, May 03, 2004
 
Game 24- Royals 3, Jays 2 (8-16)
Gobble Gobble.
Jimmy Gobble, losing streak stopper. Jimmy Gobble, Royals Rotation Ace. Jimmy Gobble, perfect through 5 1/3. Jimmy Gobble, American Hero.

I think its fairly debatable whether or not JG should have started the ninth, but he was right around 100 pitches, so not beyond the pale for Pena to leave him in. Of course, Mac blowing the lead was about as predictable as a game of Monopoly, but Nate Field (of the Field/Camp dynamic duo of anonymity) was there to save the day.

Did I mention those damn White Sox keep winning?

Offensively, Swingin' Ken Harvey continues to be a man amongst boys- blasting too amazing awesome tremendous singles. Angels among us returned and struck out four times (call Pete Incavalgia), and Aaron Guiel warmed the hearts of his devoted following, blasting the game winning homer in the ninth.

Plus, J. Cerda saved the game from catastrophe in the 10th, reminding me of how wise I was to bitch about him being sent down the first time.

Strikeout/Walk watch: 1K in 10 innings for Royals pitchers... 3 walks... I think its time to email Neyer about this phenomena.


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No Strikeouts Need Apply Here:
First in MLB in Ks: Chicago Cubs- 213
Last in MLB in Ks: KC Royals- 113

The Royals are right in the middle of the pack in walks allowed, at 82, good for 13th best.

Despite the apparent suckiness of the bullpen... ERA in innings 1-6: 5.74; ERA in innings 7+: 4.99.

Returning to the Ks issue, the impotence of the Royals starting staff really shines here: Ks in the first 6 innings- 65, good for, you guessed it, dead last in baseball; Ks from the 7th on: 48, tied for 22nd in baseball with the As.

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Sunday, May 02, 2004
 
Game 23- Yankees 4, Royals 2 (7-16)
Bleh.
Royals manage to strikeout 5 yankees in 8 innings. Affeldt pitches OK, but losing continues with no end in sight.
It doesn't even hurt anymore, because the pain from the loss before never left. I'm still smarting from the loss of the final game in Cleveland.

Watching ESPN's Baseball Tonight, I'm struck by how deeply the baseball world is developing its own little culture war. Harold Reynolds, John Kruk and Berman just spent 10 minutes crudely attacking OBP. The argument, comparing vaguely fast guys with low OBPs that still score more runs than slow walkers like Frank Thomas and Giambi. Not a single mention of who's batting in front of whom, or how Giambi is the guy making Jeter score.

On one hand, I don't care, on another, its really frustrating. Again, the response of the traditionalist community never changes- present largely misunderstood over-simplification of the new wave, argue (often bizaarly) using selective facts (i.e. the runs scored stat) and then conclude with something approach an ad hom... being a former player versus not playing usually works in spades.

More on the ROyals tomorrow... but in the meantime, sit back and realize just how unlikely it is that this team finishes above .500 now.

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Saturday, May 01, 2004
 
Games 21-22- Yankees Best Royals Twice (7-15)
Curtis Leskanic never rests, and never lets us down, posting a nice 4 earned runs, 2 walks and 3 hits in 2/3rds of an inning.

Umm, what more is there to say than the obvious- the Yankees are just a much better team. Last night was about the best B. Anderson can pitch, and it still wasn't very good. The Royals were totally shut down by Vasquez, and aside from another homer by Hollywood Harvey, the offense was listless.

Today, Ruben Sierra partied like it was 1989 - the year he was totally robbed of the MVP by the scattered remains of Robin Yount who benefited from the well-established Cheese Belt media bias-- hitting a grand slam and a three-run homer.

The Royals paid tribute to last season's miracle run to 83 wins by starting a wholly anyomous E. Villacis against the previously dead John Leiber.
Check out our boy's impressive stats page:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7321

Again, the sucess of Harvey is noted and I would also like to add the Camp/Field duo out of the pen continues to be vaguely good... and certainly better than Leskanic/Grimmy.

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