Royals Nightly
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Game 118- Royals 3, Mariners 2 (43-75)
Buck's long climb out of the gutter continues. Uncle went 2-3 with a big, game-winning 8th inning homer, and has now pushed his OPS to .588. A sub-.600 OPS isn't really good, even for a catcher, but consider, at 20 games he was at .425.

Buck on July 23rd: .156/.206/.219
Buck on August 19th: .197/.252/.336

Thanks to a pretty slugtastic August (.250/.283/.545), for the first time since his 2002 in the Houston minor league system, Buck's starting to look like a useful player.

The other big news from last night was the solid start from Jimmy Serrano- 7.0IP, 5H, 2R, 3BB and 2Ks. While Serrano hasn't been spectacular, he's had a better 3-start run than the season's of Jimmy Gobble or Brian Anderson. I'll take a wait and see attitude of course, but aside from being vaguely positive, what am I supposed to do, rip him for not being Mark Prior??

Despite having a nice night afield, its time for a Blanco Update. Last week I wrote, "Andres Blanco, I predict, won't crack .300 in OBP or .320 in SLG". Lets check on our favorite SS:

OBP- .357
SLG- .353

Andres continues to make me look bad, which I don't mind a bit. The OBP is legitimately beyoond reproach, while the SLG, and you can see, has already dipped below its sister stat, not the best sign.

Finally, Joe Randa played first base last night, and played it well. I've always been a big Randa fan, even believing that during his late-90s era peak he was a pretty useful player. This season's been a tough one for Joe, and I can't imagine that another injury-filled losing season has been very fun. Still, he's been one of the few stable faces of the franchise in recent seasons, and unlike his former teammates Beltran, Febles, Tucker and Berroa (to name a few) he's managed to not get traded or be a jerk, while maintaining a big-league-level of performance. RN needs to have a Joe Randa tribute someday, before he's totally forgotten, and I promise that'll happen.


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